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1939 R156 True Spy Stories Complete Set (24) Plus Advertising Display
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $3,770.00
"This is a True Spy Story. The names of some of the characters have been changed in order not to embarrass the government." This announcement appears at the top of the reverse of each of the 24 cards in Gum, Inc.'s thrilling "True Spy" story cards. Offered is a complete set of this fascinating and very scarce 1930s non-sport card issue which features scenes and text illustrating the history of espionage from the days of the American Civil War to World War II. Eleven cards grade Ex, eight Vg-Ex/Ex, three Vg-Ex, and two Vg. The intriguing subject matter and colorful artwork have always made this set a favorite with collectors. This is a very attractive set, with all cards bright and clean, no creases, and with an overall appearance superior to that suggested by our technically accurate grades. Most cards have been downgraded from Ex exclusively due to corner wear, which is mostly very minor. Accompanying the set is the very rare and colorful "True Spy Stories" store window display advertising poster (7.75 x 10.5 inches) featuring an image of card #3, "The Execution of Mata Hari." We have never seen another example offered at auction. Most collectors aware of its existence know of it only because a different example is featured as an illustration in the 1993 edition of The Sport Americana Price Guide To Non-Sports Cards. The "Big Reward" referred to by the poster is Gum, Inc.'s offer, which appeared on each "Spy Gum" wrapper, which reads as follows: "It is reported that there are 120,000 spies in the United States. This company will give a $100,000 reward for the first information supplied to it leading to the arrest and conviction of any of these spies operating against the United States." The poster has an as-issued vertical and a single horizontal crease. There is a very slight, almost imperceptible trim along the edges (which we could identify and verify only by careful comparison with the illustration of the example featured in the Sport Americana Price Guide), and glue stains on the reverse from long ago being mounted in a scrapbook album. Still bright and clean, with crisp colors, and ideal for display. Total 25 items (complete set of 24 cards plus poster). Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $3,770.00
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