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Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

6 VINTAGE 1920's-30's Dennison HALLOWEEN Party Cut-Out Decoration OWL on branch

This set of six Dennison owl cut-outs was sold in a glassine envelope for a single year, 1922. For that year, the stock number for the set was H-48. Beginning in 1923, the same cut-out in the same quantity was sold in a slide box with a different stock number, H-99. Subsequently, I’d say this glassine envelope form of packaging would be significantly harder to find than the slide box packaging. You can’t go wrong with the seller, one of the finest purveyors of vintage Halloween on eBay.

Rare Vintage Dennison Halloween "Eats" Party Sign with Witch - 1930's

Here’s another rare and wonderful item from the same great seller referenced below auctioning the witch falling into cauldron decoration. This is one of my favorite Dennison diecuts for several reasons: the colors are arresting, the design is clever for a relatively compact wall hanging and it nicely demonstrates just how ephemeral such decorations were meant to be at the time of their production. I mean, who would have thought to keep a sign so clearly meant for a party showing the way to the best part of any gathering? This was sold with the odd stock number of H667 1/2. Condition is fine as the diecut is whole with bright colors and minimal creasing.

03/14 Update: This sold for an eye-popping $667.

Vintage Dennison Halloween JOL Traffic Cop Die Cut - Rare

This diecut was last offered for sale on eBay in May 2018 as part of a lot of three diecuts. Sadly, it was in horrific condition, yet still the lot brought $305. This example is in superb condition with bright colors and should easily eclipse that last price. This JOL-headed traffic cop diecut was produced by Dennison and first appeared in their 1930 Price List pamphlet. It was produced on the thin yellow-stock paper Dennison used often at the time. It makes a good companion piece to the Hallo' Inn diecut shown on page 142. I know of many collectors who have been waiting for this rare diecut to surface in this condition, so it’ll be informative to see what this sells for.

03/07 Update: Wow, this brought $597.99, tip-top dollars indeed.

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 Halloween Palmer Cox Brownie Candy Container

This is an interesting item. The art was almost certainly derived from Dennison’s Gobolink cut-out, which they released in 1925. Although Dennison provided some financial assistance in capitalizing the C.A. Reed Corporation during the 1920s, this item is the first tangible result of the arm’s length relationship between the two firms I’ve seen. There are subtle differences, most notably the extra buttons to better hold in this version’s slightly more-swelled belly!

1940’s Halloween Place Card Scary Black With Owl Face In Flame HTF

Here is another relative bargain, although not as pronounced as the item directly below. This has to be one of Dennison's most inspired designs. The artist packed a lot of detail in such a small item, meant to be used as a place card. This first appeared in 1928. As I point out on page 257, "Notice the cat's face in the flame and the candle's expression. Although not particularly scarce, this iconic, diminutive Dennison masterpiece consistently sells at or above the cited value. It was sold with stock number H565." These have routinely changed hands in a range of $135-200 during the last 18 months, so the prevailing bidder did well.

Vintage Halloween Dennison Invitation THE CALL 1929 Rare

Dennison’s output from these years is top-notch. Their design aesthetic was amazing. It is great to see such a rare invitation in such great condition. This first appeared in the 1928 Dennison Price List pamphlet with a stock number of H580.

11/06 Update: This item sold for a ridiculous $510. Anyone wanting the mint one from my collection can buy it for $500.

HALLOWEEN PARTY FAVORS 1940's LOT of 7

The stars of this lot are the two nut cups at the bottom made by Dennison. The complete set has four pieces, all of which can be seen at the bottom of page 260. These first appeared in their 1929 Price List pamphlet.

TWO HALLOWEEN JACK-O-LANTERN DECORATIONS, STOP SIGN AND PUMPKIN 50's

This is a diecut that is almost impossible to find. Made by Dennison, it first appeared in their 1930 Price List pamphlet. This definitely has serious condition issues, most notably the punched hole in the hat area. Still, if you are a Dennison completist, this may be an example of rarity trumping condition. When I bought the one in the collection, I had no idea just how elusive this would prove to be for others. (It was acquired decades ago.) As I’ve covered before, Dennison’s output plummeted in the early 1930s, so items from this period are seldom seen.

10/09 Update: This sold for $372.88!

DENNISON HALLOWEEN LADY CLOWN WITH OWL AND FULL MOON DIE-CUT 1923

This is a tough Dennison cut-outs set to acquire. The seller is correct in attributing it to 1923. It took me over 20 years to find a complete set in a condition good enough to join the collection. It’ll be informative to see what this sells for in this bubbly time for the hobby.

10/09 Update: This sold for $274.99.