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Illinois Plate Collection - 1909 to 1986 - from the Lee Roy Hartung Estate

  • 77 years of License Illinois License Plate History!
  • Back of the 1910 Plate - the 1910 is wrapped around the stenciled 1907 to 1909  plate (likely 1909)
  • Front of 1910 Plate - first year Illinois issues state made plates.
  • 1910 Plate - first year Illinois issues state made plates.
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25.00 LBS
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1 unit(s)
Maximum Purchase:
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Product Description


Illinois Plate Collection - 1909 to 1986 Direct from the Lee Roy Hartung Estate

This is a complete set of Illinois State license plates covering from first state issued plate in Illinois in 1910* through to 1986 that came from the esteemed collector Lee Roy Hartung estate who, among thousands of other items, over 70 years amassed one of the worlds largest and most complete license plate collections! So complete a collection that collectors traveled from all over the world and paid for full complete state runs of states like Arizona and West Virginia which realized $29,900 each at the auction. One collector I talked to that I believe paid near that for an entire single state series of plates, and did so just to acquire a single plate he was missing from his collection and was giving or selling the "duplicates" he already had away after the auction for next to nothing!It was an amazing auction to be at and part of, and the few lucky things I was able to come away with, this Illinois set is one of them. 

I know I'll be asked, but I really do not want to break this collection up. I might be able to do better on selling it as some of the very early ones are the desirable ones and the latter years (who really wants a 1980's Illinois plate?) are not worth much on their own, but for now this is staying a complete set, as it came to me. 

Now, I'm not an expert in license plates, but I have researched the early plates, and even attempted to trace the ownership of the early numbers though the state archive office in Illinois.  *I state that it's a set from 1909 to 1986 however there are not 77 plates here - only 76 individual plates. That's because in Illinois in from 1907 through 1909, the number that was issued to you with your registration and an aluminum disc you placed on your dashboard, one had to make a plate at home with your registration number, usually with a stencil or leather kit you could buy. The 1910/'09 plate (I'm calling it 1910/1909, but it has no date on it, see picture #2, so its possible it could have been a '07 or '08 as well and since they were homemade those years, impossible to date I think) was used as a base frame to mount the 1910 plate around! So the 1909/1910 plate is double sided and a single plate.  I did not discover this until after I had unmounted the plated from the plywood backing after the auction and found it was a kit made plate that had an older plate used as its base. (THE PLATES ARE LOSE AND NO LONGER MOUNTED AS SHOW IN THE PHOTOS. THE PHOTOS SHOWS ARE FOR EASY DISPLAY OF ALL AT ONCE AND ONLY AND WILL BE SHIPPED LOSE, NOT MOUNTED). 

I'm not going to attempt to detail the exact condition of all 77 individual plates, though most are very good to excellent. The early ones show most of the wear, but for most being 100+ years old, still in excellent condition.  ALL ARE 100% ORIGINAL, never repainted, and none have any lacquer or wax spray on them.  The photos below are all high resolution photos and can be opened in new tabs individually, or saved, and zoomed in which should give you good detail on almost all of them.  If you would like to see closeup photos of the front and backs of any specific individual plate, email me and I'll be happy to send them to you. 


Some things to note: The 1912, '13 and 14 plate are Rear plates, as the 1912 front plate was perforated with hundreds of holes, and the 13 and 14 had slots in-between the numbers like the Front plates of '15-'17 show.  The state of Illinois has excellent online info about the history of registration that you can research if desired. 




 Any other questions, please ask!


















Some of our items are very large and or heavy. We allow local pickup, and will package or crate all of our items and make ready for shipment. BUYER WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR EXACT SHIPPING COSTS PLUS INSURANCE! We can provide recommendations for freight haulers for the larger items (over 120 lbs) Smaller items will be shipped UPS. Contact us for details on shipping before purchase on items over 100lbs.

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