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Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

1940's Halloween Black Cats on Stockade Fence Cut Outs Stand-Ups Interlocking

These fence table decorations, largely made by Whitney, are nearly impossible to find in mint condition. This complete set of four pieces was made during the late 1920s and sold with stock number 2348. This set has the typical weakness to the section hooks, plus appears to have some color toning issues. Still, overall this is a very desirable decoration that has a SGV of $275. What makes it more desirable than some others is that each section is different. To save money, Whitney often produced fences with either identical sides or with only two different designs per four-piece set. The seller has started this low with no reserve. This augurs well for ending at or above SGV. 

02/08 Update: The listing ended well below SGV - $209.50. 

Group of 6 Different Antique Halloween Placards with Moon and Black Cat

This well-designed complete set of six place cards was made by Whitney during the 1930s. I have long appreciated the differences in each one of the six including the different expressions of the moon. In order to make it easy for each to stand on a table, the sides of each card bend inward - a nice touch. This set used to surface more regularly than now. It is a tough set to find with no extraneous markings or missing pieces. Sustainable guide value is $185 for the set. 

01/17 Update: The set brought $227.50, a nearly 23% premium to SGV. One hasn't surfaced in some time, so if another were to come up for sale in the same condition, I would expect the price to normalize to the $185 SGV. 

Rare Vintage Halloween Dancing Cats Centerpiece

I'm glad to see such great Gibson enveloped products being offered. (Ebay really has been a wasteland overall for a long time now.) This dancing cat four-sided centerpiece was made by Gibson during the later 1920s. The seller, a very nice person and long-time collector, is correct to point out that these centerpieces don't surface often in complete, mint condition. Almost always one or more of the delicate tabs are ripped clean off. Given that the envelope is also part of the package, both parties to the transaction should be happy with the final purchase price of $200. (eBay shows $225 but the BIN offer accepted was $200.) 

Set 3 Halloween Black Cat Stand-up Decorations Glassine Envelope

This set of three fold-out small cat decorations was made by Whitney. This Massachusetts firm, which closed in 1943, was diffident about marking their many wares. Nearly the sole way to identify a Whitney item is to train your eye to recognize their art. The way I did it was to closely examine Whitney postcards, all or nearly all of which are marked. Imagery appearing in their postcards often become table decorations. Whitney also used a very open, unadorned font that is easy to identify. (Jason Walcott, a famed font designer and fellow Halloween collector, may be able to shed light on the precise name of the Whitney font.) 

Antique Vintage 1920's USA Dennison Halloween Cat Face in Flames Candle Die-Cut

I have always liked this little gem made by Dennison beginning in 1927. (Its smaller companion piece can be seen on page 257.) There is so much to find compelling in its detailing. However, these are hard-to-find, but not impossible to find. Given its poor condition overall, the seller is much too aggressive with the opening price. If you have always coveted this piece, wait for a better example offered at a lower opening price. 

5 New Old Stock Bagged Vintage Halloween Decorations. Cats, Witch and Scarecrow!

This assortment consists of designs originally conceived by Beistle but later copied by the Japanese. Whether this copying was done with Beistle's cooperation, or even knowledge, is not known. These copies were done in the latter half of the 1960s and have very modest value as the ending price for this lot was $49.95. The older originals, clearly marked "Made in USA," have greater value.