Two factors that contributed to this incredible ending price are obvious - the nearly flawless paint and the presence of the original insert, which is nearly always missing. Considering just how cherry the condition, the ending price seems a relative bargain.
This is a tough diecut to obtain, especially in this very fine plus condition. I feel the buyer got a true bargain, more common at this time of the year when so many items are listed at the same time. People often ask me when is the best time to list vintage Halloween items for sale on-line. My answer is generally a variation of, "Anytime except October!" Although not true with many Golden Age Beistle items listed this cycle, it has generally been true these last 10 days or so. I expect to be able to scoop up some fine stuff at relatively good prices in the next few days.
I don't feel that any of the Halloween items this seller has listed currently are truly vintage items. All of them seem to be of the ilk of items made in Germany but imported to the USA in the last 20 years. I would approach purchasing these items with great caution. I appreciate the fact that the seller has a 14 day return policy.
I had the opportunity to speak about Halloween collectibles with Harold Nicoll on his radio program, The Collectors Show, during the afternoon of October 17th. I was driving to Santa Cruz during the interview so there is some road noise that some may find distracting. However, Harold covered a wide range of topics and I feel it is definitely worth a listen. Let me know what you think!
This is an exceedingly rare item, so rare that I have never seen this crepe paper color iteration even once. Made by Beistle for a single season in 1930, this incredible item could easily be restored. The buyer got a true bargain grabbing this for a trifle.
Whomever the fortunate buyer was got a major score in scooping up this errantly priced BIN listing. Dennison produced this boxed set of 6 anthropomorphic carrots for one or two seasons beginning in 1928. The set is coveted and nearly always trades for ~$325. Sellers should stay away from BIN listings unless they have expertise in the item's field. This poor schmuck sacrificed nearly $200 for simply not doing the necessary research before listing a fine item.
Beistle has been white-hot this season. The high temperatures continue with this example of a high price fetched for a hard-to-find but not impossible-to-find item, merely one of six designs sold as an enveloped set in 1930-31. The seller, long on my list of respected dealers, must be ecstatic.
I love seeing rare and visually compelling items populating the generally drab Ebay listings - and then to find such an item being sold by a premier seller - just makes the treat that much richer. There were at least two variants the Germans created in the 1930s of their basic skull and crossbones design. One is this one being sold now while the other, with a plume, can be seen on page 178. Both are valuable, with sustainable guide values of $525.
10/29 Update: The end of the season is drawing near and lots of money has been spent, making the great items listed this late end at relative bargain levels. The buyer scooped this up for a mere $404.99.
This diecut, made by Beistle during the early 1960s, is a divisive one. Most collectors either adore or abhor it. The former find it whimsical and humorous while the latter find it dumb and uninspired. I fall in the former camp. How about you?
Someone in the "former" camp obviously acquired this as it sold at an unsustainable price of $294.90, versus a sustainable value of $175.
Complete Beistle boxed sets like this one are quite desirable. I've only seen the enveloped set of five place cards, which I feel is slightly earlier than this set.
The seller made an error offering this with a BIN of $75, as this rare mini-diecut would have fetched triple-plus that in an auction format.
This dexterity game, made by Gilbert using Dennison art, surfaces regularly and typically sells for $20-40. This result, therefore, makes no sense. The seller must be simply agog while the buyer may be wondering what hit them. Sometimes I think that some buyers inadvertently form a group that could be accurately described by the title of John Kennedy Toole's most popular novel.
This lantern is very fragile, made from thin paper. To have the opportunity to acquire one of this quality and in this condition is a rare event in and of itself. This collapsible form doesn't lend itself to longevity, as you can well imagine. Beistle only made this lantern for a few seasons. As I point out in my book, the cat's head was also used as part of the art of Beistle's I'm a Dumbskull game.
10/27 Update: Whoowee! The lantern sold for an astonishing $455, increasing the number of examples wherein vintage Beistle items have sold for unsustainable, some would say insane, prices.
This set of three fold-out small cat decorations was made by Whitney. This Massachusetts firm, which closed in 1943, was diffident about marking their many wares. Nearly the sole way to identify a Whitney item is to train your eye to recognize their art. The way I did it was to closely examine Whitney postcards, all or nearly all of which are marked. Imagery appearing in their postcards often become table decorations. Whitney also used a very open, unadorned font that is easy to identify. (Jason Walcott, a famed font designer and fellow Halloween collector, may be able to shed light on the precise name of the Whitney font.)