Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Vintage Halloween Cardboard Decoration Skeleton Beistle Dennison USA

This great set was produced by Beistle during the early 1930s. The gem of the lot is the packaging, because as with so much packaging, it was typically tossed out right away. For one to survive in the condition this new seller is offering is unusual and should be snapped right up. The package measures ~22" high by ~12" wide. Guide value for the set is $175. Skeleton diecuts have been on a roll lately, so it'll be instructive to see where this ends. 

Vintage Halloween Cardboard Decoration Pumpkin Mask Beistle Dennison Sealtest

Beistle didn't use this image much, so this advertising item for Sealtest Ice Cream is unusual. They used this JOL on two variants of the same Jack-O-Lantern Fortune Game as well as a tabletop decoration with a flip-out base. (The latter item is exceedingly rare and can be seen in The Inner Sanctum section on page 124.) Compared to many of their masks, this design is a cut above. 

Halloween Snaggletooth Witch Head By Dennison

This is one of Dennison's more subdued and restrained designs compared to much of their output from this period, 1928-1931. (This first appeared in their 1930 Price List pamphlet.) Because the onset of the Great Depression was affecting such non-essentials as party decorations, Dennison produced greatly reduced quantities of such wares at that time. What that means for today's collectors is that many of the diecuts from this period are hard to locate. This has an RSIN of 2. It can be seen on page 144 of the third edition. 

Rare set Beistle Tally Bridge Halloween Ephemera 9 complete Cards w/original Box

This was an interesting mixed lot. The somewhat battered box and its incomplete contents (5 of the 10 tallies that would complete the set) were randomly paired with 4 tallies, two of which I haven't seen before. The four tallies were made by an unknown manufacturer and are more interesting than the Beistle tallies. Beistle's output was typically crafted with care and intricately detailed, however, these tallies, made for many seasons, don't fall into those categories. I watched this lot with interest, wondering what price it would fetch. I feel the ending price was right on, surely helped by the two not-seen-before specimens. 

Great Original 1915 Dennison's Bogie Book Halloween Decorations w/ Envelope

OK, WOW! For avid Halloween paper ephemera collectors, seeing this listing should cause your hearts to race and your sphincters to seize. Seeing this quality listing amongst so much eBay dreck made my day. This is certainly the best listing I've seen come along in well over a year. 
Completing a set of customized Dennison Bogie Book envelopes or enclosures is high on my list. They surface so rarely they warrant an RSIN of 1, except for the 1919 enclosure that has been assigned a 2. (I am proud to own enclosures for 1909, 1914, 1915, 1917 and 1919. I have never seen enclosures for any of the other years Dennison Bogie Books were produced so cannot even be sure they exist. You can see these extant enclosures in my third edition.) From the ones I do own, this 1915 enclosure is the most cleverly designed and memorable of all the others put together. This is the ONE to own. Less interesting by comparison is the actual 1915 Bogie Book itself. This issue is not easy to find and the condition seems to be acceptable. I'm glad the seller included a shot of the Bogie inside its enclosure to show the cleverness with which this was produced. The guide value for the enclosure alone is $500, but there was only a single data point to support that specific valuation. In my view, the sky's the limit, so I'll be buckled in watching where this listing ends. 

08/23 Update: The air wasn't too choppy. Guide value for both items is $775 and it ended at $838. I feel the buyer got a very good deal overall considering the rarity of the enclosure. 

One Vintage Halloween ROSEN 50s TRIX OR TREATS sucker card MINT unused condition

Rosen made three distinct sets of their Trix or Treats cards. Set A consists of six cards, while Sets B and C consist of five cards. This is a card from Set B, the best of the three sets, produced during the late 1940s into the early 1950s. The RSIN for any one from this set is 3 and guide value is $70. Turn to pages 90-91 to see all cards from all sets. 

