Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

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.

1940’s Halloween Place Card Scary Black With Owl Face In Flame HTF

Here is another relative bargain, although not as pronounced as the item directly below. This has to be one of Dennison's most inspired designs. The artist packed a lot of detail in such a small item, meant to be used as a place card. This first appeared in 1928. As I point out on page 257, "Notice the cat's face in the flame and the candle's expression. Although not particularly scarce, this iconic, diminutive Dennison masterpiece consistently sells at or above the cited value. It was sold with stock number H565." These have routinely changed hands in a range of $135-200 during the last 18 months, so the prevailing bidder did well.

Vintage Halloween Beistle 1930-1931 Rocker Favor Cat & Half Moon

Beistle made six different rocker designs and typically sold them in enveloped sets of six during the 1930 and 1931 seasons with inventory number 760R. Beside the black cat, the other designs are an owl in a cauldron, a flying bat, a broomed witch, a perched owl and a ghost. Although the eBay surface page shows this sold for $39, it actually changed hands for $30. 

Germany Halloween Cat with hat & veggy body candy container OLD!

It's nice to see one of these cylinder candy containers that actually appears to be the real deal. This form of candy container has been largely overrun with the fakes currently being cranked out in Germany, being a fairly easy form to fake. (Whenever you see one of these with a slanted hat brim, know that it could have been made yesterday.) From the photos, everything looks supportive of a conclusion that this was made sometime between 1925-1935. 


I don't know what to make of this diecut. The message is so cryptic that it makes me wonder if something is missing from it. Readers, any thoughts? 

10/12 Update: Thanks to those who wrote in! The expression "Get Hot" could mean a number of things: encouraging someone to dance faster, do better or simply make themselves comfortable. Thinking that it might tie in to a product endorsement, I wondered if this diecut was incomplete. I feel now it is complete. 

10/22 Update: A second one sold on 10/20 for $107.92. 

Halloween Two-sided Black Cat Face Lantern 1940's Old Original

I had an opportunity to chat via email with the last surviving son of the founder of Alberts Display and Novelty Company. He told me that his father, Philip Alberts, shut down the firm's operations in 1948. Their Halloween output was restricted to a period from ~1941-1946. Therefore, the dates attributed in the book to all items made by the Alberts Display and Novelty Company are slightly off. The correct date range would be ~1941-1946. Please see pages 29 and 58 where collectively three items made by the firm can be found. 

The above verbiage was taken directly from my errata page. Please print a copy of this errata page and keep it with your book to ensure the information available to you while you shop or peruse is as up-to-date as can be. 

Vintage Halloween Paper Hat ~Witch Riding Moon W/ Broom ~ Black Cat ~15" Tall

I'm surprised that this visually striking, large and very rare hat didn't bring more. I wouldn't need all the fingers on one hand to count how many times I've seen hats from this small set surface. Yes, there are some condition issues, but fairly minor. (The main fold is unavoidable as these hats were shipped that way from Shippensburg.) My feeling is that the buyer got a solid bargain.