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Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Vintage Halloween German Minature Tea Set Saucer Early 1900’s

Here’s a great item worth having. The Germans made a line of porcelain Halloween-themed tea set pieces in three sizes from 1908-1932. This green leaf saucer should measure 3.25” in diameter, and would have been made for their smallest tea set size. An otherwise identical pattern in orange was also made. Please refer to pages 119-121 for other items from these desirable sets.

10/15/Update: This sold for $392.77, quite strong considering a cup and saucer set sold the same day from the same seller for $421.

HUGE BEISTLE GERMAN DEVIL BAT DIECUT VERY RARE HALLOWEEN, FRAME INCLUDED

Although I am so very happy that this seller received such prices for many of their listings, I am confounded by this ending price. The seller very clearly outlined the condition issues, yet this devil bat diecut still brought a record price. Was it simply auction fever? I worry that results like this signal that the hobby is becoming restricted to the well-heeled.

Halloween German Miniature Diecut, Witch Stirs Cauldron, 1930s

This is arguably the very best design of the set to which this German mini-diecut belongs. Its intricacy while maintaining such a small form-factor is appealing. Prices this season have been extraordinarily strong, which causes me to wonder where all the money is coming from. Typically, at this point in the cycle, prices start to droop due to many, many listings and the depletion of the more casual collector’s monetary resources. I haven’t seen that repeated this cycle to the extent I forecasted. One theory is that our hobby is experiencing an influx of well-heeled new collectors. (Thankfully, I started collecting in the 1980s!)

Small Vintage Halloween Jack O Lantern JOL Candy Container Pumpkin hj6020

I’ve received lots of questions as to my opinion on this lantern. Given that I owned the larger and one-of-a-kind parade lantern made by the same artist or artist’s collective from 1997 through 2017, I am confident that it is genuine, dating from 1908-1912. (However, short of personally examining it, this is only an opinion. Don’t rely on it for anything.) I feel that the mouth insert is not original. Please refer to page 129 for more on the parade lantern.

10/04 Update: This lantern brought $5600, significantly in excess of the $2500-3000 they’ve brought over the last 5 years.

RARE Vtg 20s EMBOSSED German HALLOWEEN Decoration CRAWLING Baby PUMPKIN Die Cut

Here is a German diecut you don’t see often. This crawling baby boy hinged diecut was produced in Germany during the late 1920s. (There is a chance that it was made during the mid-1930s. Other hinged products were made then.) The Germans made two different crawling babies. The girl shows up a tad more often than the boy, but both are rare. You can see both on page 169. With over 5 days to go, the bidding has already reached $431. It will be instructive to see what price it reaches.

10/03 Update: This brought $770.

Vintage Halloween Large Walking Witch Diecut Decoration Standup, Germany 1940s!!

The Queen of the Golden Doily is offering a very nice example of a German diecut that, although common, isn’t commonly seen in this great condition. Ziz is one of my favorite dealers. She typically offers a wide variety of vintage goods that appeal to both new and experienced collectors. She firmly believes in the auction format, beginning her listings at $9.99. You would do well to watch her listings!

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.

Halloween Handled Small Tea Cup with Saucer Germany 1908-1932 JOL Face

Over the three decades I’ve been collecting vintage Halloween, various market segments have waxed and waned. Prices for tin have decreased with occasional signs of life. Germany candy containers still bring strong dollars but nothing like they used to bring. ( I suspect this downtrend for such items will continue.) Lanterns by and large have also lost luster. On the other side of the ledger, early Beistle, Dennison and Gibson products have sizzled. Small paper (invitations, place cards and tally cards) has had a phenomenal rise as have German porcelain items. This cup and saucer result is the latest indicator of the health of this market segment. The realized price is near 100% more than it would have been 2-3 years ago. I suspect these same segments will continue to weaken and strengthen as the first generation of collectors, who specialized in what are now the weaker segments, ride off into the sunset.

Antique Halloween Diadem/Tiara with JOL Maid and Black Cats

This German tiara is in exceptional condition. Given how they were meant to be used, this is surprising. 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.

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.