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1938 R69 Gum, Inc. "Horrors of War" Complete Set (288) Plus Historic 1938 Life Magazine
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $2,350
Exceptionally attractive low- to mid-grade complete set of “Horrors of War.” The 288 cards include the forty-eight rare high-number cards (#241-288). "Horrors of War" is the most famous set of war-related trading cards ever issued, and one of the most popular and sought after of all nonsport card sets. The set is unequaled in its colorful, detailed artwork and gruesome graphics. The reverse text, though historically factual, is filled with antifascist propaganda of the times. Historically significant and noteworthy, the "Horrors of War" set created an unprecedented stir when issued to children in the late 1930s, which resonates with collectors to this day. Condition composite: The low-number series cards (#1-240) grade as follows: 35% Vg-Ex (includes a few slightly better), 65% range from Fr to Vg (averaging Gd and with approximately equal representation at each grade level). The high-number series cards (#241-288) grade as follows: 25% Vg-Ex (with a few slightly better), 75% range in grade from Pr to Vg (averaging Gd). Keys: #1 "Marco Polo Bridge Is Scene of First Fighting" (Gd), #240 "The Frightful Cost of War" (Vg), #277 "Hitler's Border Tour Raises War Scare" (Vg), #283 "Hitler Threatens Force to Free Sudetens" (Pr), #286 "Chamberlain Meets Hitler in Peace Effort" (Vg). The set is accompanied by an original yellow wrapper (three-figure center design all with two-pointed hats, Vg-Ex). “Horrors of War” was originally planned to be 240 cards, and was even sold in a 240-card set form. Later, the additional forty-eight high-number cards (#241-288) were added to the set. The high-number series cards are particularly rare. This is a very attractive low- to mid-grade complete set. The set is accompanied by an extremely crisp, complete original copy of the May 9, 1938, edition of Life magazine. This is an extremely important artifact in the history of trading cards in America, and the "Horrors of War" set in particular. The set was featured in a two-page spread, with illustrations and reverse text of twelve cards, and with social commentary from Life. The prominence of this article played a significant role in the unprecedented success of the set, and, in turn, in the future of Gum, Inc. Total 288 cards plus Life magazine, and original wrapper. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $2,350
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