1938 R69 Gum, Inc. “Horrors of War” Complete Set (288)

Sold For: $2,040

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 2467

Item Year: 1938

Category: Non-Sports Cards/Sheets/Card Artwork

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A very attractive medium to low-grade complete set of “Horrors of War.” The 288 cards include the forty-eight rare high-number cards (#241-288). Condition composite: The low-number series cards (#1-240) grade as follows: 34% Vg-Ex to Ex (mostly Vg-Ex), 52% Gd to Vg, and 14% lesser. The high-number series cards (#241-288) grade as follows: 15% Vg-Ex (including one Ex), 29% Vg, 25% Gd, and 31% lesser (mostly Fr). Keys: #1 "Marco Polo Bridge Is Scene of First Fighting" (Gd), 240 "The Frightful Cost of War" (85/15 L/R, otherwise Ex), 277 "Hitler's Border Tour Raises War Scare" (Gd), 283 "Hitler Threatens Force to Free Sudetens" (small tear on top edge, possibly reattached with glue, otherwise Gd), and 286 "Chamberlain Meets Hitler in Peace Effort" (Fr). 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. This is a very attractive complete set (#1-288) of this classic and extremely popular issue. Total: 288 cards. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000+.

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