Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Vintage Halloween Orange & Black JOL /w Tongue Noisemaker / Clicker

Generally, vintage Halloween designs from Japan are derivative and forgettable. Not in this case! This tin litho clicker design is energetic, fun and just plain weird. This was produced sometime during the 1930s. Right now, the bidding is at $51 with over six days to go. I've seen some of the better Japanese designs go for ~$100. It'll be fun to see where this ends. 

Vintage Halloween Witch Cauldron Place Card USA Dennison

This gem of a place card design was produced by Dennison and first appeared in their 1922 Bogie Book. Typically sold in boxed sets of six, these are surprisingly hard to find. The stock number was H-15. Aside from the name written on the card (used for the purpose intended...) this card is in great shape, with only some toning on the reverse. I like this seller and feel he offers things for a fair price. If you like awesome design, snap up this treasure! 

New For Sale Items Added

This morning I added 30 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 from either my site or from me via Amazon. (This year's May auction will have 108 lots!) 

Vintage 1920's Halloween Black Cat & JOL Candy Box Margaret Burnham's Inc.

I have taken a real liking to seasonally produced candy boxes from local and regional candy makers. They are typically quite rare. Being essentially ephemera, few were kept and fewer still remain in collectible condition. I had never seen this design before or was even aware of Margaret Burnham's. The selling price of $66.99 should be considered a real bargain. 

Vintage Halloween RARE Honeycomb Scary Black Cat Continetal Hat Plume BEISTLE

Beistle made two designs of what they called continental hats with plumes. The mate is a JOL with better artwork on either side of the central figure. (You can see it on page 238.) The vertical stripes flanking the cat face do grab the eye, but there is no doubt that it seems Beistle rather shorted this particular design. Made from 1925-1931 only, sustainable guide value is $195. 

Rare Vintage Lucifer German Halloween Die Cut

The last two times this item was offered for auction was in March of 2015 and March of 2016. The former, bright and in near-perfect condition, sold for $3100, while the latter, in lesser condition, sold for a still-bargain price of $913.99. This current example seems to be between the prior two listings in terms of condition. As of this writing, it is already at $1,025 after being started at $50. I notice several surface paint differences from the one in the collection, underscoring that these diecuts were made at a time when hand flourishes were not discouraged. The Germans made this very late in their production of holiday items for the export market, 1935. These "last year" designs were almost exclusively exported to the population centers in eastern Canada and are among the most interesting, out-there designs the Germans made before WWII - and arguably ever. This is the smaller of two similar designs. It tends to surface slightly more often than the larger diecut. I wish the seller would post many more, much clearer photos. The only surface paper loss seems to be to one wing tip. These diecuts are amazingly intricate, so such little damage is remarkable. Sustainable guide value is between $2200 and $2400.

02/18 Update: This rare diecut brought $1970. 

rare vintage Beistle Halloween embossed skeleton diecut decoration

After several years, another of these most-elusive of diecuts surfaced. I awoke to a flurry of emails about this item, and encouraged everyone who wrote to jump on it. The seller, afflicted with a recent negative on eBay, offered it for $3000 or best offer. I don't know the seller, but felt the diecut looked right from the several photos, most of which were pretty low quality. There is a mystery about this diecut, first produced by Beistle in 1932. It was one of a set and was shown as part of that set for many seasons beginning in 1932. While all the others from this set surface with some regularity, this one doesn't. While I know one was sold for a pittance at a show in Ohio in 2017, when this diecut gets the proper exposure it has sold for as high as ~$3500. I'm glad to know that a friend of mine who has been searching for this diecut for many years was the buyer. I know it will have a treasured spot in his already impressive collection, which I am dazzled by annually when I get a chance to visit. I can't wait to see how this precious object is worked into his displays!  

Vintage Halloween Witch Centerpiece Whitney Co. Ma. Late 1920's Diecut

eBay has been a real desert for months, so it nice to see a few really nice things pop up these last few days. This wonderful four-sided centerpiece fence comprising two designs was produced by Whitney during the 1920s. I have an envelope this set was sold in, so know Whitney assigned it a stock number of 2477. As I write in the section showing various fence centerpieces, "The presence of all tabs for each interlocking section significantly increases the value of the overall centerpiece." Sustainable guide value is $200, which has already been exceeded. It will be interesting to see where this ends. 

02/14 Update: This sold for the phenomenal sum of $379.99!  


eBay has been a desert with nary an oasis for the serious collector in sight for seemingly too many months, but then comes along this rarest of Beistle hats. Although the condition is poor, any member of this set of four hats made by Beistle is impossible to find. Beistle marketed the four collectively as New Moon hats, producing them from 1933-1937. Two prominently feature a black cat and moon while the other two prominently feature a witch and moon. I own only half the set and have been hungrily searching for the other two for years. (YEARS!) Quantities were probably limited by the Great Depression. (Turn to page 239 to see the two in the collection.) It will be instructive to see at what price this ends. 

02/14 Update: This sold for $405. 

Old Rare 1920s German Pumpkin Face Cdbd Suitcase Squeaker w/ Candy Container

I think this is an item made in Japan during the 1920s as an homage to the first-rate German pieces with a similar look made from ~1916-1921. The German pieces have eyes that lean toward each other rather than away as with the piece up for auction. None of the German items from this set have crepe paper sides. (Most Japanese candy containers liberally use crepe paper.) Its value is about half of what a German-made item would bring. I would opine that at its current price, it is already fully valued, if not more so. 

02/08 Update: This sold for $316.