This seller slapped a BIN price of $150 on this rare boxed game and it was gone in 20 minutes, a great indication of how much the seller left on the table. This is a desirable game produced by Beistle in two versions in 1931-32. One was a boxed set like this one while the other was an otherwise identical enveloped set. The stock numbers were different - 876 and 875, respectively. Neither surfaces much.
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.
It would have been great if this rare set would have been marked. I'd love to know which firm produced it. I suspect it was a regional player with limited distribution. I've never seen any part of this set before. That is certainly an element of this great hobby that keeps it interesting - one never knows when a previously unknown item will surface.
This small box of seals was produced by Whitney during the 1920s. The market leader for such boxed seals was Dennison by a wide margin, followed by Gibson and their simpler yet somewhat quirkier designs. Whitney was definitely out of their element in making these sets. The art is flat and uninteresting. They rarely marked these boxes, whether out of shame or expediency I cannot say. Dennison boxed sets were produced in relatively high numbers and had a national distribution. Gibson less so and Whitney even less so. Although hard to find, especially complete, these typically change hands for around $100 per box, so the buyer paid a premium here.
I was glad to see this box of early 1920s JOL seals sell for what it did. Even without a photo showing the reverse of the box to see the factory marking indicating how many seals were originally sold as a set, and the general scruffiness of the box and seals, this early Gibson boxed product brought a respectable $30. Although I like Dennison boxed sets more, all else being equal, it is much harder to find Gibson boxed sets, especially complete ones. The market has been slow to recognize the value of Gibson boxed products although this has been changing over the last 2-3 seasons.
Gibson produced this stunning seal design in the early 1920s. Much of Gibson's output in this boxed genre is fun but one-dimensional compared to the more thought-through designs Dennison typically released. (That said, I love the Gibson boxed products. They are much harder to find - and that makes the hunt all the more fun. Overall, I think they are currently under-valued in the market.) This design is an obvious exception. A sister design is shown at the upper left on page 264. Both are killer! Guide value for a full box of 20 seals is $250. This box had 8-10 damaged seals and an unfortunate blemish on the packaging. Therefore, the result seems right.
The seller has finally decided to begin the auction at a price point well below sustainable value, typically a wise move. Collectors want to feel they have a chance at a bargain, so starting items at a fully valued price typically ends in a cycle of listing and relisting. This boxed set from Dennison first began being sold in 1928. The design lasted just a few seasons accounting for how hard it is to find this set. The fact that the cover cut-out has become dislodged is not material as it is present and can be re-attached. Sustainable guide value is $325. This seller is known to me as conscientious and wanting to convey accurate information. One should feel comfortable placing bids with them. (Go Blackhawks!)
09/11 Update: Inexplicably, this great set brought only $152.50.
This boxed set of Dennison broomed witch illuminated silhouettes first appeared in their 1922 Bogie Book. Its RSIN is 4, so it isn't correct to refer to it as rare. I love collecting Dennison boxed goods, and would call the sub-genre one of my top 5 to collect. Dennison made some designs for many years and others for a single season. This is an example of the former. The sustainable guide value is $55, so the seller's opening bid of $154.99 will probably never be met.