The packaged witch is of fairly recent manufacture and has little collectible value.
This great tally was made by Hallmark beginning in the later 1920s.
This is a cool item with an interesting concept, but it is not a vintage piece. The two heads are patterned after two of a set of eight well-known fantasy lanterns that were first imported from Germany in the 1990s. The Germans did not celebrate Halloween until relatively recently, so everything made from pre-WWI through the 1960s was made for export. Nothing was kept, so when a dealer tells you that something was found in a warehouse in what was East Germany, or some such tall tale, simply laugh in their face and scuttle away.
A faithful reader asked me to comment on this auction. These tiaras, or diadems, are rare enough that when several come up in one lot in near-mint condition, with an original envelope to boot, no matter how beat up it was, fireworks were going to be seen. There was MUCH chatter about this listing amongst my friends during its run, so the ending result doesn't surprise me. (Another reason for my lack of surprise is that I was the underbidder, at a hair under $3,000.) Although I didn't need any of them per se, I would have upgraded several in the collection and probably would have kept the tattered envelope. I have several diecuts that have the same notation of "Shadowlawn" on their reverse sides, so re-uniting them at this far remove of time would have been gratifying. Whether these are truly worth over $3,000 is open to question. A part of me was absolutely OK not being the prevailing bidder. (In my view, the star of the lot was the witch. I've been trying to upgrade mine for many years.)
I feel that the lavish multi-page spread in my new third edition has contributed to the surge in prices for undisputed German-made porcelain tea set pieces, but I am surprised by this Samson-like price. The seller is top-notch, his description and photos best-in-class - all surely contributing to the final price, but, wow, $454 for this pairing?
Condition commands big dollars! This lantern, pretty common, doesn't usually command more than $125 or so. The condition of this particular item doesn't appear to be possible to be better, so that surely drove this surprising result.
My God, ziz, where is the golden doily?
This very desirable continental hat with plume was made by Beistle from 1925-1931. The condition of this particular example seems to be superb! Typically, one or both of the extreme ends is missing, but not with this one. The color seems bright, another plus. On my Relative Scarcity Index, I give this a "2," which means rare. If you'd like to see its companion, please turn to page 238. Beistle has been red-hot on Ebay this season, so it would not surprise me if this great hat ends at a price significantly above the guide value of $200.
Volland, a clever manufacturer with typically understated designs, is sadly unheralded today. This tally is simple yet compelling. Not only is it a straightforward JOL, but in a very small form factor all four card suits have been subtly worked into the overall design - without seeming forced or god-forbid, cutesy. Volland's output wasn't too large. They merged with Gerlach Barklow in 1924, moving their operations from Chicago to Joliet. They were kaput by 1933.
This is a crude reproduction, probably made yesterday. It is neither antique nor vintage, contrary to the auction heading and verbiage. This abomination has zero collectible value. Don't be fooled.
This witch hanger, one of a largish set, is a well-designed and fun item - but oh-so-fragile. The latticed paper comprising the "body" of the witch is delicate and very prone to tearing. One tear and the integrity of the lattice is severely compromised. It is for this reason that I sold the ones I had in the collection. It was simply too stressful hanging them. When they aren't hung, they don't appear to be too interesting, sealing my decision to sell. However, if you have a place to hang these and forget them - be sure to bid on this and the other lots from this set this seller has up right now. All of these hangers were made in Germany in the 1920s.
I don't see anything in this lot to justify the ending price. Do you?
Dennison issued a set of four of these well-designed nut cups in the late 1920s. They were sold only as a set. Dennison began liberalizing their imagery and using gold highlights during this period, a period that stretched until about 1931. On my Relative Scarcity Index, I assign these a "2," meaning they are "rare." These don't come up for sale all that often. The seller claims they have never been folded. If you like ephemera like this - and who doesn't - don't let the three now up for auction slip by.
Here's a blast from the past. This was my first effort, published by Krause in 2003. Even I only possess a single copy of this, my first edition. (The newly released third edition is FAR superior!)