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Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Vintage Halloween EMBOSSED CARDBOARD DIE CUT DEVIL GERMANY 10 x 9.5"

This was a surprising ending price. These German devil head diecuts are arguably among the most common. They surface regularly and typically sell for well below $200. So, not only were the bidders overly frenzied, but this is the time of the year when so many solid vintage Halloween items are listed that bargains are to be had. Why overpay? My contention is that NOW is the very best time to be a buyer. There are so many listings with collectors having only so many dollars to spend, that lots tend to go cheaper now than at any other time of the year. I have many items on my watch list and expect to buy several nice items for much less than one would expect to pay at other times of the year. Aberrant results like this one should lessen between now and middle of November.

Vtg HALLOWEEN Dennison Howling Cat on Crescent Moon Diecut Circa 1920s

Dennison diecuts have increased mightily in price these last couple of years as collectors realize that few survived, especially given the thin paper stock they used. This howling cat with crescent moon diecut first appeared in their 1929 Price List pamphlet. Although it has a crease where the tail protrudes beyond the moon, the color is fantastic. It seems to have no other flaws. The seller sold this too cheap with a BIN of $144.49. These typically fetch $225 and up. The buyer got a bargain.

Antique 1920’s Holiday Halloween Lamp Shades (set of 3)

These shades are early and rare. (I’ve never seen any of these before.) Looking at the tops gives one the first clue as to just how early these are. The simplicity of the designs is the second clue. The metal rivets used is the third. These are pretty darn sweet!

DENNISON IMPRESSIVE “HALLOWE‘EN CENTERPIECE FOR YOUR TABLE” COMPLETE SET OF VINT

Dennison issued this Hallowe’en Centerpiece boxed set in 1933. I’ve seen this several times and haven’t ever been able to get excited about it. In 1933, the Great Depression was strangling many businesses to death, and those that wanted to make it had to be creative. Unfortunately, sometimes being creative meant creative economically, not artistically. The contents of this set are uninspired and forgettable. The best thing about it is the box. This excellent seller has over 140 listings right now - many of which are pretty amazing! This set is for the Dennison completist only.

early vintage Die Cut OWL 9"x14" mechanical USA

These were originally sold in one envelope as “Mechanical Hallowe’en Silhouettes” by Beistle. They were produced in the early 1920s. The owl is in rough condition yet still brought an unsustainably high price. The bat seems to be in significantly better condition yet brought a bit less. These results are a result of two apparently deep-pocketed collectors escalating the price beyond reason.

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Rare Die Cut-pre 1920's marked made in Saxony Black Cat- 4.5" Vintage Halloween

This seller offered two unusual small diecuts that were both marked Made in Saxony. (Saxony once had a monarchy but adopted a constitution under the Weimar Republic from 1919-1933, when these were produced.) Saxony Halloween items are typically visually arresting. They also use more gray than other diecuts produced at the time. Evidenced by the three complete sets in the collection shown at the top of page 170, I assume these were sold in sets of four in glassine envelopes. Prior to these listings, I had not seen either design before.

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Antique, Vintage 1930’s -1940’s Lot of Holiday Halloween Decorations, Mask Games

This seller seemingly put a jumble of items in poor condition together and hoped for the best. Sharp-eyed collectors would have noticed the glint of true gold amidst the mica flakes. Lurking at the very top unheralded is a rare Beistle band hat. It is rare enough that I don’t recall seeing the design before. Whomever bought the lot could burn everything but the band hat and still make out just fine.