1938 R69 Gum, Inc. "Horrors of War" Near-Complete Set (283/288)

Sold For: $1,880

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1622

Item Year: 1938

Category: Non-Sports Cards/Sheets/Card Artwork

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A very attractive medium-grade near-complete set of “Horrors of War.” Missing just the three Hitler cards (#277, 283, and 286) and two high-numbers (#281 and 287). The 283 cards include forty-three of the forty-eight rare high-number cards (#241-288). Condition composite: The low-number series cards (#1-240) grade as follows: 25% Ex to Ex-Mt (with a few slightly better), 65% range in grade from Vg to Vg-Ex/Ex, 10% range from Fr to Gd-Vg (averaging Gd). The high-number series cards (#241-288) grade as follows: 30% Ex to Ex-Mt (with a few slightly better), 50% Vg to Vg-Ex, 20% range in grade from Pr to Gd-Vg (averaging Fr-Gd overall). Keys: #1 "Marco Polo Bridge Is Scene of First Fighting" (Fr) and 240 "The Frightful Cost of War" (Pr). Gum, Inc.’s “Horrors of War” is perhaps the single most famous nonsport card set ever issued. The sensational graphics and the politically charged descriptions on their reverses also made this series perhaps the most controversial set ever issued. Looking over these cards, and realizing that the scenes depicted were not ancient history but then-current world events unfolding at the time, we find it almost inconceivable that these cards were actually issued to youngsters with bubble gum. Death, destruction, and bloodshed characterize the artwork of the set. Youngsters went wild. Parents went wilder. The set’s place in the history of card collecting is forever secure. “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. Total 283 cards. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000+. SOLD FOR $1,880

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