MBL's Blog

Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Vintage 1950s-1960s HALLOWEEN Set - Witches' Hat, Pumpkin Mask, Spider Rings

Trolling through the "sold" listings right now, I nearly screamed (OK, I actually did shriek a bit...) when I saw that I had missed this listing. The jewel among the crap is the mask with the JOL on top. Beistle made a set of four masks from 1926-1931 that they marketed as "Domino" hat masks. I own three and have never been able to find the fourth. You guessed it, this is the fourth and final one I need to complete the set. These almost never surface and when they do they would bring no less than $275. The eagle-eyed buyer got a true deal, engendering true regret in my heart. 

German Skittle Sets

The photos below came from a long-time collector (He has been collecting almost as long as me!) who likes to keep a low profile.Thanks, GS! He is lucky enough to own the Hallowe'en Figures boxed set shown immediately below. This is one of at least two variants of the boxed set, the other showing all 10 of the figures. I have long called these skittles, as they were meant to be used in a game wherein a player would win by knocking down as many as possible in one release of a marble, say. 

Now, on page 26, I show these skittles plus one from a previously unknown set owned by Barry and Tammy. GS contacted me to ask if I had seen others from the second, mysterious set. He stated that has only been able to find one - the broomed witch shown in the fourth photo below. He has collected the other images as these exceptionally rare skittles surfaced here and there, sometimes after the fact, but owns none of the others. 

I asked him if I could share this information with my readers. He kindly assented and now feast your eyes. If you see these, snap them up. Whereas the more common set pieces measure ~2.75" high, the rarer set pieces measure ~3.75". The more common set was made in Germany during the 1920s. My guess is that the rarer set was made in Germany for a single season sometime between 1930 and 1935. They may have been released only in Canada like all of the very rare German diecuts, but this is only speculation.

Does anyone have photos of any others from this set? I suspect there are two more, to make an even 10. (One of the rare skittles shown is a duplicate. Coincidentally, it is the one shown on page 26.) 

Authentic, All-Original Vintage Halloween FN Burt Pulp Devil Lantern, USA 1930s

This is one of the finest of these pulp devil head lanterns I've seen in a while. Made by the F.N. Burt Company of the great city of Buffalo, NY during the early 1930s, these surface with some regularity in a limited number of color variants. The "shot-from-below" color scheme is one of the most common. This is offered by a seller who rightly prides herself on customer service, fair pricing and an assortment of vintage goods being offered throughout the year. Bid with confidence.  

Vintage Dennison Carrot creature cut out Boxed Set (6) 1928-30s-RARE-H409-HTF

The seller has finally decided to begin the auction at a price point well below sustainable value, typically a wise move. Collectors want to feel they have a chance at a bargain, so starting items at a fully valued price typically ends in a cycle of listing and relisting. This boxed set from Dennison first began being sold in 1928. The design lasted just a few seasons accounting for how hard it is to find this set. The fact that the cover cut-out has become dislodged is not material as it is present and can be re-attached. Sustainable guide value is $325. This seller is known to me as conscientious and wanting to convey accurate information. One should feel comfortable placing bids with them. (Go Blackhawks!) 

1920''s Beistle Pixie Halloween Lamp Shade Cover From Vintage Die Cut Party Set

Has Washington legalized weed yet? I wonder if the seller has been smoking some as the opening price for this is pretty out there. These shades were part of Beistle's 1923 party set and are not uncommon. In perfect condition, the entire set goes for ~$425, so placing a BIN of $150 on a single shade alone did elicit a guffaw. In perfect condition, which this isn't, these shades typically fetch well south of the opening bid. Move on...

Vintge Halloween blow mold Haunted house EXCELLENT!

This is my favorite blow-mold design, hands down. The designer was very gifted as the changing perspectives of the house keep it interesting year after year. The seller, long one on my endorsed list, is right - this is a devilishly difficult one to find, especially in this stellar condition. Snap it up if you don't already own it. 

Lot - Antique Germany Halloween Masks, Umbrella, Hat, Glasses, Noisemaker, etc.

The star of this lot, such as it is, is the umbrella, made in Germany during the 1920s. These umbrellas were made from the same thin paper the Germans used for their hats, so few have survived intact. When these surface, there are nearly always substantial condition issues. The last one in reasonably acceptable condition surfaced several years ago and sold for nearly $1000. I have not been interested in adding one to the collection as the mere act of opening and closing the umbrella causes damage. The rest of the lot isn't compelling. 

Old Tin Halloween Witch Noise Maker Vintage Antique NR

As we went deeper into the 1960s, Halloween designs typically became more forgettable compared to those from the Golden Age. (This is one of the main reasons my collection is so light on items made after 1960.) Some manufacturers kept chugging along putting out solid designs. This is an example. U.S. Metal Toy issued three designs at this time that are, arguably, the best tin litho noisemaker designs from this period. The others are the full skeleton and the witch with an owl on her shoulder. All will only have plastic handles. The color of the handle is immaterial to value. See these other designs on pages 204 and 207. 

Vintage Halloween Deacon Thomas Cat Mechanical Tombstone Card, Cats

This awesome mechanical card made by Whitney rarely surfaces, especially in this condition. Given how they were designed to be used, most were long ago torn and ruined. I wish that I had seen this card with its rare motif, but take comfort from the fact that the buyers are great friends! Given just how cool this is, and considering that much more common plates and napkins are bringing head-shakingly high amounts of cash, I am shocked this didn't sell for a MUCH higher price. 

Vintage Halloween Beistle Party Set 1910s-1920s EXTREMELY RARE

This nice assortment is from one of the various "Complete Party Outfit" arrays that Beistle issued from 1918 through 1922. They changed things up in 1923 when introducing their fairy motif that lingered for a few years. These items with the earlier design iteration are hard to find, and are welcome to those who have much of one of these sets but are a few items short.