Circa 1930 R191 Big Alarm Candy Box

Sold For: $705

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1641

Item Year: 1930

Category: Non-Sports Cards/Sheets/Card Artwork

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Exceedingly rare Big Alarm five-cent candy box issued by the General Candy Corporation of Chicago, Illinois. The cards of the R191 Big Alarm set were a package design issue and were meant to be hand-cut from the Big Alarm candy box and saved. Two cards appear on each box, one on the front and one on the reverse. The front card, designated as Type 1, features various illustrations of different fire trucks. The back card, designated as Type 2, pictures different characters with an accompanying descriptive poem. As noted by Christopher Benjamin in his definitive work The Sport Americana Price Guide to the Non-Sports Cards 1930-1960 , only four Type 1 and two Type 2 cards had ever been reported. The card on the front of the offered box pictures a long fire truck racing to a fire with a dog running alongside it. The back card pictures a fireman rescuing an elderly grandmother together with the following poem: "Granny, the old, is brave and bold/She doesn't have a fear/The chief is strong and won't go wrong/He'll save the poor old dear." A 1930 copyright date appears below the poem. Both cards are designed with flaps that when cut properly and folded will allow them to stand. The side panels of the box are equally colorful and include a coupon that could be redeemed, with four others, for an airship balloon, as well as a helpful hint: "Save This Package/The Complete Set/Makes Dandy Toys." The top lid advises kids to "Open This Box Quickly," while the bottom lid lets them know that they have the "Privilege To Open Before Purchasing." This is the first example of this extremely rare candy box we have ever seen, and we cannot imagine a finer example could possibly exist. The offered box was never sealed and was obviously saved as a sample in the files of the printer or the candy company (a five-digit identification number, written in pencil, appears on one of the interior panels). As such, it remains in extraordinary condition, all the more so given its age, intended use, and fragile nature. Aside from two small tack-size filing holes in two of the four bottom flaps, the box is in Near Mint condition. Measures 8.125 x 4.125 inches, flat. Reserve $200. Estimate (open).


SOLD FOR $705


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