Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Vintage Halloween Party Decoration Box 1930's

Whitman is like Rodney Dangerfield in that it doesn't get much respect. Their products were cheaply made and looked it. That said, elements of this set are not bad - especially the 6 nut cups. (I have the cat nut cup and until reviewing this listing I didn't know which manufacturer produced it.) The Zingo game, the crepe paper and some other minor bits weren't part of the original boxed set. 

Rare set Beistle Tally Bridge Halloween Ephemera 9 complete Cards w/original Box

This was an interesting mixed lot. The somewhat battered box and its incomplete contents (5 of the 10 tallies that would complete the set) were randomly paired with 4 tallies, two of which I haven't seen before. The four tallies were made by an unknown manufacturer and are more interesting than the Beistle tallies. Beistle's output was typically crafted with care and intricately detailed, however, these tallies, made for many seasons, don't fall into those categories. I watched this lot with interest, wondering what price it would fetch. I feel the ending price was right on, surely helped by the two not-seen-before specimens. 


This listing is significant in that the lid of the box has a small section urging purchasers of the boxed sets to buy U.S. savings bonds and stamps "for victory." I haven't seen this before. My records indicate these sets were made in 1945 and continued being made for about ten years. What's new to know is that the very first ones produced were made with this exhortation. Since WWII formally ended in mid-August of 1945, there couldn't have been many sets made with this war bonds verbiage. Although these boxed sets frequently come available, now I'll know to look for one with the bonds notation for my personal collection. 


I regret losing out on acquiring this great set. Gibson made far fewer boxed sets than their main rival, Dennison. Gibson's sets tend to consist of simple designs, with an occasional masterpiece produced. I hadn't seen this set before and had placed it on my Watch List. However, I've been so busy this season that I've been forgetting to bid or set up esnipe bids. Congrats to the prevailing bidder who obtained a rare set for a good price. 

Antique Dennison Spook Sticker Box 1920s

This great set first went on sale in 1922. There is a companion set to this, sold with a stock number of H637. Both have a RSIN of 3. Some Dennison boxed sets are more desirable than others due to design and overall scarcity. For the most common sets, always buy full boxes. 

20 vintage paper Halloween SEALS black CAT stickers in box Gibson

Even though the typical seal design issued by Gibson tends to be less stylized than an average Dennison example, these little Gibson gems have grown on me over the last few years. I avidly collect them. They are marginally harder to find complete than are Dennison boxed products, which is why this result is puzzling. The set fetched a paltry $14.99, perhaps as a result of the overly negative verbiage relating to condition the seller included. (The photos don't seem to match the verbiage.) In any event, I think the buyer scored a solid bargain. 

Vintage Dennisons Halloween Seals and Boxes

The seller placed too low of a BIN price on these great Dennison boxed items. Although apparently incomplete (the listing's verbiage is unclear...), being able to obtain these nice slide boxes for ~$25 with shipping is a solid bargain. 
Dennison really cornered the market starting in the teens and extending through the early 1930s with their imaginative assortment of boxed seals, cut-outs, illuminated silhouettes and the like. These boxed goods are among my favorite of all vintage Halloween genres. Gibson threw their hat in the ring and came up with compelling designs from time to time. These are harder to find, having been made in much smaller quantities than the quantities having been pumped out by the Dennison juggernaut. Whitney, too, tried to join the party, but their output was curiously devoid of memorable designs. I say curiously as they were a prolific producer of interesting postcard designs. Whitney's management must not have believed in the staying power of small items with which to decorate envelopes, invitations, etc. 

Vintage 1920's Dennison Halloween Cutouts, Original Box, Carrot w/ Face

Whomever the fortunate buyer was got a major score in scooping up this errantly priced BIN listing. Dennison produced this boxed set of 6 anthropomorphic carrots for one or two seasons beginning in 1928. The set is coveted and nearly always trades for ~$325. Sellers should stay away from BIN listings unless they have expertise in the item's field. This poor schmuck sacrificed nearly $200 for simply not doing the necessary research before listing a fine item. 

Vintage Dennison Seals Halloween Large Size 20 Complete Monkey ? Stickers Unused

It's interesting what people see in imagery. The seller sees a monkey-like creature riding a mouse. The artist who created this seal design may have been mortified by this observation as he/she meant to show a witch riding a black cat. Dennison's designs were quite different from what had gone before during the period of ~1928-1931. This boxed set is a good example of the type of design Dennison produced during that interval.