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Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

RARE! VINTAGE PAPER MACHE CANDY CONTAINER - CAT ON PUMPKIN BEING STUNG BY BEE

Although this candy container is uncommon, I have seen a number of them and all have a spring tail. I suspect the chenille tail is something added to it sometime after its purchase from a store.  

The seller of this pleasing candy container contacted me, saying that photos of another such container show a red chenille tail. She asked if it was possible the container was made both with chenille and spring tails. Here was my reply: "Thank you so much for your email. (By the way, I very much enjoy the quality of your listings!) It is absolutely possible that the Germans made two versions, one with a chenille tail and one with a spring tail. Existing documentation on when such things were made and what original materials were used is quite incomplete. Production of goods back then was idiosyncratic, something not really true today. My guess is that if the Germans actually used chenille when completing this whimsical candy container, they used it when the supply of metal springs for such decorative purposes was low to non-existent. (This would have been the case ~1935.) A plausible unifying theory is that the earlier candy containers had spring tails and a few produced very late in the run may have been made with chenille. A discordant note about the use of chenille is the color. I would have guessed black or orange would have been used, not green and red. In the end, we’ll never really know why such decisions were made. Thanks again for your email!"

ANTIQUE BEISTLE LITHO CARDBOARD HALLOWEEN HORN WITH WOO

For many years I mistakenly believed this was produced by Beistle due to the imagery. It was only when I couldn't find any reference to Beistle actually producing such products that I looked closely at the artwork and noticed many differences between the art in such things as their Party Books and hats and this horn. It finally dawned on me that this horn was almost surely an authorized adaptation of Beistle imagery. There is a likelihood the horn was made in Japan, but I don't know this for certain. In any event, it is a nice item, and still has a SGV of $125, but it wasn't made by Beistle. 

I Am Back

I've been away on vacation touring the friendly Midwest, hence the lack of blog activity. However, with the rapid advent of our favorite holiday, I am hopeful the quality of listings will improve such that there are more worthwhile things on which to comment. 

Stay tuned!

Set of 10 vintage Halloween die cuts.

This is an interesting assemblage of diecuts. Although the condition of each is poor, the star of the lot is the hobo clown made by Hallmark. These were made as mirror images, so one may face right while another faces left. The effect on value is nil. The four others going clockwise from the clown were also produced by Hallmark. The cat face was not made by Dennison, but was almost surely an unauthorized item made in Japan. (The colors are wrong, the eyes differ and there is no "Dennison" craftily woven into the design at one ear.) 

08/15 Update: This lot sold for $78.77, about what I would have guessed. 

Vintage Halloween Party Hat made In Germany Orange Pumpkins

I've noticed a sustained uptick in the prices of these thin-tissue paper hats produced by the Germans in the 1920s in a wide variety of designs. Just ~18 months ago these typically wouldn't bring more than $10-15. Now they seem to be settling in around the $25-30 mark. This example is actually one of the milder designs. 

WHY EBAY EXISTS...VINTAGE 1940/50's ERA PUMPKIN with CLOWNS Halloween decoration

The once mighty marketplace of eBay has been so boring lately with virtually nothing worth mentioning when, like manna from above, this thing gets listed by a seller who states that it is for pieces like this one that eBay exists! (I kid you not...) If I was into abbreviated communications I would type LMAO, OMG and ROFL, but since I am not a teenager, and don't even try to pass myself off as one, I will simply say that I found the entirety of this listing amusing. The seller goes on to grandly state that he/she sells "...the rarest/coolest Halloween items ever made." If this garish trinket is an example of such items, his/her additional statement that "...it doesn't get any better than this," (emphasis thankfully removed) makes me marvel at the wonders of hyperbole. If you like decor that Marie Antoinette would have had stuffed into Le Petit Trianon, pick this priceless gem up for the asking price of $3,500.

ANTIQUE VINTAGE HALLOWEEN PUMPKIN GARLAND DECORATION MADE IN US AM

This is a very rare banner, made by Beistle during the early 1920s. I've actually seen it only once - and that's when I bought it many years ago. It is a basic design with no mark, indicating it is early.  It is complete with its full complement of 13 JOLs and two hanging ends. SGV is $300. 

08/11 Update: This fab banner scored a very high price of $412.99. Congrats to the buyer!

WONDERFUL 1938 HALLOWEEN PARTY INVITE CARD SELDOM SEEN - UNUSED & NEAR MINT

I haven't seen this unusual invitation before. I meant to place a bid for it but got distracted with other things. The seller, a wonderful person, states that it is from 1938, and it may very well be. The art seems to be transitional, toggling between the extremes of solemnity and fun. (Look at the listless lantern, the scared cat and the harmless JOL behind the blindfolded boy.) I feel it is more likely from the late 1940s. Who knows? What I do know is that whomever bought it swept it up for a good price. 

Vintage Antique Beistle Witch 1950's White Mice Halloween Die Cut Embossed 18"

This large diecut, made by Beistle from the 1950s into the 1960s, has never gotten the collector love that it deserves. The artwork is excellent and the colors work. Given its size, most of these have substantial wear. This example, not coincidentally priced at SGV of $65, seems to be in exemplary collectible condition. 

08/01 Update: I was happy to see that this finished at $91.99. 

RARE 1933 HALLOWEEN PAPER CUP w handle BEACH & ARTHUR SCARECROW PUMPKINS

Beach & Arthur of Indianapolis, Indiana made some of the most coveted party plates. Collectors love them due to their imaginative art and density of imagery. (To see some nice examples, please refer to pages 298-299.) Less known but just as exquisite are their other paper products like handled party cups. This listing is a good example of their output.