Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.


Beistle produced a set of eight of these small form-factor diecuts during the early 1950s. Except for this one, where it seems the designer was really searching for something - anything - to complete the set, the other diecuts are spot-on and worth having. See the entire set on page 157.


Although I am so very happy that this seller received such prices for many of their listings, I am confounded by this ending price. The seller very clearly outlined the condition issues, yet this devil bat diecut still brought a record price. Was it simply auction fever? I worry that results like this signal that the hobby is becoming restricted to the well-heeled.


Here is a German diecut you don’t see often. This crawling baby boy hinged diecut was produced in Germany during the late 1920s. (There is a chance that it was made during the mid-1930s. Other hinged products were made then.) The Germans made two different crawling babies. The girl shows up a tad more often than the boy, but both are rare. You can see both on page 169. With over 5 days to go, the bidding has already reached $431. It will be instructive to see what price it reaches.

10/03 Update: This brought $770.

Vintage Halloween Large Walking Witch Diecut Decoration Standup, Germany 1940s!!

The Queen of the Golden Doily is offering a very nice example of a German diecut that, although common, isn’t commonly seen in this great condition. Ziz is one of my favorite dealers. She typically offers a wide variety of vintage goods that appeal to both new and experienced collectors. She firmly believes in the auction format, beginning her listings at $9.99. You would do well to watch her listings!

Halloween Pressed Paper Hanging Decorations Large OWL, small cat & small bat

It’s pretty rare that I am able to get a bargain on eBay outside of the mispriced BIN listings. This auction-format listing actually ran for a full week. I put in a bid significantly higher than what I ended up paying for this lot - a relative pittance of about $110 with shipping. Lots of collectors were asleep at the switch or were inundated with the avalanche of listings that materialize at this time of the year. Although the owl is quite nice, it was far eclipsed by my interest in the two mini-diecuts - both rare enough that I’ve never seen them. Although the bat is not in the condition normally required to become part of the collection, it is energetic and full of personality. I have a similar cat with the tail demurely by its side, but not this great design. For once - an auction bargain!

Later Update: Well, not so fast. A good friend pointed out to me that the mini-diecuts I was so excited about look to be cut-outs from two of the set of six German diecuts of characters with crescent moons that you can see on page 184. I don’t know how I didn’t see that before. So, the only person asleep at the switch was me. The lesson here is that even someone who has been collecting for 31 years can be dumb enough to waste money on remnants! Very good catch, CR. How I wish I would have had your wise counsel before bidding on the lot!


This was a surprising ending price. These German devil head diecuts are arguably among the most common. They surface regularly and typically sell for well below $200. So, not only were the bidders overly frenzied, but this is the time of the year when so many solid vintage Halloween items are listed that bargains are to be had. Why overpay? My contention is that NOW is the very best time to be a buyer. There are so many listings with collectors having only so many dollars to spend, that lots tend to go cheaper now than at any other time of the year. I have many items on my watch list and expect to buy several nice items for much less than one would expect to pay at other times of the year. Aberrant results like this one should lessen between now and middle of November.

Vtg HALLOWEEN Dennison Howling Cat on Crescent Moon Diecut Circa 1920s

Dennison diecuts have increased mightily in price these last couple of years as collectors realize that few survived, especially given the thin paper stock they used. This howling cat with crescent moon diecut first appeared in their 1929 Price List pamphlet. Although it has a crease where the tail protrudes beyond the moon, the color is fantastic. It seems to have no other flaws. The seller sold this too cheap with a BIN of $144.49. These typically fetch $225 and up. The buyer got a bargain.

Rare Die Cut-pre 1920's marked made in Saxony Black Cat- 4.5" Vintage Halloween

This seller offered two unusual small diecuts that were both marked Made in Saxony. (Saxony once had a monarchy but adopted a constitution under the Weimar Republic from 1919-1933, when these were produced.) Saxony Halloween items are typically visually arresting. They also use more gray than other diecuts produced at the time. Evidenced by the three complete sets in the collection shown at the top of page 170, I assume these were sold in sets of four in glassine envelopes. Prior to these listings, I had not seen either design before.


Vintage German Embossed Halloween Decoration Die Cut 1930s SKELETON PLAYING TUBA

What a pleasant surprise to see this exceedingly rare German diecut listed on eBay. It is one of the designs sold to Canada in 1935, so it makes sense the seller is in Canada. There are four diecuts to this desirable set. The others show a skeleton playing a violin, an accordion and a drum. I know of only a handful of collectors who own one or more of this set. The pale blue background, present on all four designs, is very unusual and sets these heavily embossed diecuts apart from others. This listing has only been active for less than one hour and there are already multiple bids. I expect this to fetch serious dollars. It’ll be instructive to see the result.

09/08 Update: This sold for $2,025, about what I felt it should bring. Congrats to the prevailing bidder.

Halloween German RARE Tiara Diadem Diecut JOL Clown Black Cats Antique 1920’s

This German tiara is so minty! Given how they were meant to be used, referenced in the listing itself, this is in surprisingly excellent condition. The Germans made twelve designs comprising a full set during the 1920s. They were marketed as diadems, although tiara has become the way in which these kinds of items are referenced. All designs are rare. Some designs have more oomph to them. In my view this one, the pirate JOL, the cat in a feathered hat and the owl trio are the best.

08/28 Update: This sold for $1125.79.

Vintage 1920-30S Gibson "Wise Up! This is a Party!" Diecut Sign Halloween Owl

Gibson diecuts, once definite also-rans to those made by Dennison and Beistle, have been rapidly escalating in value these past 2 years. Collectors have woken up to their rich colors and designs, their eccentricity and most of all to their scarcity. This is one of my favorite of their diecuts. Few of Gibson’s diecut designs surface regularly, especially not in this condition. I’d love to know how many of each design comprised this drugstore find. Guide value is $175, but since this market segment has moved much faster than I ever expected it to do, I expect the final price to exceed that figure. This was made during the early 1930s.

08/08 Update: This sold for $372.

RARE Vintage Halloween 20s Black Cat Waving Walking Die Cut Germany N. MINT HTF

I love this heavily embossed German diecut. It has so much energy and personality. It’s one you don’t see very often. The bonus is that it is being sold by one of the good guys. The seller is knowledgeable, honest and a true collector in his own right. Don’t hesitate in doing business with him! This particular item appears to be in exceptional condition. I appreciate and value the minimalist description. I wish more sellers would just stick to the basics rather than going on and on in their descriptions. This diecut is “2” on my RSIN and was produced during a short window in the 1920s.

08/06 Update: I’m so glad to see this gem sold for $251.50.

1920's Antique German Halloween Die Cut Candy Box-- Rare & Hard to Find

This is just a poorly married item. Some untalented end-user simply glued a tatty German diecut to a box. The arched-back black cat diecut doesn’t even fit on the box top properly. This seller, one of the earliest collectors on the scene, really should know better. It is disappointing to see this kind of junk listed as something worth collecting. It has decorative value only - nothing approaching the price this seller is dreaming to get.