Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

VINTAGE 1930's Gibson HALLOWEEN flying OWLS, BLACK CAT Flowers Party Tally Card

It’s great to see this colorful tally produced by Gibson during the 1920s listed on eBay - especially by such a fine seller. I recently posted the matching nut cup and place card to this design on my Acquisitions section of the site. The major holiday paper manufacturers typically issued their designs in four pieces: invitation, tally, place card and nut cup.

04/02 Update: This great tally sold for $39.88.

2 - Vintage Halloween Paper Diecut 5” Skulls

Even if these two were in perfect condition, I feel the ending price isn’t sustainable. Of course, the condition of these diecuts is poor overall given that one is missing a chunk and the other has significant general soiling. These skull diecuts were produced by Gibson during the early 1930s. They also made them in white. See page 169.

Vintage 1920s-30s Gibson "Cold Facts" Diecut Sign Decoration Halloween Skeleton

Now, this is one helluva freaky, fantastic diecut. When I first saw this Gibson listing, I prayed that it would be in collectible condition. I was disappointed when it fell far short of the acceptable threshold for my collection. This is precisely the kind of odd imagery and disorienting colors I eat up. I contacted the seller who stated this was the sole example of this diecut she had available. My decision was easy not to try for it. (The ending price of $610 blew me away. I sure am glad I began collecting 30 years ago, as collecting truly vintage Halloween is rapidly becoming a hobby for the wealthy!) I will add it to my very short “Holy Grail” list and hope one comes my way.

Vintage 1920-30s Gibson "Wise Up! This is A Party" Diecut Sign Halloween Owl

This Gibson party sign diecut with their classic signature slanted exclamation point went for FAR more than I would have guessed. Prices tend to moderate at this stage of the season, but I haven’t seen much evidence of this usual trend this year. This seller had several wonderful diecuts - all of which sold for astronomical prices. Given the final photo in all of her listings, I am curious how many of each will be on offer over time.


Some boxed Gibson seals have recently sold for significantly more than SGV. Owls have never commanded the highest prices in seemingly any of the vintage Halloween genres, and this was no exception. The hammer came down almost precisely at the SGV. Although complete Gibson boxed sets are significantly harder to find than many of the Dennison boxed sets, the latter typically command high dollars. Gibson's production was more limited as was their distribution. Not helping the secondary market for Gibson's boxed sets is that their art was, by and large, pedestrian and uninspired. 

Fairman - Vintage Halloween Postcard

There must have been a connection between the printer of this postcard, Fairman Company of Cincinnati and New York, and Gibson of Cincinnati. The art on this postcard (and another similar card the same seller had up for sale) is oh-so-similar to a couple of shades shown on page 44. In doing cursory research I haven't unearthed a connection, but wouldn't be surprised there is one. 

04/14 Update: Thanks to the sleuthing of a regular reader, CR, who also loves to explore the nooks and crannies of connections between manufacturers of early Halloween, there does appear to be a firm connection between Gibson and Fairman. CR found a publication called Where to Sell Your Manuscripts by E.F. Barker copyrighted 1915. On page 46 is a listing of post card and novelty makers. Fairman is listed at 200 Fifth Avenue, NY. Gibson is also listed at that same address. Additionally, CR found another publication, Directory of Directors of the City of New York 1913-1914. Charles R. Gibson is listed as being president, treasurer and director of CR Gibson & Company; treasurer and director of Fairman & Company and treasurer and director of Gibson Art Company.