My introduction to Dungeons and Dragons was through the classic B/X sets in 1981. There was a dim realization that an earlier version of the game existed, but I only caught a glimpse it once before the advent of the interwebs. I think it would be fun and informative to look over the Holmes version of the rules, something I've never really had a chance to do before. Thanks to the magic of Ebay, I have a nice copy of Holmes' rulebook, though it didn't come with the box.
As in anything, you should always start at the beginning, this being the box itself. The dimensions of the box are just about identical to my beloved B/X versions, and it's a kind of Golden Ratio for old-school goodness. For gamers older than I am who started with the LBB's, it may not evoke the same feelings, but for me, anything that comes in that size box just feels right.
The cover artwork, while not as powerful as Erol Otus' masterpiece on the 1981 Basic Set box, does what it is supposed to, namely pique your interest and depict what the game is succinctly. We have a dungeon, a dragon, treasure, and a pair of (outclassed, it seems) adventurers. The work is by David C. Sutherland III, and is one of his better pieces, though even his lesser works still speak to me more than most contemporary fantasy art.
More to come...
Bonus! Here's a full-size version of the box artwork without the text! Enjoy!