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Lot # 1524 (of 1560)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Circa 1932 R182 Dietz "Magic Gum" Box

Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $21,150

Display box for Magic Gum, issued by the Dietz Gum Company of Chicago, Illinois, containing eighty-four unopened packs of gum (out of an original 100), plus thirty "Magic Color Card" premiums, a display placard, a dealer insert, and a sample card (found loose in the box, not removed from a pack). The novelty of this issue was in a special treatment to the paper by which the application of water to the enclosed card or premium would result in each piece turning different colors. As noted on both the premiums and on the insert cards, that color process was patented by the Invisible Color Print Corporation of New York. (Two patent dates for the process, "July 12-21" and "March 6-23," appear on the front of both the premiums and cards.) This issue is designated R182. In his definitive reference work, The Sport Americana Price Guide to the Non-Sports Cards 1930-1960, author Christopher Benjamin makes note of both the card and wrapper, but no mention is made of the "Magic Color Card" premiums included here. Each colorful pack, which features a swami conjuring over a crystal ball on the front, contains a stick of gum and a card, which, when dipped in water, reveals a horoscope, a dream message, or a birthstone. As noted on the reverse of the card, eighty subjects make up the set. The larger-format "Magic Color Card" premiums (5 x 3.5 inches), which were meant to be painted with a brush and water, reveal little known facts regarding the animal kingdom ("Who is the tiger of the sea?" Can birds talk?," etc). A picture of the respective animal appears on the front, while the reverse features informative text. The text on the reverse also makes note that "This is a series of 50 Magic Cards of Knowledge - Save them all." Obviously, very few kids did save them, as these are the first examples we have ever seen. An accompanying small paper insert, titled "Notice To Dealer," explains how the premiums were distributed: "This box contains fifty Magic Color Cards to be given FREE to the holders of small coupons packed with the gum." A total of thirty Magic Color Cards are included here, representing sixteen different subjects. A red cardboard placard (5.5 x 5.5 inches), which was meant to be displayed upright in the box, promotes the giveaway: "Magic Gum - Mystery and Fun - Free - Magic Color Cards." Text on the back of each wrapper instructs kids to send in fifty wrapper flaps to receive a "large magic color book." As noted by Benjamin, that redemption plan, plus the fact that most cards were dipped in water (as intended), has resulted in the extreme rarity of both items today. This is an amazing discovery of unopened Magic Gum packs, made even more significant by the inclusion of the premium cards. The box (30 x 6.5 x 2 inches) has imperfections (the lid, which was not intended for display and is of a lower-quality cardboard than the bottom of the box, is in very poor condition) but the bottom of the box (which was intended for display), counter display card, premiums, and packs are all in virtually perfect condition, appearing nearly exactly as they did when produced by Dietz Gum in the early 1930s. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $21,150


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