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Lot # 1542 (of 1560)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1936 Sun Picture Gum Display Box

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,410

Sun Picture Gum display box, issued by Wolverine Gum Inc., of Detroit, Michigan, containing sixty-seven unopened wrapped packs of gum (out of an original 120), plus one that is opened. This novel issue was very unusual in that each package of gum also included a small 1 x 1.5-inch piece of film (which has the appearance of a "plastic card" with a very detailed and high-quality image that can be seen best by holding to the light) and two corresponding pieces of equal-sized print paper that would allow for the development of the film by sunlight. The exterior box label and each individual wrapper feature both directions and illustrated diagrams for developing the enclosed film: "How To Make Sun Pictures - Can be developed by sun or strong electric light. First place shiny side of paper to dull side of film. Hold between fingers and thumb and bend slightly as shown in picture. Hold in this position until developed. - Important: keep film paper in a dark place until ready to use." Based upon the opened example, the pictures appear to be of famous historical figures (in this case, Mozart). The vintage pencil notation "Received 4/27/36" appears on the exterior box-top label. According to Christopher Benjamin, author of the definitive reference work The Sport Americana Price Guide to the Non-Sports Cards 1930-1960, Wolverine Gum Inc., "had a fascination with the bizarre," and this issue, which is not cataloged, is certainly unusual, but it is not the only self-developing set of the 1930s (Tattoo Orbit Gum and several other companies also issued similar cards in this era). 1936 was also the year in which the company produced its classic Strange True Stories card set, which is one of the most popular nonsport sets of the decade. The display box (8 x 7.5 x 3 inches) has imperfections (including splits along the flaps of both the lid and base) but still has tremendous display value. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,410

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