Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.


HOLY TOLEDO, BATMAN! I almost fell right off my chair when I saw this come up. This is, for many, many collectors THE holy grail Beistle diecut. Instructively, in just the few hours since its listing, the price has reached $710. I project it will zoom much, much further into the stratosphere. Here is what I have to say about this superb diecut in my third edition, made at the zenith of Beistle's creative powers:
A touch of mystery swirls around this object. All the catalogs I have examined, Beistle publications and the many ones put out by wholesalers over the years, indicate this embossed diecut was sold as one of a set of four. There were five large diecuts with scalloped edges made beginning in the early 1930s. (The other four can be seen in Diecuts.)  Some catalogs show that at times this skeleton in the graveyard was sold with the seated cat while others show it was at times sold with the arched-back cat. The others, owl and broomed witch, remain constants. The point is that the skeleton in the graveyard is itself a constant in these publications, so why doesn’t it ever turn up? I finally landed the one in the collection quite reasonably when it was improperly lotted in an auction in 2010. Two have popped up on Ebay, both quite damaged. Other than that, zilch! This is a large, colorful and eye-catching design measuring 18.5” h x 11.75” w. Look at how the branches of the Wizard of Oz-like trees end in creatures. Dark and creepy! This killer item is valued at $1,800 to $2,000

10/03 Update: I'm still reeling by what this ultra-rare and eminently desirable diecut brought - $3,350 - far eclipsing sustainable guide value. Like with anything else, if another in this condition were to surface in the short/medium term, the price would be notably lower as the number of players at this level is relatively small. Bravo to both the seller and buyer. What a ride watching this auction was!