Beistle issued four roly-poly designs in this size during the 1930-31 seasons only. None surface often, and when they do they are in terrible condition like this one. Given the condition, I feel this was an excessive amount to pay. The four designs are a witch, a JOL-headed scarecrow, a seated black cat and an academic owl. (All can be seen on pages 226-227.) In terms of great imagery, that would be the same order I rank them. So, although I can understand why someone would want a compelling piece like the roly witch, the tattered condition should have acted as a brake on price.
This diecut regularly surfaces and typically trades in a narrow range of $80-100, so this result makes little sense. If you look at the bidding history, as in nearly all such cases, there was one determined bidder driving all of the action, with another bidder swooping in at the last minute to create an unsustainable result.
This is an exceedingly rare Dennison bob bob box that was first advertised in their 1919 Bogie Book. They issued two designs with the same stock number, H49. (Both can be seen on page 262.) Although I now have the other design, this box featuring sprites has eluded my avaricious grasp. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be satisfied with the condition of the one on offer.
After long resisting the siren song of collecting postcards, I recently decided to collect a narrow niche of cards with art by Bernhardt Wall and published by Valentine and Sons. Although this is not a card published by Valentine, it does show off to good effect the artistic sensibilities of Bernhardt Wall. Let me tell you, finding any Halloween cards published by Valentine is tough going. Thanks to my long-time friend, artist-extraordinaire and evil genius, Matthew Kirscht, I have now embarked on a tough quest to the postcard equivalent of Mount Doom in Mordor.
I've been looking for this diecut for many years with no luck. It was produced by Gibson during the 1920s. They also made a place card using the identical imagery. The one I covet is in the collection of close friends and is shown on page 167.
The same seller has listed a good number of exceptionally rare diecuts - none of which are in great condition. (Alas!) This JOL-headed traffic cop diecut was produced by Dennison and first appeared in their 1930 Price List pamphlet. Issued on the thin yellow-stock paper Dennison used often at the time, this one almost never surfaces. SGV is $325 for one in much better condition. It makes a good companion piece to the Hallo' Inn diecut shown on page 142.
I have never seen this interesting garland before. I like the simplicity of the design, especially the skulls. This was surely made by a small regional manufacturer with limited distribution. This didn't come from any of the big houses like Beistle, Dennison or Gibson. I wish the seller had listed the length of the garland. It'll be fun to see where this ends up.
This huge heavily embossed German diecut was one of two designs made in such a large form factor. I have yet to see one without bends or creases to the legs. Because they all had easels, they will all have a staple to the face. My feeling is that these were made as store displays to call attention to the no-doubt many German diecuts the retailer had in stock during the later 1920s. Although both designs bring strong dollars, the female cat example typically brings stronger dollars. Both can be seen on page 187.
05/09 Update: This sold for $530, significantly lower than I would have forecast.
This Moon Pop mechanical was produced by Rosen during the 1950s. It was sold as part of an omnibus Moon Pops boxed set comprised of 45 Trix or Treats cards, 9 suckers and 9 of these mechanicals. (What makes it a mechanical is that part of the witch's cape can be moved up and down.) The graphics are interesting. Because it was meant to stand, it can be part of en eye-catching display.
05/09 Update: This sold for $403.50 with a number of bidders going FAR beyond SGV of $50. This is a result that I don't understand. These Rosen items come up with some regularity. The seller was quite fortunate.
The USSR Occupied Zone mark is unusual on this diecut. Typically, the mark is in black or purple ink in a circle, not a simple line declaration. This version with inserts of what is a common diecut is harder to find.
The best item in this trio is the tambourine. I've been looking to add one to the collection for years but cannot find one in good enough condition. (There is another iteration using a different color scheme that you can see on page 216.) Made by an unknown US manufacturer during the 1930s, the simplicity of the design is compelling. SGV is $225.
This very large diecut was produced by Beistle beginning in 1932. It is exceptionally hard to find in near-perfect condition primarily because of its size and irregular border. Based on close scrutiny of the many photos provided, I feel this is one of the very best ones of this design I've seen in many years, if not ever. The colors look undimmed and the borders appear perfect aside from that bit of tape at the hanging hole. Wow!
05/03 Update: This sold for $634.99, roughly double SGV.
This is one of a set of at least five designs made both during the 1930s as well as right after WWII from 1945-1949. There is just a handful of German diecuts that will routinely surface showing a mark indicating a manufacture date during the late 1940s, but the set to which this design belongs is among them. Others from the set can be seen on page 185. In my view, this is the strongest design from the set.
05/03 Update: This sold for an astounding $595. SGV is $250.
What's rare about this is that it is purported to work. Most of these no longer make a sound at all, or a strangled one at best.
05/01 Update: This sold for $155.50.
When I first began collecting 30 years ago, pieces from this set were among my favorite finds. All these years later, I still love the inventiveness of the German artisans in fashioning the many interesting items in so many sizes that comprise the Halloween porcelain tea set market segment. (To see many more, turn to pages 119-121.) I'm glad this outstanding seller received such a strong price for the creamer. He is on my recommended dealer list.