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Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

SCARCE 1920's Embossed Halloween Jack o' Lantern Pirate Diecut Decoration

This seller priced this too low. This large pirate JOL face diecut was on eBay for only a few minutes before it was gone. (I saw it and clicked to buy it but it was already gone.) The seller referenced my book, pointing out that smaller yet similar ones appeared on page 181, yet oddly priced this at ~half of sustainable guide value. If it would have been listed with an auction format, I know it would have brought many more dollars.

Vintage Heavy Embossing Pulp Cat in Costume Halloween Decoration Germany 15.5"

I’m glad to see this not uncommon diecut garner such strong dollars, certainly due to its condition. I recently acquired a near-mint German fence diecut complete with four figures. This diecut is quite long, about 28” or so. It is exceedingly rare. I’ve looked for one for years, but never found one good enough to be part of the collection. I finally found one being sold along with many other fine things out of an old collection near Philadelphia. Its acquisition has caused me to begin planning for a massive overhaul of two large walls currently covered with diecuts. My intention is to deaccession about one-third of my German diecuts, keeping only the rarest and those in the very best condition. The overhaul will be a big chore, one that I haven’t been eager to start. When it is done, I think I’ll gain more satisfaction from having fewer diecuts spread a little farther apart. So, stay tuned. I’ll be selling lots of German diecuts in a few months.

Rare Halloween German Antique Diecut Witch 2 piece 3D effect Black Cat Crow 9”

It’s heartening to see rare diecuts like this surface amongst the vast array of crapola that has largely become eBay. I first saw this diecut when I acquired one for the collection in September 2015. I think it was amongst the designs made in 1935 for export to Canada. It is quite an eye-catcher with the white hair. The use of a crow is also unusual. As I type this, the price has been bid up to $392.79. I expect it to go much higher. Good luck!

06/12 Update: I felt this should have brought more. It ended at $1,312.

Very Fine Vintage Halloween Devil Bat Die Cut German Germany

The Germans were known to make subtle variations in their later diecuts. Notice how the teeth differ from the example shown on page 136. There are other variations as well. Can you spot them? This is arguably the most visually arresting design the Germans produced. I count this design amongst my very favorites. I’ve seldom seen a better example.

05/30 Update: This sold for $2,376.

Smiling Jack-O-Lantern Face Vintage German Halloween Candy Container; Mint!

It was refreshing to see such a high-quality item appear on eBay. This genre of item is among my favorites. (Check out pages 58-60 to see the items in the collection.) These were made from 1916-1921. They seldom surface in such nice condition. There is an identical design made in a slightly larger format that you can see on page 59. The ending price was right where I expected it to be.

Antique German Halloween candy container Witch on cat TINY!

This great seller rightly states that most such German compo items were cheaply made and cheaply sold so the molding isn’t the finest. That said, some were very finely cast indeed. Those items were expensive then (~1910-1914, then late teens through the mid-30s) and command quite a premium today. For what this is, the result is quite pleasing. The witch looks comfortable as she sits on a sturdy black cat with an enormous spring tail. This would have a home in any respectable collection. I do wonder if the candy box is original to the piece.

02/19 Update: I thought this would bring more than it did - $227.50.

1930s German Bisque Figurine Scared Child carrying a Pumpkin excellent 3 1/4"

There were a number of different cold-painted bisque items produced in the early 1930s by the Germans with a Halloween theme. These figurines have become quite popular with Halloween collectors over the last ~5 years. I used to see them with some frequency, but that day has passed. I’ll have two such figurines in my annual auction held in May. One has perfect paint - like it was purchased and immediately stored away. If you’ve purchased my reference book from me directly, please ensure that I have your contact information, so that notifications about the auction can be sent in April. The auction is only open to those who have purchased a copy of the third edition of Vintage Halloween Collectibles from me directly.

01/24 Update: This great item sold for $70.

Vtg RARE German 1920s HALLOWEEN Porcelain PUMPKIN FACE JOL CANDY CONTAINER Jar

This exceedingly rare double vase certainly went for a lot of money, mainly due to my bidding. I was the underbidder, actually content not to have had to pay my top bid of $3215.15. I placed the bid, thinking there may be a very few collectors more crazed than I who would pay such money. I was right. Although I would liked to have it as part of the collection, in the final analysis, the price was too high, so I was not unhappy to have been outbid. Congrats to whomever the prevailing bidder was.

My German Porcelain Collection

Someone asked me to post photos of my German porcelain collection. It is probably my favorite segment of the vintage Halloween market. It has taken me 30 years to gather together these wonderful items. Enjoy!

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"EXCEEDINGLY RARE"--MINI-- EARLY 1930'S GERMAN HEAVY EMBOSSED OWL-GREAT ITEM

Wow, the eBay listings now are an embarrassment of riches after a long drought of mainly common, lower-end items. The various German mini-diecut sets are amongst my favorite to collect. The artistry in such small form factors always amazes. Look at this owl managing to look angry and befuddled at the same time. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen this item. The condition is as amazing as the seller, who has my full confidence. Others from this set can be found on page 185.

Halloween German Owl Accordian Decoration

I love that this fine seller included a photo of the 1920s German hangers she has in her collection. She is selling the owl with black accordion paper. I have never seen the JOL and the Brownie before. I once had a small collection of these but found them too challenging to display. (Anything part of the collection must be displayed - a primary rule for me.)