Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.


This is a tough Dennison cut-outs set to acquire. The seller is correct in attributing it to 1923. It took me over 20 years to find a complete set in a condition good enough to join the collection. It’ll be informative to see what this sells for in this bubbly time for the hobby.

10/09 Update: This sold for $274.99.

Dennison Halloween Lady Clown with Owl in Front of Full Moon Die-Cut 1920s

This seldom-seen design of a woman in an extravagant ruffled collar with an addled owl behind was first made available to the public in 1923. It was sold in two forms: a slide box of 6 cut-outs with a stock number of H-94 and a slide box of 20 seals with a stock number of H-656. They weren't sold for more than two seasons. I was able to find a box of cut-outs for the collection only ~2 years ago and have not yet located the box of seals. I feel the starting price is quite reasonable. 

Vintage Orig. 1923 "Halloween Party Decorations" 30 Pcs. Beistle Co. Org. Env.

Beistle made three iterations of their 1923 party set: boxed, enveloped and in a booklet form. (The latter was produced with both orange pages and white pages. The color of the pages doesn't seem to impact value.) The boxed and enveloped sets are quite a bit harder to find than the booklet form. The envelopes of the enveloped set are nearly always in poor shape, as was this example. Still, it nearly reached SGV of $400. 

antique Halloween decorations Beistle's Halloween Clocks

This is another example of how white hot early Beistle items are in the marketplace. Beistle made this clock for only a single season - 1923 - and those that have survived the nearly 100 years tend to be in rough shape, mainly due to the large form factor and irregular borders. The seller, thanks to at least one eagle-eyed viewer, revised the listing to highlight that the clocks weren't mint, but they sure were as close as I've mostly seen. (The real star of the lot was the envelope. These ephemeral items were nearly all tossed aside. I still haven't found one for the collection.) I placed a few bids, but the final price was a fully valued one. 

1923 Beistle Halloween Christmas Decoration Paper Novelty Catalog Vintage ORIG.

These early Beistle catalogs almost never surface, so for the seller to offer it as BIN with a paltry price of $75 was an error, reinforced by the fact that it sold in less than 75 minutes. These catalogs, different from the Dennison Bogie Books in that they were meant for retailers and not end-user consumers, show the varied items Beistle was offering at the time, some of which were never offered again. For that reason alone, these catalogs are superb research tools. I regret that I didn't see this as it would have had a treasured place in my library. 

The Beistle Company Halloween Party Decorations From 1923

Beistle issued their 1923 party set in three packaging iterations. The most common is a booklet form with either orange or white pages prior to and after the pages containing the punch-out party decorations. Less common is the enveloped form, and the rarest is this, the boxed form. Unfortunately, this box seems to be in poor condition with much of the contents missing. (The napkins and envelopes are not original to the set.) As such, it has minimal collectible value.