Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

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! 

Antique Paper Mache Halloween Goblin Lantern / Candy Container Germany

This homely German candy container/lantern combo was probably produced during the 1930s, based on the decorative paper that lies at the base of the lantern head. The Germans used that kind of paper at that time as well as post-WWII. The BIN price seems high. Why not just start it at $500 and let the auction takes its course? For items that don't surface everyday, I don't understand the tendency to slap a BIN on something. 

First Generation Collectors....

I recently had another discussion about the state of our fun hobby with a few deeply knowledgeable and savvy collectors. We agree that over the next 5-10 years we will see the dissolution of those collections amassed by the first generation of those who fastened upon collecting vintage Halloween. Their collections are coming to market as a result of their passing on to the great beyond or in anticipation of it. As I wrote back in late 2017, most of these collections are heavily weighted toward candy containers, figurals, German JOL lanterns and USA pulp JOLs. It stands to reason these genres will see a medium-term dip as these long-held collections are absorbed. Interestingly, it was the unusual collector who concentrated on collecting paper items like table decorations, enveloped or boxed Beistle products, diecuts,  invitations, tallies and place cards. Because fewer collectible examples from many of these market segments exist relative to candy containers, figurals and lanterns, prices for them should not only continue to be strong, but will strengthen further. This trend will be exacerbated by the relative dearth of these items coming to market as the first generation dies off. Another factor to consider is that today's collectors typically have less disposable income to shunt toward hobbies. This will certainly impact the market in ways that I think I can see but obviously don't yet know. One especially savvy collector frequently opines that we (meaning collectors in their 50s) are the last generation to have the means to amass large collections. If any of you faithful readers have opinions, please send them my way. 


Vintage Halloween Nut Candy Party Cup Containers Lot 3 ea. Black Cat Witch

Beach & Arthur products, especially their plates, have been desired items for several years. Their design sensibilities were far better honed than their competitors like Tuttle or Reed. Whereas the latter made a dizzying array of party basics like napkins, plates and cups, their designs are largely forgettable. Beach & Arthur, on the other hand, had a stable of artists that sought to differentiate their products - and succeeded in doing so. 


Here is another result that defies understanding and will never be repeated. I think the pop-up 1920s German hat has superb graphics, but not $500 worth. Looking at as much of the bidding history that eBay now allows, it is apparent that two collectors with deep pockets were vying for this. I'd say the one who walked away without the hat is better off. There are at least three pop-up hat designs. They typically fetch a sum in the range of $150-200. I am shaking my head as I type this. Ridiculous....

Rare Boogie House Ghost & Spooks Halloween Candy Box

I really like this diminutive gem. I had one many years ago, sold it then spent the next several years regretting letting it go. It took me that long to find one in good enough condition to be part of the collection. I bought it flat, have folded it together exactly once and now it sits serenely in one of my many display cases. It wasn't designed to have a bottom as I feel it was made in the early 1950s to fit over a box of candy, probably made by Brach's. SGV is $100. The last one I saw sell was in 2014. It fetched $81. 

08/11 Update: This brought a strong $159.05. 

Small Vintage Ceramic Halloween Pumpkin Jack O'lantern Made In Germany

This is a coveted waste bowl from the German porcelain Halloween set produced from 1908-1932. The seller was a true oaf to offer it as a BIN with scant knowledge of what they were offering. This reminds me of a favorite quote: "The sum of the intelligence of the planet is a constant. The population is growing." Instead of netting out $15-16 for this, if run as an auction it surely would have fetched four to five times as much. People - use the auction format!

Vintage Halloween Beistle Sitting Black Cat 9 x 4.5 (5242)

This is merely a remnant of the Beistle centerpiece discussed directly below. It should have no real collectible value. If you look closely, you can see where someone with scissors cut along the bottom and both haunches. Unless you don't mind having a remnant, I wouldn't be a bidder. 

07/31 Update: I was sad to see someone waste $86.75 on this remnant. 

Large Vintage Halloween Table Top Diecut Display (5242)

This exceedingly rare festive centerpiece was produced by Beistle for one season only in 1955. They issued two designs. (The other is shown on page 233.) In my view, this is the stronger of the two designs. SGV is $375, but these come up so rarely that who knows what it may bring. As of this writing, the item, in solid collectible condition, has already been bid up to $315. Good luck to the pursuers!

07/31 Update: This sold for a startling - and surely never to be repeated - $909. I've had conversations with close collecting friends since this auction's end wondering if there is a bubble firmly forming in the vintage Halloween market. Is this the time for me to begin selling my collection in earnest? 

H E Luhrs Embossed Halloween Crow Decoration 1940 Beistle Company

I had to chuckle when this seller states with bravado that this crow diecut "is unmistakably an H E Luhrs creation." Not only has the possessive gone missing, but the assertion is, in fact, mistakenly made. As you, my faithful readers know, this is a heavily embossed diecut made in Germany during the 1920s. It has nothing to do with Beistle or Luhrs. 

Vintage Lot of Die Cut Halloween Decorations Witch Pumpkin Bat Frankenstein Cat

Nothing pictured is truly vintage. The three members of the cat band were made during or after 2003. As I write on page 154, "Reproductions are easily discerned by the white accents, two bottom slots on each for a folded cardboard stand and their heavy paper stock with their orange/brown backsides." The cat atop a JOL was made a bit later. The give-away on that items is the glossy paper stock.