Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Doily or mat, witches, bats, Great condition

The prices these individual non-embossed paper doilies have been bringing boggle my mind. Produced during the 1920s - probably by Whitney - they were sold in glassine envelopes in quantities of 10 per envelope. I have a complete set of these in the envelope. You can see it on page 282. I’d be happy to sell the package for $800 plus shipping. (I’d also sell the green set for $800 plus shipping.)


The version shown on page 213 has a decorated rim whereas this one has a plain rim. I’m surprised there would be two versions of such an economically made design. I would love to know for sure which firm produced this tambourine. Several collectors have mentioned that they’ve found this tambourine design as part of a Collegeville “gypsy” costume from the 1930s, but I’ve never been able to independently verify that Collegeville included such items with their costumes.

Very rare antique witch die Cut

Beistle issued a trio of broomed witches diecuts during the late 1950s. This is arguably the best design of the three. (You can see the others on page 159.) This trio is almost impossible to find in collectible condition for some reason. They are large on thinner paper stock. I don’t think Beistle produced many of these in the grand scheme of things. A good paper restorer could probably work wonders on this damaged example.

02/21 Update: I almost keeled over when I saw that this damaged diecut sold for $510. I agree that a competent paper restorer should be able to make this look near-new, but that would cost ~$200, making the total investment over $700, significantly over what this diecut has sold for in near-mint, unrestored condition.

03/07 Update: This same diecut in better condition sold yesterday for the shockingly low price of $103.51. I have to chalk it up to the vagaries of eBay.

Vtg Halloween Dennison Witch On Broom Moon Owl Black Cat Die Cut 1950s

Here’s another mystery. This 1960-1970s diecut is in poor condition with far from memorable imagery and yet someone actually bid $125.50 on it. I know eBay has been a wasteland of late, but this result boggles the mind.

02/14 Update: This same seller has listed three more of these as of today.

02/21 Update: As expected, two of the three sold for less than $30 each. The third sold for $50. The person who spent $125.50 must be wondering what possessed them.

Vintage Halloween Dennison Die Cut Flying Witch Place Card

This well designed place card has all the hallmarks of a top Dennison design. These include frenetic energy, disparate elements working harmoniously and a sense of humor. Although you don’t see this design often, they typically trade for FAR LESS than this seller is asking - an astounding $185! (One sold on 09/22 for $22.50.) The design first appeared in their 1923 Bogie Book with a stock number of H16. For some reason, the stock number changed to H21 in 1924. These were sold in shops singly. They were not packaged.

Antique Beistle Steeple Witch with Cat and Bat and Moon - 1930's, Scalloped edge

This very large diecut was produced by Beistle beginning in 1932. It is exceptionally hard to find in near-perfect condition primarily because of its size and irregular border. Based on close scrutiny of the many photos provided, I feel this is one of the very best ones of this design I've seen in many years, if not ever. The colors look undimmed and the borders appear perfect aside from that bit of tape at the hanging hole. Wow! 

05/03 Update: This sold for $634.99, roughly double SGV. 

1920's Halloween Tamborine Noise Maker

This unmarked printed paper tambourine with a decorated tin rim was made during the 1930s. As I write on page 213, "Several collectors have said they have found this tambourine sold as part of a "Gypsy Woman" costume boxed set issued by Collegeville in the 1930s."


This is a great image and part of a set of five scalloped-edged, sizable diecuts Beistle began producing in 1932. Given their large size, these typically surface in poor condition. This one seems pretty nice. (Tape residue on the reverse doesn't bother me at all.) The rarest one from the set of 5 is the skeleton walking through the graveyard. It has been several years since one has surfaced. It sold for ~$3400. 


Be very careful in purchasing items purported to be vintage Halloween items from this seller. They have long been on my list of sellers with whom I don't do business. The sheen from the envelope is suspicious. I find it interesting there is no photo of the reverse shown and that they have not used eBay's zoom feature for this and other of their listings. If you are inclined to buy, ask lots of questions and ask for additional photos. 

ca 1920s Halloween Invitation Card Shocked Witch Flying in Moon unused

This is an excellent bargain from a wonderful seller. This is a rare invitation with excellent graphics that should find a good home in any collection. There is no marking to indicate which firm produced it. I feel it was made by a regional firm with somewhat limited distribution. It is priced at an eminently reasonable $46 as a BIN. (If I didn't have one already, it would be already gone!) Someone needs to scoop this up pronto!

07/18 Update: I'm glad to note that someone followed my advice and bought this fine invitation a scant 19 minutes after my post.