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1939 R175 Dietz Gum Co. "Today's War Pictures" Box
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $9,400
Display box for Wild Cherry Twins Bubble Gum, issued by the Dietz Gum Company of Chicago, Illinois, consisting of 120 unopened pieces of gum (out of an original 200), plus twenty-one premium photos (5 x 7 inches) featuring “Today’s War Pictures.” The back panel of the counter-display box features an attached sample premium (here, a picture of a French girl wearing a gas mask) alongside the graphic text: “Look! Today’s War Pictures – Actual action photos of to-day’s bloody war in Europe – See the high lights of modern war – get the complete series.” Also noted is the fact that the premium and two pieces of gum could be had for the price of one cent. The “War Picture” premiums offered here are designated R175 (World War II Premiums) in the standard guides. In his definitive work The Sport Americana Price Guide to the Non-Sports Cards 1930-1960, Christopher Benjamin notes that he has never seen evidence that the Dietz gum product was associated with the R175 premiums, and it was only on the word of older guides (and the collectors that contributed to them) that Dietz was established as the manufacturer. This original box provides confirmation! The complete set of premiums is comprised of twenty subjects and, ideally, all twenty R175 premiums in the set are included here (there is one duplicate). The cards are unnumbered and each includes a small title-and-text box in the body of the picture. One of the photos (“Dutch Offer Strong Resistance”) has a heavy horizontal fold, otherwise the group is in Excellent condition overall. The one duplicate premium is titled “5 Die As Nazi Bomber Explodes.” Benjamin has tentatively dated this issue to 1939, which appears to be accurate, as none of the photos depict American involvement in the War. It is interesting to note that the text printed on the box top markets these premiums to dealers as “Educational High Lights of Modern War, Reproduced in 5 x 7'' Photos.” The counter-display box (7 x 10 x 2.5 inches) has numerous imperfections (both to the top and the bottom, but especially the top, including tears, splits along the seams, and loss of a side panel on each) but still offers outstanding display value. The back panel of the counter-display box is in Excellent condition overall and all of the gum remains in its original wrapped state exactly as it did in 1939 when first issued. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $9,400
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