Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

ANTIQUE HALLOWEEN - mini JACK-O-LANTERN pumpkin cup & saucer RARE

This is a doubly great item. The diminutive cup has a handle and the saucer is exceedingly rare. Although unmarked, these items are German-made. The Japanese made rather crude reproductions of only the basic items like the teapot, sugar and creamer. The Germans produced a wildly inventive range of these porcelain wares from 1908 through 1932. If I had to pick my top three segments of the vintage market, this segment would be amongst them. SGV for the handled cup is $125. SGV for the saucer is $175. The saucer was also produced with an orabge and burnt orange finish. 

When A Listing Has Ended....

eBay is trying to make it harder for interested parties to see details of finished listings. Thankfully, one of my readers figured out a work-around and was kind enough to share it. 

eBay's latest trick is to show you a completely different item than the finished item you clicked on. If you want details of finished listings or if you have clicked on a finished listing directly from my site, follow these instructions when the completely different active item pops up:  

At the top left of the different active item you will see, "The listing you’re looking for is no longer available. Check out this similar item we found for you."

Click on the hyper-linked word, listing.

Click on "See original listing" found at the end of the title. 

You've done it! 

Thanks for sharing PK!

I've Been On Vacation

Thanks to all of those who have written wondering when I'd update the blog! I've been away on a road trip to Montana, truly Big Sky country. If you've never been to Montana, you are missing out on great scenery and friendly people! 

I'll be adding ~20 items to my For Sale section sometime this weekend, so be sure to check things out. If you see something, act fast. The coveted material disappears quickly. I price things to sell, since I do it for fun rather than to make money. 

1930s Halloween Pressed Cardboard Skeleton Head decoration

Here is an excellent example of a rookie seller leaving quite a bit of money on the proverbial table. This exceedingly rare German diecut was offered for the pittance of $98. SGV is $525. The Germans made a common skull and crossbones diecut without a hat, and at least two variants with hats. (The other can be seen on page 178.) Both of the hatted skulls are really tough to find, especially in the decent shape this offering appears to be in. Why wouldn't the seller have simply listed this in the auction format? 

Halloween Dennison Invitation, THE CALL, 1929, JOL Reads Book, Rare

I've come to the opinion that some of Dennison's finest work can be found in the small paper they produced from 1928-1932. Given the greater economic forces at work during much of that interval, production was sharply curtailed, making items made at this time largely hard to find. This invitation, The Call, was sold singly in shops with an inventory number of H580. It first appeared in Dennison's 1928 Price List pamphlet. During the last few years, small paper has been a hot segment of the market. This seller is a long-timer collector with an exceptional eye for good design. I have long enjoyed doing business with her and give her my highest recommendation. 

1930s HALLOWEEN Dual Sided JOL LANTERN w Yellow Cardboard SIDES w Inserts

This lantern was produced by Beistle for the 1933-1935 seasons. It rarely surfaces. The seller measurements are a bit off since the lantern was made in two sizes: 11.5" x 4.75" x 12.5" and 10.5" x 4.25" x 10". The inserts were made with either green or orange paper. I found the one in the collection early on, probably around 1990. I didn't realize how lucky I was to find one. I've seen only a handful since. SGV is $300. Given this lantern's condition issues, it'll be instructive to see the ending price. 

Vintage WITCH Black Cat Flying Broomstick Diecut MADE IN USA HALLOWEEN DIE CUT

By the late 1950s Beistle was riding on fumes creatively. Before they slid into a stylistic abyss for the next few decades, they managed to produce three pretty awesome diecuts, albeit with what I'm sure was great weariness. This is one of the three very odd witch designs Beistle produced at the time. The non-embossed diecuts rarely surface in collectible condition. Given where Beistle was at that time, I don't think they produced very many of any of the three designs. Check out page 159 for the other two from the set. My favorite is the witch looking behind her with very worn shoe bottoms. Also, each of the designs has the artist's initials cleverly woven into the design. Can you see them? 

07/12 Update: This sold for $169.10. 

NICE Vintage Foil Jointed HALLOWEEN EVIL DEVIL Skull Crossbones RARE

This was a high price to pay for this fairly common foil diecut. They surface regularly. This devil was produced by Happy Holiday of Battleboro, Massachusetts during the late 1950s and into the early 1960s. They typically change hands for $30-40. Foil items have not been a strong market segment for many years - if ever. Is that changing? More selling data points will tell the story. At this point, I feel this result is an outlier. 

Vintage Halloween DEVIL 30" jointed Die Cut ? Beistle Electric Man

Here's a great Beistle item you don't often see. This was issued for the 1931 season only and marketed as a Lightning Wumpus, one of four large jointed designs Beistle issued. They issued two in 1929 and two in 1931. (You can see them all on page 146.) This is one of their two best, the other being the scowling Skairo. This one appears to be in remarkable condition given how much can go wrong with this large item with its wholly irregular edges. SGV is $525. 

06/24 Update: This seems to be a slow time for quality listings - and when they do surface, the results, at least in this case, have to be disappointing. This stellar item sold for well below SGV. It brought $407. The buyer must be on cloud nine.