Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Orig. Rare Vintage 1910-1914 Halloween Devil Candy Container 8" Made In Germany

This is an exceedingly rare and desirable devil from the grand trio of capacious candy containers made in Germany in the early days. (The others are a witch and a black cat.) This listing represents a rare opportunity to acquire a tippy-top-shelf item through an auction format. I am personal friends with the seller and know him to be a knowledgeable and selective collector. The fact that he is fun, decent and forthright are simply bonuses. If you want to get an item that will almost certainly enhance your collection, you are looking at it. 

04/02 Update: This brought $1725. 


It is great to see such a rare lantern listed on what has become the fetid swamp of eBay - at least in terms of a properly curated vintage Halloween category! This colorful item was produced by Beistle in the early 1930s in what was surely low quantities as they almost never come to market. Inserts were made in both orange and green, although today most green inserts have a blueish tinge. SGV is $275, so as of this writing it has exceeded that metric. It has been a long time since one of these was listed so it'll be interesting to see where it ends on Wednesday. 

03/15 Update: Due to two determined bidders, this rare Beistle lantern ended at $625. It appears that it otherwise would have ended at $325, very close to SGV. The seller stated in the listing that it was found at an estate sale along with many others. I see the seller has already listed another, albeit one in significantly lesser condition. 

04/02 Update: The same seller listed two more in much lesser condition. One sold on March 19 for $224.72. The last one listed so far sold on March 27 for $211.50. 

Germany Halloween Cat with hat & veggy body candy container OLD!

It's nice to see one of these cylinder candy containers that actually appears to be the real deal. This form of candy container has been largely overrun with the fakes currently being cranked out in Germany, being a fairly easy form to fake. (Whenever you see one of these with a slanted hat brim, know that it could have been made yesterday.) From the photos, everything looks supportive of a conclusion that this was made sometime between 1925-1935. 

Vtg 1920s 1930s Jolly Halloween Die Cut Party PLACE CARDS Bats Cats Cauldron

I'd not seen this awesome place card design prior to this listing. There doesn't appear to be a maker's mark. I know the manufacturer isn't Beistle, Dennison or Whitney and suspect that it isn't Gibson. Maybe Volland or Henderson Line? What I do know is that I like the design very much. If the buyer is a reader, know that I'd love to buy one!

03/08 Update: Thankfully, the buyer is a reader and will offer one to me once the lot is received. Thanks!

Vintage halloween Card 1918

This cleverly designed tri-fold invitation was produced by Dennison and first appeared in their 1916 Bogie Book. Considering how clean this example is, I feel the buyer snagged it at a bargain price. Although the SGV is $165, I've seen these trade for up to $225. I like the nearly faceless ghoul holding a parade lantern. This Dennison treasure has eluded my grasp all these years. I had seen this but forgot to add it to my Watch List. 


These early Chein tin litho clanger noisemakers are desirable, but haven't been bringing strong dollars for many years. This auction listing pulled in strong dollars indeed! Although the lithography is commonly seen, what makes this desirable is the form. It is a large-panned clanger with a double-layered handle that prominently displays the patent date. This form is the earliest and wasn't made for more than a season or two before the form shrunk and the handle became single-layered. It is good to see these early tin noisemakers regaining some of their deserved luster. 

Vintage Halloween Witches Cat Owl Bell Tin Noise Maker w Black Wood Handle 1920s

This clanger uses the same lithography of the ever-elusive cymbals shown at the bottom of page 207. Sustainable Guide Value for the cymbals is $450. Although this noisemaker form surfaces much more often than the cymbals do, I think the opportunity to make an offer on the BIN price of $100 is good. Even with its seemingly dull patina (or is it just dirty?) I feel an offer of ~$70 is reasonable. 

New For Sale Items Added

I just now added 14 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 directly from either my site or from me via Amazon. (This year's May auction will have 108 lots!) 

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. 

03/01 Update: This great clicker made in japan sold for $153.50. 

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! 

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.