VINTAGE 1950's HALLOWEEN Party Embossed Foil Candleholder with Witch, Black Cat

I'm not normally keen on foil decorations as they are typically pretty dull and one-note. This, though, is an exception. Happy Holiday of Battleboro, MA produced this well-executed foil decoration during the 1950s. (A more anodyne company name I have yet to encounter...) Just look at all the design work that went into this great item. The base is intricate and the background scene to the witch busy. The witch is detailed enough that you can even see her skull pendant. These don't surface much, especially in this condition and offered by such a fine seller. 

08/24 Update: This fine decoration blew away my expectations by selling for $118.38. 

Vintage Halloween Party Table Decorations - Witches & Black Cats - 8

It was interesting to see what this lot brought. The lot consists of two four-sided light cardboard interlocking centerpieces, one comprised of four different vignettes showing cats on fence sections while the other is comprised of two different sides showing witches. Both were made by Whitney during the 1920s. These four-sided centerpieces seldom surface, and when they do they are invariably damaged in some way, most commonly by missing or creased tabs. Of the two, the cat centerpiece is more desirable and marginally more rare. Guide value for both together is $475, so these brought what I would have expected. 

Vintage Antique Beistle Witch with White Mice Halloween Die Cut Embossed 18" US

This is an eye-catching and quite large diecut produced by Beistle during the 1950s and into the early 1960s. It measures a whopping 17.75" high by 12" wide. It isn't particularly hard-to-find, having been made for so many seasons. The guide value is $65, FAR above the price this seller established as a BIN. Since the seller is open to offers, a fair offer would be $65. It is too bad that the seller's eBay handle so aptly describes the price that they so obviously plucked out of thin air. 

Antique Large German Halloween JOL

A friend of mine bought this late 1920s German JOL because she had not seen one with molded depressions around the eyes, nose and mouth before. I didn't notice these depressions when I looked at the listing, instead wrongly focusing on the fact that the the bottom had been so obviously replaced. Given the rarity of such molded features, a true bargain was had for $99! 

Rare Early Paper Mache LARGE Head Jack-O-Lantern Germany

I have received a surprising number of emails regarding this listing, all wondering if the world has gone insane. This has to be one of the least compelling JOLs I have ever seen, other than a cowboy JOL monstrosity owned, sadly, by two close friends of mine. This French's Mustard yellow JOL with its glaringly contrasting red certainly is unusual and memorable, much like once seeing a morbidly obese woman walking along a Hawaiian beachfront topless. Additionally, the shape is off and the condition poor. Why would it ever bring such dollars? As an aside, the seller states that this could have been made as early as the 1880s. There is no record of such things being made prior to about 1910. 

Early Beistle jointed Halloween skeleton with orange background

This attractive skeleton diecut with its unusual orange background was manufactured by Beistle during the early 1930s. It has an RSIN of 2, which surely accounts for why this item, suffering from some serious head damage, still brought $35.77. I tend to think the guide value of $75 for a near-mint example is a tad low given the recent strength of the skeleton diecut sub-genre.

Antique Halloween Crepe Paper Candy Bag Trick Or Treat By C.A. Reed Co Vintage

This vintage bag produced by Reed has nothing going for it - it is simply orange crepe with a sewn black section and a formed bottom. This sort of generic item is not coveted by collectors and typically wouldn't rustle up even $5. However, the seller, mesmerized by the age perhaps, has slapped a BIN of $99.99 on it. It conjures the opening words to a melancholy Anne Murray tune, "Dreamin, I must be dreamin..."


I haven't seen one of these come up for sale in some time. This slot-and-tab candy box was made by the Dolly Toy Company of Dayton, Ohio under their Fibro Toy line. The items were produced sporadically between 1934 and 1953, much less regularly than the witch pulling cart and cat pulling cart Fibro Toys. These are never marked for some reason. They have not yet been reproduced. It'll be fun to see what this brings! 

08/14 Update: This brought a healthy premium to guide value: $338.33 versus $250.