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Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Vintage Halloween 1920s-1930s Die-Cut Scary Cat

I purchased a wonderful lot of these small late-1920s diecuts about 18 months ago. I long felt they were probably made by Whitney until I saw an identical image of one of the diecuts on a Hallmark tally card. So, it seems likely this was made by Hallmark. Each of the set of small diecuts has the central image outlined in orange, like this one. That may be a defining characteristic enabling one to attribute any future found such diecuts to Hallmark. I’ll be posting the diecuts now in the collection on the site’s new Acquisitions page at some point. If you haven’t yet perused the Acquisitions page, be my guest.

Vintage 1940s H.E. Luhrs Black Cats In A Band Paper Decorations

These are not vintage items. Around 2003 for just one, possibly two, seasons Beistle allowed another firm to offer reproductions of the eight-member black cat band. As I point out on page 54, these reproductions can be identified by their white accents, two bottom slots on each for a folded cardboard stand and orange/brown backsides. These reproductions have zero vintage value.

RARE ROSEN MAGIC POT CAT CANDY CONTAINER STORE DISPLAY

As of this writing there are over 8100 items listed on eBay in the Vintage Halloween category. Only ~3% of these listings are worth a second glance, and this surely is one of them. I’ve only seen this for sale one other time - when I purchased it in 2007. The one in the collection is more visually appealing in that the highlights are orange rather than light blue, but if you are someone who wants rare and amazing items in your collection - this listing is for you. Rosen produced a small but very desirable array of mechanical candy boxes and holders. (Look at pages 116-118 for some others.) This small segment of the market is surely within my top five loves. In 30 years of collecting I’ve only located seven different examples. There is at least one design I don’t yet have. I saw it in another collection several years ago. I’ll be watching how this listing fares with great interest.

10/02 Update: This rare item sold for the opening bid of $1,195, a relative bargain in these bubbly days. I wonder if the price would have been higher if the seller would have started it at a much lower price?

VINTAGE HALLOWEEN BLACK CAT AGAINST A FULL MOON HARD CARDBOARD CANDY CONTAINER

This is a large and colorful identically dual-sided slot and tab candy holder made by an unknown manufacturer. I was only able to add one to the collection perhaps 6 years ago, so these are not plentiful. When I got it I was surprised at just what a powerful display item it is! This one looks to be in nice condition. The last one ended on eBay almost exactly one year ago and sold for an astounding and unsustainable price of $347.98.

10/02 Update: This sold for a somewhat more reasonable price of $255.

Antique Halloween Beistle Arched Black Cat Die Cut

I sometimes shake my head at these results. What are people thinking? This diecut surfaces regularly and typically sells for about half of this ending price. Looking at the bidding history, as is almost always in such cases, the sky-high result is due to two determined bidders. Although I am VERY happy for the seller, one of the best on eBay, my counsel to collectors - especially newer ones - is to take a breather and use a service like eSnipe so as to guard against getting caught up in auction fever. Results like this heighten my fear that my long-time hobby is getting too expensive for the typical collector. 

Vintage Halloween Cat Diecut 1950's Hallmark

I'm glad to see this seller listing some fine material. She is one of the rare long-time collectors who has long loved small paper. You would be hard pressed to find a nicer person in the hobby! You can buy from her with confidence. This mini-diecut is definitely something Hallmark issued, but I believe they issued this in the later 1920s through the early 1930s. They used this glossy stock with red backing only during that small interval. 

Vintage Halloween Beistle 1930-1931 Rocker Favor Cat & Half Moon

Beistle made six different rocker designs and typically sold them in enveloped sets of six during the 1930 and 1931 seasons with inventory number 760R. Beside the black cat, the other designs are an owl in a cauldron, a flying bat, a broomed witch, a perched owl and a ghost. Although the eBay surface page shows this sold for $39, it actually changed hands for $30. 

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. 

Antique Vintage Halloween Black Cat Seals in Box Gibson Art Company c1920s

This beautiful box of seals was produced by Gibson during the 1920s. Gibson's output was significantly less than their arch-competitor, Dennison, and, sadly, their distribution network was similarly circumscribed. Hence, today it is difficult to find Gibson boxed sets - and even more difficult to find such a clean and nearly complete box. My operating theory is that vintage Halloween paper (aside from napkins, table cloths and the like) will continue its rapid ascent, so if you like this genre, snap this one up. If you wish to see an extensive array of Gibson boxed sets, please refer to pages 264-265. 

10/22 Update: This fetched a strong $150.50. 

Early '50's HALLOWEEN Grinning Black CAT Candy Container-Party Hat-Orange Moon

This is a large and colorful identically dual-sided slot and tab candy holder made by an unknown manufacturer. I was only able to add one to the collection perhaps 5 years ago, so these are not plentiful. When I got it I was surprised at just what a powerful display item it is! This one looks to be in remarkable condition. I greatly appreciate the fine seller being very specific about condition. 

10/08 Update: This excellent candy holder sold for an astounding $347.98. SGV is $85. 

RARE! VINTAGE PAPER MACHE CANDY CONTAINER - CAT ON PUMPKIN BEING STUNG BY BEE

Although this candy container is uncommon, I have seen a number of them and all have a spring tail. I suspect the chenille tail is something added to it sometime after its purchase from a store.  

The seller of this pleasing candy container contacted me, saying that photos of another such container show a red chenille tail. She asked if it was possible the container was made both with chenille and spring tails. Here was my reply: "Thank you so much for your email. (By the way, I very much enjoy the quality of your listings!) It is absolutely possible that the Germans made two versions, one with a chenille tail and one with a spring tail. Existing documentation on when such things were made and what original materials were used is quite incomplete. Production of goods back then was idiosyncratic, something not really true today. My guess is that if the Germans actually used chenille when completing this whimsical candy container, they used it when the supply of metal springs for such decorative purposes was low to non-existent. (This would have been the case ~1935.) A plausible unifying theory is that the earlier candy containers had spring tails and a few produced very late in the run may have been made with chenille. A discordant note about the use of chenille is the color. I would have guessed black or orange would have been used, not green and red. In the end, we’ll never really know why such decisions were made. Thanks again for your email!"