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Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Vintage German Embossed Halloween Decoration Die Cut 1930s SKELETON PLAYING TUBA

What a pleasant surprise to see this exceedingly rare German diecut listed on eBay. It is one of the designs sold to Canada in 1935, so it makes sense the seller is in Canada. There are four diecuts to this desirable set. The others show a skeleton playing a violin, an accordion and a drum. I know of only a handful of collectors who own one or more of this set. The pale blue background, present on all four designs, is very unusual and sets these heavily embossed diecuts apart from others. This listing has only been active for less than one hour and there are already multiple bids. I expect this to fetch serious dollars. It’ll be instructive to see the result.

09/08 Update: This sold for $2,025, about what I felt it should bring. Congrats to the prevailing bidder.

Vintage Halloween Rare Beistle "Who's a Dumbskull?" Game and Envelop

This is a rare chance for someone to acquire not only the harder-to-find version of this Beistle “I’m A Dumbskull Stunt Game” but the envelope as well. I’ve seen about 10 such envelopes in 32 years and this is one of the best. Yes, there is toning to the front and a small tear, but considering it was used to house a game made in 1930-1931, the condition is super. There were two versions of the game made - the differences are detailed on page 17. The seller is a long-time, knowledgeable collector with whom you should feel very comfortable doing business.

09/03 Update: This brought $212.49.

Rare Antique Beistle “Spook’s Trip” Halloween Party Game

This result is surprising. This Spook’s Trip game, produced by Beistle during the 1950s, is shabby and incomplete, as it is missing the six markers from the lower right corner. These surface from time to time, generally in better condition. A complete example can be found on page 20. I would have expected this to fetch $30.

Vintage Halloween EMBOSSED DIECUT LANTERN - GERMANY - 1920's - RARE & NEAR MINT!

This wonderful seller is doing it again - offering a rarely seen item in fantastic condition! This is a large lantern made in Germany during the 1920s. As I write on page 118, “This is an imposing lantern due to its sheer size and detailing, measuring 16” h x 8.25” w.” I think the seller is smart not to attempt to construct the lantern simply for the sake of photos. These things are nearly 100 years old! I treasure the one in the collection, and know you’ll treasure this, too!

08/28 Update: This sold for a strong $1728.99.

Halloween German RARE Tiara Diadem Diecut JOL Clown Black Cats Antique 1920’s

This German tiara is so minty! Given how they were meant to be used, referenced in the listing itself, this is in surprisingly excellent condition. The Germans made twelve designs comprising a full set during the 1920s. They were marketed as diadems, although tiara has become the way in which these kinds of items are referenced. All designs are rare. Some designs have more oomph to them. In my view this one, the pirate JOL, the cat in a feathered hat and the owl trio are the best.

08/28 Update: This sold for $1125.79.

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.

08/25 Update: This ended up bringing $182.49. Even though the condition of the honeycomb is problematic, I feel the buyer did well.

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.

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!