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1941 "V-Men" Original Unpublished Card Artworks (10)
Starting Bid - $500.00 , Sold For - $3,231.25
This collection of ten original unpublished artworks was specially commissioned in 1941 by Gum Inc., for use in a proposed set of forty-eight nonsports cards titled "V-Men" (also referred to as "V-Gum"), which was meant for distribution in Canada and England. Each artwork (5.25 x 6.75 inches) pictures a prominent figure of World War II (primarily British and French individuals) set against either a background image of the subject "in action" during the war or a battle scene. These ten artworks originate from the personal collection of Charles Steinbacher, the art director for the George Moll Advertising Agency, which handled the Gum, Inc., account. Steinbacher is one of the legendary figures in the field of nonsports cards and is best known today for producing the famous "Horrors of War" set for Gum, Inc., which was first issued in 1938. He is also very well known by collectors for being the source of virtually all original Gum Inc., artworks. The "V-Men" set was supposed to number forty-eight cards, but only twenty-four artworks were produced before Gum, Inc., abruptly canceled the project shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941). Interestingly, a year later Gum, Inc., used the same design and format of the "V-Men" cards for its "War Gum" set, but none of the twenty-four "V-Men" artworks were used. Following the decision to cancel the "V-Men" project, Gum, Inc., returned the unused artworks to Steinbacher, at his request, and they remained in his private safe until discovered by his family many years after his death (along with original artworks to several other Gum, Inc. card sets, including 1938 Horrors of War, 1940 Lone Ranger, and 1941 War Gum, all of which have long been dispersed to the four corners of the collecting world). This is truly a rare and unique collection of nonsports original artwork that has remained virtually hidden from the collecting community for nearly seventy years. Each artwork consists of a line drawing on board with a thin paper overlay featuring the color work (which is the exact same artwork format as Gum, Inc.'s 1941 War Gum original card artworks). The portrayed individual is identified in print along the base. A Gum, Inc., copyright notice appears on each artwork, as does the proposed card number for each artwork. The ten artworks featured here portray, respectively, the following individuals: Mrs. Natalie Wales Latham , #7 (prominent founder of wartime Bundles for Britain); Captain Ervine-Andrews, V.C. , #11 (Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces); Lieut. Commander Geoffrey Carver , #13 (British naval leader); Dr. Harry Winter , #16 (British doctor); Squadron Leader William E. G. Taylor , #20 ( Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who later joined the Eagle Squadron--the first British fighter squadron in World War II composed entirely of Americans); Lieut. Commander Anthony L. Danis , #24 (U.S. Navy Commander); " Mademoiselle X ", #32 (French spy); Dickie Lee , #34 (British fighter pilot); Captain John D. Halliday , #35 (U.S. ship captain); " Pierre" - the Navigator , #38 (French resistance?). All of the artworks are in Excellent condition with the exception of Winter, Taylor, and Halliday (tape repair to the paper overlay) and each has been matted to total dimensions of 10.25 x 12.25 inches. Total: 10 artworks. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $3,231.25
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