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Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

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.

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.

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.

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 1920s-30s Gibson "Cold Facts" Diecut Sign Decoration Halloween Skeleton

Now, this is one helluva freaky, fantastic diecut. When I first saw this Gibson listing, I prayed that it would be in collectible condition. I was disappointed when it fell far short of the acceptable threshold for my collection. This is precisely the kind of odd imagery and disorienting colors I eat up. I contacted the seller who stated this was the sole example of this diecut she had available. My decision was easy not to try for it. (The ending price of $610 blew me away. I sure am glad I began collecting 30 years ago, as collecting truly vintage Halloween is rapidly becoming a hobby for the wealthy!) I will add it to my very short “Holy Grail” list and hope one comes my way.

Vintage Saxony Halloween Die Cut Pumpkin Head Tuxedo Running Jack-O-Lantern

There were at least three diecut designs released in sets of four in glassine envelopes, produced by manufacturers in Saxony. You can see them at the top of page 170. This price of $205.50 for a single diecut is folly. If someone with deep pockets wants the trio of complete sets shown in the book, they can be yours for the bubblicious price of $3000, shipping not included.

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!

"EXCEEDINGLY RARE"--MINI-- EARLY 1930'S GERMAN HEAVY EMBOSSED OWL-GREAT ITEM

Wow, the eBay listings now are an embarrassment of riches after a long drought of mainly common, lower-end items. The various German mini-diecut sets are amongst my favorite to collect. The artistry in such small form factors always amazes. Look at this owl managing to look angry and befuddled at the same time. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen this item. The condition is as amazing as the seller, who has my full confidence. Others from this set can be found on page 185.

Incredible Beistle Halloween Spooky Tree Wall Decoration

It is nice to see a truly rare item listed on eBay. This is a large and imposing diecut! Here is what I have to say about this superb diecut in my third edition, made at the zenith of Beistle's creative powers: “A touch of mystery swirls around this object. All the catalogs I have examined, Beistle publications and the many ones put out by wholesalers over the years, indicate this embossed diecut was sold as one of a set of four. There were five large diecuts with scalloped edges made beginning in the early 1930s. (The other four can be seen in Diecuts.) Some catalogs show that at times this skeleton in the graveyard was sold with the seated cat while others show it was at times sold with the arched-back cat. The others, owl and broomed witch, remain constants. The point is that the skeleton in the graveyard is itself a constant in these publications, so why doesn’t it ever turn up?” Look at how the branches of the Wizard of Oz-like trees end in creatures. Dark and creepy! 

09/21 Update: A long-time collector snatched this up for $2500. I think he did very well indeed.

VINTAGE 18 1/2" HALLOWEEN HUMPBACKED WITCH BLACK CAT DIECUT DECORATION UNCOMMON!

Beistle produced three large witch diecuts during the late 1950s. Each is extraordinarily difficult to find in collectible condition. This one seems to be in exceptional condition, making the purchase price a relative bargain in these days of an overheated paper market. Look on page 159 to see the other mates to this diecut. My favorite is the one in the middle with the worn soles. It is also the one that eluded my grasp for the longest time.

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.