eBay has been such a wasteland of late that I’ve struggled to find anything to write about, so it refreshing to see this fun and rare Dennison nut cup. They first issued this item in 1928 with a stock number of H566. I’m happy to see such a strong result but not surprised given the paucity of quality items lately and how well respected the seller is in the collecting community.
This is another example of the over-heated small paper market segment. This tally, produced by Dennison for the first time in 1928, surfaces enough that this ending price is eyebrow-raising, if nothing else.
I recently posted a photo of the one in the collection that was acquired in April 2017 in the Acquisitions section of the site. Prior to that time I’d never seen this Dennison invitation design. This is a sweet, intricate invitation. Based on the day and partial date written inside, this was sent out for a party in 1930. Here is what I wrote about this in the Acquisitions section: “This is one of the gems of the small paper collection. Beginning in 1929 when this was produced, Dennison was hard hit by the Great Depression, as were so many other firms making non-essential items. They responded by making fewer holiday items in fewer numbers - and lived to tell about it. (Dennison is still in business today, albeit through mergers.) Prior to acquiring this invitation I had never seen it before. I know of one other in a collection. It is unused. When opened, there are partial pine trees at the left and the right, with a lined area where a party host would delineate the party details. It measures 4” high by 3.5” across, closed. Acquired in April 2017. RSIN: 1”
05/21 Update: This sold for $247.16, lower than I would have expected.
This is an exceedingly rare and desirable invitation produced by Dennison around 1930. The bonus is that is is unused. (Finding near-mint, unused small paper items like this one doesn’t happen as often as finding them ragged and written upon.) I like how the colors and the energy of the fighting cats contrast with the mellowness of the interior. This deserves to bring meaningful dollars.
05/23 Update: This sold for a shocking $549.
I’ve received a lot of emails about this listing, with many writers curious as to why it brought such a high price. Well, at least two sharp-eyed bidders saw the treasure in this lot and were willing to go high to mine it. The primo item is the exceedingly rare Dennison diecut of the witch and skeleton in a hot air balloon. (The one in the collection is shown on page 144.) The seller provided low-end, haphazard photographs. One of the underbidders asked for, and received, better photographs and detailed descriptions of the diecuts that really mattered: the aforementioned hot air balloon, the green cat and purple and yellow owl. All of these were made by Dennison around 1930. Dennison material, including small paper, from this period is exceedingly rare and highly desirable. I’m not surprised this odd lotting brought what it did.
Dennison small paper is on fire. This well-designed place card was first issued in 1926 with a stock number of H463. These were sold singly; they weren’t packaged. I don’t think this ending price is sustainable even though this place card doesn’t surface in complete condition often. For some reason, many of this design too-easily separates along the scored line, resulting in two fragments. If you have one that has never been folded, don’t fold it. Why take the risk of it separating?
Sometimes the way eBay reports ending prices is misleading. This is an example. A casual browser would assume this Dennison item sold for $500. When you dig a little, one discovers it sold for $200, still a hefty premium to what this design typically fetches. Dennison introduced a trio of these “Novelty Tallies” with mechanical action in 1928. (They can all be seen on page 258.) This witch emerging from her cauldron is the most interesting of the three.
This set of six Dennison owl cut-outs was sold in a glassine envelope for a single year, 1922. For that year, the stock number for the set was H-48. Beginning in 1923, the same cut-out in the same quantity was sold in a slide box with a different stock number, H-99. Subsequently, I’d say this glassine envelope form of packaging would be significantly harder to find than the slide box packaging. You can’t go wrong with the seller, one of the finest purveyors of vintage Halloween on eBay.
04/23 Update: This sold for a relative bargain: $128.50.
Given this diecut’s size and coloration, it is hard to find one in nice shape. This seems to be in very acceptable condition, indeed. Azkaban has been wondering where one of its residents has gone!
Here’s another rare and wonderful item from the same great seller referenced below auctioning the witch falling into cauldron decoration. This is one of my favorite Dennison diecuts for several reasons: the colors are arresting, the design is clever for a relatively compact wall hanging and it nicely demonstrates just how ephemeral such decorations were meant to be at the time of their production. I mean, who would have thought to keep a sign so clearly meant for a party showing the way to the best part of any gathering? This was sold with the odd stock number of H667 1/2. Condition is fine as the diecut is whole with bright colors and minimal creasing.
03/14 Update: This sold for an eye-popping $667.
This diecut was last offered for sale on eBay in May 2018 as part of a lot of three diecuts. Sadly, it was in horrific condition, yet still the lot brought $305. This example is in superb condition with bright colors and should easily eclipse that last price. This JOL-headed traffic cop diecut was produced by Dennison and first appeared in their 1930 Price List pamphlet. It was produced on the thin yellow-stock paper Dennison used often at the time. It makes a good companion piece to the Hallo' Inn diecut shown on page 142. I know of many collectors who have been waiting for this rare diecut to surface in this condition, so it’ll be informative to see what this sells for.
03/07 Update: Wow, this brought $597.99, tip-top dollars indeed.
This is a tough boxed set of cut-outs to find. Add that to it being complete and in near-mint condition, I am not surprised it brought a strong price. Dennison first issued this set in 1924 with a stock number of H101.
This intricately designed and whimsical place card was one of Dennison’s earliest finished goods. For too long Dennison made crepe products and coached end-consumers on how to make decorations from them rather than emphasizing finished goods themselves. They finally wised up around 1914 when their selection of such goods began to greatly expand. These place cards don’t surface too often, so even though this has been used it may be worth picking up.
02/21 Update: This sold for $22.49.
Here’s another mystery. This 1960-1970s diecut is in poor condition with far from memorable imagery and yet someone actually bid $125.50 on it. I know eBay has been a wasteland of late, but this result boggles the mind.
02/14 Update: This same seller has listed three more of these as of today.
02/21 Update: As expected, two of the three sold for less than $30 each. The third sold for $50. The person who spent $125.50 must be wondering what possessed them.
Really? Why on earth would anyone pay $19.99 for one Dennison seal?