1907 Spear's Aerial Contest Games (2 versions) in Original Boxes

1907 Spear's Aerial Contest Games (2 versions) in Original Boxes

Here are two very early Wright Brothers style "Aerial Contest" board games produced by J.W. Spears & Sons, Bavaria. Three sizes (Sm, M, Lg) were originally produced.  

Prior to 1910 several game manufacturers started to capitalize on the "aeroplane". Most were card games, or included air ships (zeppelins). Very few were strictly dedicated to the Wright Bros. motorized designs. Aerial Contest was one of the first board games with metal gaming pieces whose theme focused on these early planes. 

There are several physical differences between the two sets, however game play is identical. 

Aerial Contest (Large set - maroon box) 
Contents like new in fair box. Missing 5 of the 6 number cards. Includes huge 40" wide, full color chromolithographed game board which is approximately ¼" thick.

The scene is a rocky sea coast. The foreground shows two planes on the ground surrounded by cheering people (lower corners). A lighthouse on the left contrasts with a sprawling castle mansion complete with an early Iron Pier on the right. Above the sea are 16 various Wright Bros. style self-powered aeroplanes. They fly through clouds, rain, and sun. Possible collisions with an airship, bombardment from a Navy Battleship, and even an observation balloon are shown as players wind themselves to the finish. The reverse side (not shown) is bright textured red material.

The playing pieces consist of six cast lead, hand painted early aircraft. There are two each of three different types. Each is attached by wire to flat, painted metal base. The original wooden dice shaker is still there, as are both original bone dice. Spear used numbered cards in many of their games. It should include 1-6. Only 5 is present, but they do pop up on ebay.

The box cover is a complete painting by itself. In the center of an oval is an c.1905-6 Wright Bros. style aeroplane flying above the rocky sea coast. In the foreground is the steam paddle vessel "Christopher" moving across the surface. The background is filled with a beautiful setting sun. The toy name was separated into the upper corner. The letters are embossed and highlighted in silver print. Manufacturer name was embossed at the bottom. Along side is the slogan "An up-to-date Game".

The instructions are printed on the inside cover lid. The contents are laid out in the box bottom separated with wooden inserts. A heavy stock cardboard resembling wood grain was inserted behind the planes to keep them stationary. It still has its original £1.75 sticker on the bottom. 

Size: 19½" x 12#" x 2". Tallest gaming piece 2". 

Aerial Contest (Small set - orange box) 

Contents like new in VG+ box. One playing piece missing. One playing piece bent, but repairable. Missing all six number cards. 

A scaled down version of the maroon set. The aeroplanes are all identical to each other, but different from those in the other set. Each is a boxed Wright Bros. design with metal post fixed to a metal base. The dice and holder are also the same as the large set. The playing board has an identical scene of the rocky coast, sea, sky, and aeroplanes. It measures 23" x 11¾". It is however, much more narrow being approximately 2mm thick and feels similar to very heavy card stock. It folds into three sections with space in-between to prevent tearing of the panels. 

The box cover has an identical print as the larger set but surrounded with orange borders. Thick cardboard was used. 90º staples were inserted into each corner. The bottom was made from the same material. It has a single cardboard separator and a die cut heavy stock white insert. The box bottom still has its original 50p price sticker.

Size: Box 15" x 10½" x 7/8".  Playing pieces all 1¼" tall. 

Sold: Jun. 2009

Price Sold: $ 357


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Subject: 1907 Spear's Aerial Contest Games (2 versions) in Original Boxes

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