Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Very rare antique witch die Cut

Beistle issued a trio of broomed witches diecuts during the late 1950s. This is arguably the best design of the three. (You can see the others on page 159.) This trio is almost impossible to find in collectible condition for some reason. They are large on thinner paper stock. I don’t think Beistle produced many of these in the grand scheme of things. A good paper restorer could probably work wonders on this damaged example.

02/21 Update: I almost keeled over when I saw that this damaged diecut sold for $510. I agree that a competent paper restorer should be able to make this look near-new, but that would cost ~$200, making the total investment over $700, significantly over what this diecut has sold for in near-mint, unrestored condition.

03/07 Update: This same diecut in better condition sold yesterday for the shockingly low price of $103.51. I have to chalk it up to the vagaries of eBay.

11 Vintage Dennison Halloween Embossed Pumpkin Decorations & Original Packaging

Dennison used a now-opaque numbering system, making it difficult to accurately date when products premiered, short of playing detective with Bogie Books arrayed before you. It seems they used a different system based on the product: seals, illuminated silhouettes, matboards, cut-outs and the like. All seem to have been on separate tracks. Given that these are matboards and that 15 and 16 were first issued in 1914, it seems logical to assume these were issued around the same time.

1917 HALLOWEEN Place Card w/ Jack-O-Lanterns & Black Cat

This intricately designed and whimsical place card was one of Dennison’s earliest finished goods. For too long Dennison made crepe products and coached end-consumers on how to make decorations from them rather than emphasizing finished goods themselves. They finally wised up around 1914 when their selection of such goods began to greatly expand. These place cards don’t surface too often, so even though this has been used it may be worth picking up.

02/21 Update: This sold for $22.49.

Vtg Halloween Dennison Witch On Broom Moon Owl Black Cat Die Cut 1950s

Here’s another mystery. This 1960-1970s diecut is in poor condition with far from memorable imagery and yet someone actually bid $125.50 on it. I know eBay has been a wasteland of late, but this result boggles the mind.

02/14 Update: This same seller has listed three more of these as of today.

02/21 Update: As expected, two of the three sold for less than $30 each. The third sold for $50. The person who spent $125.50 must be wondering what possessed them.

Antique German Halloween candy container Witch on cat TINY!

This great seller rightly states that most such German compo items were cheaply made and cheaply sold so the molding isn’t the finest. That said, some were very finely cast indeed. Those items were expensive then (~1910-1914, then late teens through the mid-30s) and command quite a premium today. For what this is, the result is quite pleasing. The witch looks comfortable as she sits on a sturdy black cat with an enormous spring tail. This would have a home in any respectable collection. I do wonder if the candy box is original to the piece.

02/19 Update: I thought this would bring more than it did - $227.50.


I suspect this item is a recently made fantasy piece. The graphics are unknown and don’t correspond to anything I’ve seen on unquestionably genuine German horns. Look at the only photo the seller provided of the horn’s interior. Although the bottom rim is splotchy, the interior is pristine and is constructed differently than any unquestionably genuine German horn I’ve seen. This reeks of a recently made fantasy item.


Although I have never much cared for these kinds of party favors, I do like seeing them in their original C.A. Reed packaging. So few of these still exist intact definitively establishing which firm made these inexpensive 1950s party favors. These nut cups typically sell for less than $15 each, so the seller is putting a great value on the intact packaging. I wouldn’t have made the same decision.

02/19 Update: The seller has listed another of these with the same minimum bid of $79.99. It’ll be interesting to see if there are any bids.

03/01 Update: There was one bid, so the second set also sold for $79.99.

Vintage Halloween Clapper Noisemaker Art Deco Flapper Jack O Lantern Retro

Sometimes tin litho manufacturers like the one that produced this clanger, T. Cohn, would allow these seriously misaligned scrap items to be sold as irregulars. They aren’t too common as the producers weren’t looking to be considered anything less than a company issuing first-tier products. Aesthetically, I find these unappealing, but do understand the allure of owning such a novelty item.