1950-1951 "Bread for Health" Basketball Bread Labels Complete Set (32)

Sold For: $15,275

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1479

Item Year: 1950

Category: Football/Basketball/Hockey/Boxing/Other Sports

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Presented is a complete set of thirty-two labels from the 1950-1951 "Bread for Health" Basketball Bread series, without question one of the rarest basketball-card sets ever issued. This is an incredible set, and the first complete set of this rare issue we have ever offered! It is easy to understand why "Bread For Health" labels are rare: One fragile bread label appeared on the end of each National Baking Company bread loaf as a packaging seal. To collect the set, kids not only had to eat a lot of bread, they pretty much had to be there when the loaf was opened and be determined to carefully save them. Add that to the fact that they were only issued during basketball season, and only in limited regional areas, and it's a miracle anyone could collect the set. These weren't available at candy stores with gum for a penny a pack! These were issued with real food and were available only at the supermarket and could only be bought by Mom. Literally only a few complete sets of "Bread for Health" Basketball Bread labels have ever been assembled (and we're really not sure if any kid in the entire world in 1950-51 was actually able to accomplish this feat; if one did he is no doubt a local legend, and there is probably a plaque on the playground memorializing this accomplishment. We think it is a safe bet that every known set has had to have been painstakingly assembled by an adult collector in modern times, and even with all the time in the world, the Internet, modern auctions, and a large budget, the assembly of a complete set is still worthy of a plaque!) This set, consigned by a very dedicated longtime collector, is the first complete set we have ever had the privilege of offering. The key label in the set is George Mikan. This is one of Mikan's rarest and most striking card-related items, and features the same image as appears on his 1948 Bowman rookie card. In addition to the Mikan, and other Hall of Famers, we are told that the Livingstone label (which in this set is present but has a slight trim at bottom) is impossibly rare, and a very likely stumbling block for anyone even thinking about putting together a complete set. Twenty of the labels are Vg, and twelve, including Mikan, are slightly lesser (mostly Gd). Though the labels in this set are in varying technical grades, this is a beautiful set, several labels are particularly strong, and most of even the lowest-graded examples have tremendous eye-appeal. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a complete set of all thirty-two players from this extremely rare and condition-sensitive vintage basketball-card issue. Total 32 labels. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500+. SOLD FOR $15,275

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