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1933-34 Chicle Sky Birds Set Collection

A great pre-war non-sport set purchased at auction

  • May 24, 2018
  • Leighton Sheldon

Charles Lindberg

We Buy From Auctions, Too

Our blog entries are usually about cards or collections that we purchase from collectors that have contacted us for either evaluation or for sale.  This collection, however, was purchased from an auction house. 

"An auction house?" you might wonder.  Yes, an auction house.  We are very active and aggressive about acquiring material and while we enjoy buying from private collectors, we are always looking for other cards, sets and collections.  Auction houses sometimes afford Just Collect the opportunity to purchase cards or sets that we may not be able to get regularly.  If we are able to value the cards and determine that the value works for us to resell them, we'll bid on them.

This set was one such item that we felt that we could purchase and present to our customers as single cards.  You can check out these and other sports and non-sports cards we are offering currently on our graded eBay listings and our ungraded eBay listings.

1933-34 National Chicle Sky Birds

During 1933, the National Chicle Company, the same company that would release Chicle Football and Diamond Stars Baseball, issued the first series of the non-sport issue "Sky Birds" aviation cards measuring 2 5/8" x 2 7/8". These cards are identified in the American Card Catalog with the set designation of R136. Apparently issued in several series, the initial series contained 48 cards released with cards with the 1st Series containing cards #1 to 24 being issued during 1933, while the 2nd Series cards #25 to 48 were issued during 1934.

A final series was issued in 1934. This final series included the reissue of original 2nd Series cards as well and another 60 additional cards, totaling the set at 108 cards.. The second series was originally to contain 144 total cards as noted on the reverse of the second series. Unfortunately, Chicle left collectors wanting as only 108 total cards were issued.

Series "48" and "144" Variations

Reviewing the reverses of the cards, astute observers will notice that there are several variations. Several suggestions include the possibility that the series may have been reissued or reprinted during the release years. Some of the 1934 copyright dated cards (only cards #25-48) exhibit Series note that this is "One of a Series of 48" while others have the note that reads "One of a Series of 144." As a result, given the 24 variations, the Master Set of Sky Birds would contain 134 total cards.

Additionally, the back ink print is in green and also a very dark green that appears to many as black. Some collectors insist that there are black ink variations, but in most cases, this has turned out to be just really dark green ink.

American Flying Heroes

Containing many heroes and notables from the early days of aviation, some of the most coveted cards of American heroes in the set are Charles Lindbergh (card #36 - first pilot to complete a non-stop flight from New York to Paris in his plane, The Spirit of St. Louis, which is also featured in the set), Amelia Earhart (card #48 - first female to fly across the Atlantic), Orville Wright (card #49 – credited with his brother Wilbur of the first manned flight) and James Doolittle (card #32 – American war hero and the first pilot to fly and land a plane with a covered cockpit). 

David PutnamCharles Lindberg Spirit of St. Louis
Emelia EarhartOrville WrightJames Doolittle

Foreign Flyers Were Included, Too

German World War I flying ace Baron Manfred von Richthofen (aka "The Red Baron"), is another widely desired card.  Richthofen was considered the ace-of-aces of the war, being officially credited with 80 air combat victories during his short military career.  The Red Baron died of injuries sustained in battle at the astonishing young age of 25.

The Red Baron

Schedule an Appointment to Meet Just Collect at a Show Near You

Just Collect travels to several shows on a regular basis. In the New York area, we often attend the White Plains Show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY. If you're in the New England area, you can make an appointment to meet with one of our specialists when we're in the area for the Shriner's Show at the Aleppo Auditorium in Wilmington, MA. We also visit the Metro-DC area when we attend the CSA Show in Chantilly, VA. If you're in the South Jersey or Delaware area, you can also schedule appointments while we're in the Philadelphia area when we do The Philly Show in Valley Forge, PA.

We set up at The National Sports Collectors Convention every year and this year, it will be at the IX Center in Cleveland, OH and it has been in Chicago, Atlantic City and Baltimore in recent years. Additionally, we travel to the Sports Card and Memorabilia Expo in Mississauga, Ontario for those of you in the Toronto area that want to meet with us in Canada.

We would love to meet with you and schedule a private appointment to assess and value your collection while we are in your area, so please check out our show and travel schedule to see when Just Collect will be in your area!

Our Buying Philosophy

We've run into a wide range of people and collections over the past decade. Although we are known for buying vintage sports cards and especially vintage basketball cards, we are also extremely interested in buying non-sports cards, also!

Every collection and every collector is different and we treat EVERY collection with the respect and attention that we show for our own collections. We understand that many have put their heart and soul into building their collection. So when you're ready to sell, Just Collect understands the feelings that you're going through and we will work with you to help you reach a decision that is a WIN/WIN, because if you're not happy, we're not happy.

Won't They Be Worth More if I Grade Them Myself

We discuss all of the selling options with everyone that we meet with. In most cases, selling the collection on their own will put the most money on the bottom line, but it will also take an large commitment of time and energy and one that most are not ready or able to undertake. Another misconception is that grading the collection will return more money. When I hear people say, "You're just going to grade them and get ten times the money," I almost cringe. Grading a collection can be a money losing proposition, especially if you don't know what you're doing. And most times, we grade very few, if any cards, from average collections that we buy.

We value a collection based upon the condition and the value. If a card is worth $100 in a PSA 7 NM, we're going to value it at $100 whether it is ungraded or graded. You can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars grading your cards, but we're still valuing them the same and paying the same regardless of how much you've invested in grading them.

We Are Always Buying

Just Collect is always buying vintage sports and non-sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today to discuss your collection and get our industry leading purchase offer. If you have a collection that you want appraised, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your collection and help you understand the real cash value of your collection in the current marketplace.

Don't hesitate to check out our Google Reviews left by many of the great people that have considered selling collections to Just Collect.

The "Sky Birds Set Collection" Video:

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