Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

I'll Post Again in Early April

I am busily preparing for my annual May auction of vintage Halloween items, an event I look forward to each year. (I know that collectors at all levels do so as well!) I want to concentrate on that in my spare time, so I've decided to take a break from posting until around Easter. Until then, happy hunting!

Vintage Victorian Halloween Party Witch Cat Fortune Telling Cards Black Cats

The seller got a little enthusiastic in describing these as Victorian. Queen Victoria dropped in 1901, so these aren't even Edwardian. Produced by Whitney sometime during the 1930s, they'd most accurately be described, in terms of British royalty as Georgian. I have this diminutive boxed set in the collection. On the lid is a cat wearing a witch's hat sitting on a broom in the unquestionable Whitney style. The text on the box reads, "Witch-Cat Fortune Cards. They reveal the past present and future." I've seen the game on average once per decade since 1988, so it is a rare one. The price paid seems high given there is no box, but perhaps the buyer had a box and needed the cards. 


It would be nice if this desirable and exceedingly rare diecut would be in better condition. (When I first began collecting 30 years ago, lots of dealers referred to diecuts as "die casts." Having this seller use the term was a real throwback for me.) This unembossed party sign was produced by Gibson during the 1930s. As with so many of their products, it is unmarked but the use of the slanted exclamation point is a telltale sign of Gibson's parentage. I've seen this diecut 2-3 times over the decades, so it is a great one to have if you like Gibson. (I love Gibson products!) SGV is $250 for one in near-perfect condition. RSIN is 1. 

WHITNEY PUMPKIN CAR CAT WITCH INVITATION 1920's unused near mint no reserve

Whitney produced some of the most endearingly odd Halloween small paper, especially during the 1920s! This is one of a trio of invitations Whitney issued with a pumpkin car theme. While this one is being driven by a cat, the others are driven by a witch and an owl. (They can be seen on page 280.) It took me many years to finally acquire the trio in near-mint or better condition. It is a tough slog. How great is it that this fine seller is offering this rare treasure in a true auction format with no reserve? Don't even hesitate in snapping this gem up!  

Orig. Rare Vintage 1910-1914 Halloween Devil Candy Container 8" Made In Germany

This is an exceedingly rare and desirable devil from the grand trio of capacious candy containers made in Germany in the early days. (The others are a witch and a black cat.) This listing represents a rare opportunity to acquire a tippy-top-shelf item through an auction format. I am personal friends with the seller and know him to be a knowledgeable and selective collector. The fact that he is fun, decent and forthright are simply bonuses. If you want to get an item that will almost certainly enhance your collection, you are looking at it. 


It is great to see such a rare lantern listed on what has become the fetid swamp of eBay - at least in terms of a properly curated vintage Halloween category! This colorful item was produced by Beistle in the early 1930s in what was surely low quantities as they almost never come to market. It is missing its slot-and-tab top support. Inserts were made in both orange and green, although today most green inserts have a blueish tinge. SGV is $275, so as of this writing it has exceeded that metric. It has been a long time since one of these was listed so it'll be interesting to see where it ends on Wednesday. 

03/15 Update: Due to two determined bidders, this rare Beistle lantern ended at $625. It appears that it otherwise would have ended at $325, very close to SGV. The seller stated in the listing that it was found at an estate sale along with many others. I see the seller has already listed another, albeit one in significantly lesser condition. 

Germany Halloween Cat with hat & veggy body candy container OLD!

It's nice to see one of these cylinder candy containers that actually appears to be the real deal. This form of candy container has been largely overrun with the fakes currently being cranked out in Germany, being a fairly easy form to fake. (Whenever you see one of these with a slanted hat brim, know that it could have been made yesterday.) From the photos, everything looks supportive of a conclusion that this was made sometime between 1925-1935. 

Vtg 1920s 1930s Jolly Halloween Die Cut Party PLACE CARDS Bats Cats Cauldron

I'd not seen this awesome place card design prior to this listing. There doesn't appear to be a maker's mark. I know the manufacturer isn't Beistle, Dennison or Whitney and suspect that it isn't Gibson. Maybe Volland or Henderson Line? What I do know is that I like the design very much. If the buyer is a reader, know that I'd love to buy one!

03/08 Update: Thankfully, the buyer is a reader and will offer one to me once the lot is received. Thanks!

Vintage halloween Card 1918

This cleverly designed tri-fold invitation was produced by Dennison and first appeared in their 1916 Bogie Book. Considering how clean this example is, I feel the buyer snagged it at a bargain price. Although the SGV is $165, I've seen these trade for up to $225. I like the nearly faceless ghoul holding a parade lantern. This Dennison treasure has eluded my grasp all these years. I had seen this but forgot to add it to my Watch List. 


These early Chein tin litho clanger noisemakers are desirable, but haven't been bringing strong dollars for many years. This auction listing pulled in strong dollars indeed! Although the lithography is commonly seen, what makes this desirable is the form. It is a large-panned clanger with a double-layered handle that prominently displays the patent date. This form is the earliest and wasn't made for more than a season or two before the form shrunk and the handle became single-layered. It is good to see these early tin noisemakers regaining some of their deserved luster. 

Vintage Halloween Witches Cat Owl Bell Tin Noise Maker w Black Wood Handle 1920s

This clanger uses the same lithography of the ever-elusive cymbals shown at the bottom of page 207. Sustainable Guide Value for the cymbals is $450. Although this noisemaker form surfaces much more often than the cymbals do, I think the opportunity to make an offer on the BIN price of $100 is good. Even with its seemingly dull patina (or is it just dirty?) I feel an offer of ~$70 is reasonable. 

New For Sale Items Added

I just now added 14 vintage Halloween items to the For Sale page. Please check them out. Remember, in order to purchase anything or to participate in the upcoming May auction, you must have purchased a copy of the third edition of Vintage Halloween Collectibles directly from either my site or from me via Amazon. (This year's May auction will have 108 lots!)