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Lot 49: 1956 Topps "Elvis Presley" Complete Set of Bubble Gum Cards (66)

The Auction at Graceland - October 29, 2016

by The Auction at Graceland

29 October 2016

Memphis, TN, USA

Live Auction
Sold
  • 1956 Topps
  • 1956 Topps
  • 1956 Topps
  • 1956 Topps
  • 1956 Topps
  • 1956 Topps
  • 1956 Topps
  • 1956 Topps
  • 1956 Topps
  • 1956 Topps
  • 1956 Topps
  • 1956 Topps
  • 1956 Topps
  • 1956 Topps
  • 1956 Topps
  • 1956 Topps
   
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Description:

Topps was founded in 1890 as American Leaf Tobacco, a tobacco importer that ran into difficulties during World War I when supplies were cut off. To stay afloat, in 1938 it became known as Topps and started manufacturing chewing gum. In 1950, to bolster the sale of its chewing gum against rival Bazooka, which sold its product wrapped in a comic strip, Topps began offering trading cards with the chewing gum. In 1956, Topps created the first of many trading card sets on the market dedicated to Elvis Presley, the King of Rock 'n' Roll. This original set includes 66 cards, the first 46 of which feature full-color images of Elvis in his musical career on the front with a descriptive caption contained in a red guitar. These 46 became known as the "Ask Elvis" cards, because on the back is the image of a telephone operator with the title "Ask Elvis," under which a question is posed and then answered in Elvis' voice, with his printed signature below. The only exception is the "Record Collector's Check List" card that lists on the reverse the current Elvis 45 RPM records of the time. The second 20 cards feature Elvis' film debut in Love Me Tender with full-color images of scenes from the movie captioned by a red movie clapboard replacing the red guitar. The reverse provides a description of the scene plot depicted in the front image. The cards are copyright Bubbles, Inc. and are printed in the U.S.A. Bubbles, Inc. was a "subsidiary" brand Topps created for non-sports trading card sets.

This set is highly sought-after by collectors as the most popular entertainment series of trading cards produced, and the first to feature a single music artist. The set was produced in what would become the standard larger Topps trading card size, each card measuring 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches (8.89 x 6.35 cm). This incredible original full set is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated. 

Condition Report: This very presentable set presents with few major defects to any cards, some with softer corners and many mis-cut (this set is notoriously mis-cut from the factory). Excellent condition overall, with a few lesser.

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