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Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Rare Halloween German Antique Diecut Witch 2 piece 3D effect Black Cat Crow 9”

It’s heartening to see rare diecuts like this surface amongst the vast array of crapola that has largely become eBay. I first saw this diecut when I acquired one for the collection in September 2015. I think it was amongst the designs made in 1935 for export to Canada. It is quite an eye-catcher with the white hair. The use of a crow is also unusual. As I type this, the price has been bid up to $392.79. I expect it to go much higher. Good luck!

06/12 Update: I felt this should have brought more. It ended at $1,312.

Very Fine Vintage Halloween Devil Bat Die Cut German Germany

The Germans were known to make subtle variations in their later diecuts. Notice how the teeth differ from the example shown on page 136. There are other variations as well. Can you spot them? This is arguably the most visually arresting design the Germans produced. I count this design amongst my very favorites. I’ve seldom seen a better example.

05/30 Update: This sold for $2,376.

Vintage HALLOWEEN Greeting Card Invite Black Cat Witch & Bat Mary Lyon School

I recently posted a photo of the one in the collection that was acquired in April 2017 in the Acquisitions section of the site. Prior to that time I’d never seen this Dennison invitation design. This is a sweet, intricate invitation. Based on the day and partial date written inside, this was sent out for a party in 1930. Here is what I wrote about this in the Acquisitions section: “This is one of the gems of the small paper collection. Beginning in 1929 when this was produced, Dennison was hard hit by the Great Depression, as were so many other firms making non-essential items. They responded by making fewer holiday items in fewer numbers - and lived to tell about it. (Dennison is still in business today, albeit through mergers.) Prior to acquiring this invitation I had never seen it before. I know of one other in a collection. It is unused. When opened, there are partial pine trees at the left and the right, with a lined area where a party host would delineate the party details. It measures 4” high by 3.5” across, closed. Acquired in April 2017. RSIN: 1”

05/21 Update: This sold for $247.16, lower than I would have expected.

VNTG 1920s-50s LITHO TIN WOOD HANDLE HALLOWEEN BELL NOISEMAKER WITCH BLACK CAT +

This tin litho clanger has superb graphics and is bigger than most. This item is elusive. I looked for one in this kind of condition for nearly 30 years before acquiring one. Tin has been one of the cooler genres these last 10 years although there have been recent signs of re-invigoration. The rare tin items have routinely brought strong prices - as I expect this will do.

05/21 Update: This sold for $566.56. Naturally, two determined bidders escalated this well beyond the sustainable level of ~$350.

1930`s Die Cut Dennison Invitation 2 Black Cats On Fence #5

This is an exceedingly rare and desirable invitation produced by Dennison around 1930. The bonus is that is is unused. (Finding near-mint, unused small paper items like this one doesn’t happen as often as finding them ragged and written upon.) I like how the colors and the energy of the fighting cats contrast with the mellowness of the interior. This deserves to bring meaningful dollars.

05/23 Update: This sold for a shocking $549.

Vintage Halloween Decorations From Early 1900’s

I’ve received a lot of emails about this listing, with many writers curious as to why it brought such a high price. Well, at least two sharp-eyed bidders saw the treasure in this lot and were willing to go high to mine it. The primo item is the exceedingly rare Dennison diecut of the witch and skeleton in a hot air balloon. (The one in the collection is shown on page 144.) The seller provided low-end, haphazard photographs. One of the underbidders asked for, and received, better photographs and detailed descriptions of the diecuts that really mattered: the aforementioned hot air balloon, the green cat and purple and yellow owl. All of these were made by Dennison around 1930. Dennison material, including small paper, from this period is exceedingly rare and highly desirable. I’m not surprised this odd lotting brought what it did.

Antique Early 1900’s GHOST DANCER Halloween Bobble Toy German Scarce Halloween

This has a strangely lumpish look to it. The detailing present in other similar items I’ve seen is absent in this item. This is especially noticeable with the feet. All unquestionably vintage such items I’ve seen have slightly pointed heads, rather than the smooth one this item has. Overall, the molding looks primitive. Ask the seller lots of questions.

06/12 Update: This questionable items was included as part of a two-item lot. That lot sold for $125. I remain unconvinced as to its vintage nature.

1940`s Die Cut Black Cat Witch Jack O Lantern Dennison Place Card #12

Dennison small paper is on fire. This well-designed place card was first issued in 1926 with a stock number of H463. These were sold singly; they weren’t packaged. I don’t think this ending price is sustainable even though this place card doesn’t surface in complete condition often. For some reason, many of this design too-easily separates along the scored line, resulting in two fragments. If you have one that has never been folded, don’t fold it. Why take the risk of it separating?

E. Rosen Company Pumpkin Pops Mechanical Countertop Display, mid-1930s

eBay is generally such a wasteland that it is bracing to see a truly high-quality item properly included in their Vintage Halloween category. This is only the third time I’ve seen this complete item offered for purchase, but those three times involve only two different complete examples. What do I mean? Well, the first time I saw this great Rosen mechanical design was in 1997 when it was auctioned. I acquired it then for the collection. The second example was sold in late 2015. This second example is now being offered for sale again.
Rosen didn’t produce many mechanical lollipop holders. They are all ingeniously designed with fun graphics. In my opinion, the best one is the Spooks Pop mechanical with the haunted house as the central image and ghosts popping up from the bushes. I feel this is the next best design. (You can see the ones in the collection on pages 116-118.)
Any collector with an affinity for the best in paper would be proud to have this item as a centerpiece of their collection. It will be fun to see where this ends. It deserves some big dollars. By the way, I have concluded based on some information contained on the bottom of a Rosen Valentine Pops box that the Rosen mechanical and non-mechanical "Pops" boxes were not meant as retail countertop displays, but were actually sold to the end-consumer. I included this new insight as part of the errata for my book maybe two years ago.  

05/14 Update: This item brought $1,444.69.

1940`s Witch In Cauldron Tally Card By Dennison

Sometimes the way eBay reports ending prices is misleading. This is an example. A casual browser would assume this Dennison item sold for $500. When you dig a little, one discovers it sold for $200, still a hefty premium to what this design typically fetches. Dennison introduced a trio of these “Novelty Tallies” with mechanical action in 1928. (They can all be seen on page 258.) This witch emerging from her cauldron is the most interesting of the three.