Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.


This is an exceedingly rare Dennison bob bob box that was first advertised in their 1919 Bogie Book. They issued two designs with the same stock number, H49. (Both can be seen on page 262.) Although I now have the other design, this box featuring sprites has eluded my avaricious grasp. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be satisfied with the condition of the one on offer. 

Bernhard Wall Halloween Postcard 1909 Embossed Original Antique Corncob Man #36

After long resisting the siren song of collecting postcards, I recently decided to collect a narrow niche of cards with art by Bernhardt Wall and published by Valentine and Sons. Although this is not a card published by Valentine, it does show off to good effect the artistic sensibilities of Bernhardt Wall. Let me tell you, finding any Halloween cards published by Valentine is tough going. Thanks to my long-time friend, artist-extraordinaire and evil genius, Matthew Kirscht, I have now embarked on a tough quest to the postcard equivalent of Mount Doom in Mordor. 


The same seller has listed a good number of exceptionally rare diecuts - none of which are in great condition. (Alas!) This JOL-headed traffic cop diecut was produced by Dennison and first appeared in their 1930 Price List pamphlet. Issued on the thin yellow-stock paper Dennison used often at the time, this one almost never surfaces. SGV is $325 for one in much better condition. It makes a good companion piece to the Hallo' Inn diecut shown on page 142. 

Vintage Halloween String of Die Cut Owl Cat Witch Skull JOL Jack O Lantern

I have never seen this interesting garland before. I like the simplicity of the design, especially the skulls. This was surely made by a small regional manufacturer with limited distribution. This didn't come from any of the big houses like Beistle, Dennison or Gibson. I wish the seller had listed the length of the garland. It'll be fun to see where this ends up. 

26 Inch Antique German DIE CUT HALLOWEEN Embossed Pumkin Head Man with Saxophone

This huge heavily embossed German diecut was one of two designs made in such a large form factor. I have yet to see one without bends or creases to the legs. Because they all had easels, they will all have a staple to the face. My feeling is that these were made as store displays to call attention to the no-doubt many German diecuts the retailer had in stock during the later 1920s. Although both designs bring strong dollars, the female cat example typically brings stronger dollars. Both can be seen on page 187. 

05/09 Update: This sold for $530, significantly lower than I would have forecast. 


This Moon Pop mechanical was produced by Rosen during the 1950s. It was sold as part of an omnibus Moon Pops boxed set comprised of 45 Trix or Treats cards, 9 suckers and 9 of these mechanicals. (What makes it a mechanical is that part of the witch's cape can be moved up and down.) The graphics are interesting. Because it was meant to stand, it can be part of en eye-catching display. 

05/09 Update: This sold for $403.50 with a number of bidders going FAR beyond SGV of $50. This is a result that I don't understand. These Rosen items come up with some regularity. The seller was quite fortunate. 


The best item in this trio is the tambourine. I've been looking to add one to the collection for years but cannot find one in good enough condition. (There is another iteration using a different color scheme that you can see on page 216.) Made by an unknown US manufacturer during the 1930s, the simplicity of the design is compelling. SGV is $225. 

Antique Beistle Steeple Witch with Cat and Bat and Moon - 1930's, Scalloped edge

This very large diecut was produced by Beistle beginning in 1932. It is exceptionally hard to find in near-perfect condition primarily because of its size and irregular border. Based on close scrutiny of the many photos provided, I feel this is one of the very best ones of this design I've seen in many years, if not ever. The colors look undimmed and the borders appear perfect aside from that bit of tape at the hanging hole. Wow! 

05/03 Update: This sold for $634.99, roughly double SGV. 

Antique Embossed Mini Die-cut Witch & Cauldron with easel back - Made in Germany

This is one of a set of at least five designs made both during the 1930s as well as right after WWII from 1945-1949. There is just a handful of German diecuts that will routinely surface showing a mark indicating a manufacture date during the late 1940s, but the set to which this design belongs is among them. Others from the set can be seen on page 185. In my view, this is the strongest design from the set. 

05/03 Update: This sold for an astounding $595. SGV is $250. 

Vintage Child's German Halloween Tea Set Pitcher Germany Jack o lantern pumpkin

When I first began collecting 30 years ago, pieces from this set were among my favorite finds. All these years later, I still love the inventiveness of the German artisans in fashioning the many interesting items in so many sizes that comprise the Halloween porcelain tea set market segment. (To see many more, turn to pages 119-121.) I'm glad this outstanding seller received such a strong price for the creamer. He is on my recommended dealer list. 

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.