Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Vintage Halloween Die-Cut Witch & Honeycomb Cauldron RARE

Beistle produced at least three table decoration designs that incorporated their signature honeycomb onto a diecut backdrop. They produced these only during the 1957-58 seasons. They were apparently not strong sellers. I don’t feel many were produced, and certainly few have survived the 60+ years since they were made. None of the three designs surface often, so this is a rare opportunity to acquire one. I’ve seen this table decoration maybe three times in 31 years of collecting. One has thus far escaped my grasp. It shows a bashful scarecrow near a honeycomb pumpkin. That can be seen on page 7 of Lasansky’s reference. The other to the set can be seen on page 228 of my third and final edition.

Antique Whitney's Halloween Novelty Spinning Place Cards w/ Fortune BOX ONLY

This box is that rare Whitney non-postcard item actually marked. Even though this box is empty, it makes a great display piece. As I write on page 273, “The contents are fairly plain, consisting of twelve place cards, twelve wood spindles and two sheets with six fortunes per sheet.” The box is in nice shape with a single break along one long edge and no distressed corners. This is worth acquiring.

RARE Vintage Halloween GIBSON ART Paper OHIO BLACK CAT Candle Light Transparency

Wow, I never imagined a world where this delicate and rare candle transparency would have sold for $450! I love the photos this fine seller included, as I’ve always had difficulty imagining how this was supposed to be used. The one in my collection appears on page 44. It is in near-mint condition. I’d be thrilled to sell it for $375 plus shipping. Any takers?

VTG 11" BEISTLE Halloween Black Cat Pumpkin Bat Honeycomb ORIG CT

It’s great to finally see some quality items on eBay, a forum that has lost much of its luster due to its lackluster policing of the categories, its practice of automatically listing and relisting the same crapola without requiring sellers to lower prices, its disparate treatment of sellers versus buyers and the seemingly endless increases to fees.
This rare hat produced by Beistle only during 1930-1931 is an example of the stuff I’d like to see more of on eBay. Beistle produced a limited number of inspired designs for their band hats during this interval. This is one of their best designs. (You can see others on page 240.) Although this isn’t in near-mint condition, I haven’t seen one for sale for so long that it may not make that much of a difference.

08/18 Update: This brought $202.50. Condition did seem to impact the bidding.

Antique Halloween Jester Book Spells Honeycomb Hanger Germany 12" CT

I don’t believe I’ve seen this hanger design before. Although this genre has limited appeal for me being much too hard to display, I do like the design - especially the book. There were several different designs all relying on the latticed honeycomb body. This is quite an interesting design. These were made in Germany in the early 1920s. It’ll be informative to see what this brings.

08/18 Update: This sold for a modest $117.50. I feel it should have brought more.

Vintage Metal Halloween Noise-Maker Featuring Black Cat, Witch and Pumpkin

The tin litho noisemaker segment has been moribund for years but has been lately showing signs of life. This was one of the first market segments I collected, so these “green shoots” are welcome. This is a desirable noisemaker. Bugle produced this sometime during a 20 year span beginning in the late 1920s. I don’t believe I’ve seen this particular form with this imagery before. I show a clicker and a rectangular shaker on page 212 with this same imagery, but this round shaker is a previously unseen form for me. As I write this it has already been bid up to $93.02 with over five days remaining, so others have keyed in on this rarity.

08/12 Update: This sold for $255.33!

Vintage BEISTLE 8" Jack O Lantern Boy Honeycomb Halloween Original Pumpkin

It is great to continue seeing a smattering of quality listings. This listing of a Beistle roly-poly both raises and answers a question. The question it raises is this: Does it really measure 10.5” high? I’ve asked the seller to double-check the measurement. I just received a response saying she’ll do that by tomorrow. The more common set of Beistle roly-poly honeycomb figures measures 8” high. (Saying they are more common overstates it as none from the set are often seen. However, compared to the larger set of which I surmise this listing is part of, they are seen more often.) The four members of this smaller set can be seen across the tops of pages 226-227. Two of the larger set, including this one, run along the bottom of those pages. The question it answers is did this item have a stem? The one I purchased has no stem nor any evidence that there ever was one. This listed item clearly shows a stem, however denuded of surface paper it is. Sustainable guide value is $475 for this roly.

08/06 Update: Unfortunately, the seller inadvertently tore this rare roly in two. It does measure 10.5” high when complete.

08/13 Update: This sold for $280, strong dollars considering the restoration costs involved in getting it back together.

Vintage 1920-30S Gibson "Wise Up! This is a Party!" Diecut Sign Halloween Owl

Gibson diecuts, once definite also-rans to those made by Dennison and Beistle, have been rapidly escalating in value these past 2 years. Collectors have woken up to their rich colors and designs, their eccentricity and most of all to their scarcity. This is one of my favorite of their diecuts. Few of Gibson’s diecut designs surface regularly, especially not in this condition. I’d love to know how many of each design comprised this drugstore find. Guide value is $175, but since this market segment has moved much faster than I ever expected it to do, I expect the final price to exceed that figure. This was made during the early 1930s.

08/08 Update: This sold for $372.

RARE Vintage Halloween 20s Black Cat Waving Walking Die Cut Germany N. MINT HTF

I love this heavily embossed German diecut. It has so much energy and personality. It’s one you don’t see very often. The bonus is that it is being sold by one of the good guys. The seller is knowledgeable, honest and a true collector in his own right. Don’t hesitate in doing business with him! This particular item appears to be in exceptional condition. I appreciate and value the minimalist description. I wish more sellers would just stick to the basics rather than going on and on in their descriptions. This diecut is “2” on my RSIN and was produced during a short window in the 1920s.

08/06 Update: I’m so glad to see this gem sold for $251.50.

Main Diecut Wall Redesign

A few months ago I was able to acquire one of the very few German diecuts that had eluded my grasp for decades - the four figure fence. It is a long piece, so I knew when buying it that I’d have to free up some wall space somehow. For those whom I’ve had the pleasure of hosting here, you know that I have almost zero free wall space. The task wasn’t one I was looking forward to. I decided to deaccession about two dozen German diecuts that had long been part of my personal collection. (I’ll be listing a few of them on my For Sale page in the next few weeks. The others I’ll largely save for my May 2020 auction.) Before I left on a long road trip, I took these diecuts off the wall so I’d have to complete the redesign soon after my return. Well, I was astonished at how quickly the redesigned wall came together on Thursday. What you are seeing in these two photos is one wall in my home festooned with diecuts. {There are others!) You’ll find some of the rarest of German diecuts in this photo - all in stellar condition. What do you think? (In case you’re wondering about the art, the paintings are by the supremely talented Matthew Kirscht.)

July 2019 Redesign.jpg