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Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Vintage Halloween EMBOSSED DIECUT LANTERN - GERMANY - 1920's - RARE & NEAR MINT!

This wonderful seller is doing it again - offering a rarely seen item in fantastic condition! This is a large lantern made in Germany during the 1920s. As I write on page 118, “This is an imposing lantern due to its sheer size and detailing, measuring 16” h x 8.25” w.” I think the seller is smart not to attempt to construct the lantern simply for the sake of photos. These things are nearly 100 years old! I treasure the one in the collection, and know you’ll treasure this, too!

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.

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.

Vintage German Diecut Embossed Halloween Bat Decoration Very Good Condition NR

This is a nicely designed 1920s diecut. The Germans made few bat designs and this is the largest I know of. The Germans were proud crafters - just look at the detailing of this smallish diecut. Condition is pretty high. I appreciate the seller began this treasure at a modest $29.99. As of this writing, it has been bid up to $111. Sustainable guide value is $150.

SCARCE 1920's Embossed Halloween Jack o' Lantern Pirate Diecut Decoration

This seller priced this too low. This large pirate JOL face diecut was on eBay for only a few minutes before it was gone. (I saw it and clicked to buy it but it was already gone.) The seller referenced my book, pointing out that smaller yet similar ones appeared on page 181, yet oddly priced this at ~half of sustainable guide value. If it would have been listed with an auction format, I know it would have brought many more dollars.

Vintage Heavy Embossing Pulp Cat in Costume Halloween Decoration Germany 15.5"

I’m glad to see this not uncommon diecut garner such strong dollars, certainly due to its condition. I recently acquired a near-mint German fence diecut complete with four figures. This diecut is quite long, about 28” or so. It is exceedingly rare. I’ve looked for one for years, but never found one good enough to be part of the collection. I finally found one being sold along with many other fine things out of an old collection near Philadelphia. Its acquisition has caused me to begin planning for a massive overhaul of two large walls currently covered with diecuts. My intention is to deaccession about one-third of my German diecuts, keeping only the rarest and those in the very best condition. The overhaul will be a big chore, one that I haven’t been eager to start. When it is done, I think I’ll gain more satisfaction from having fewer diecuts spread a little farther apart. So, stay tuned. I’ll be selling lots of German diecuts in a few months.

Rare Halloween German Antique Diecut Witch 2 piece 3D effect Black Cat Crow 9”

It’s heartening to see rare diecuts like this surface amongst the vast array of crapola that has largely become eBay. I first saw this diecut when I acquired one for the collection in September 2015. I think it was amongst the designs made in 1935 for export to Canada. It is quite an eye-catcher with the white hair. The use of a crow is also unusual. As I type this, the price has been bid up to $392.79. I expect it to go much higher. Good luck!

06/12 Update: I felt this should have brought more. It ended at $1,312.

Very Fine Vintage Halloween Devil Bat Die Cut German Germany

The Germans were known to make subtle variations in their later diecuts. Notice how the teeth differ from the example shown on page 136. There are other variations as well. Can you spot them? This is arguably the most visually arresting design the Germans produced. I count this design amongst my very favorites. I’ve seldom seen a better example.

05/30 Update: This sold for $2,376.

"EXCEEDINGLY RARE"--MINI-- EARLY 1930'S GERMAN HEAVY EMBOSSED OWL-GREAT ITEM

Wow, the eBay listings now are an embarrassment of riches after a long drought of mainly common, lower-end items. The various German mini-diecut sets are amongst my favorite to collect. The artistry in such small form factors always amazes. Look at this owl managing to look angry and befuddled at the same time. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen this item. The condition is as amazing as the seller, who has my full confidence. Others from this set can be found on page 185.

Antique Halloween Beistle Arched Black Cat Die Cut

I sometimes shake my head at these results. What are people thinking? This diecut surfaces regularly and typically sells for about half of this ending price. Looking at the bidding history, as is almost always in such cases, the sky-high result is due to two determined bidders. Although I am VERY happy for the seller, one of the best on eBay, my counsel to collectors - especially newer ones - is to take a breather and use a service like eSnipe so as to guard against getting caught up in auction fever. Results like this heighten my fear that my long-time hobby is getting too expensive for the typical collector. 

H E Luhrs Embossed Halloween Crow Decoration 1940 Beistle Company

I had to chuckle when this seller states with bravado that this crow diecut "is unmistakably an H E Luhrs creation." Not only has the possessive gone missing, but the assertion is, in fact, mistakenly made. As you, my faithful readers know, this is a heavily embossed diecut made in Germany during the 1920s. It has nothing to do with Beistle or Luhrs. 

1930s Halloween Pressed Cardboard Skeleton Head decoration

Here is an excellent example of a rookie seller leaving quite a bit of money on the proverbial table. This exceedingly rare German diecut was offered for the pittance of $98. SGV is $525. The Germans made a common skull and crossbones diecut without a hat, and at least two variants with hats. (The other can be seen on page 178.) Both of the hatted skulls are really tough to find, especially in the decent shape this offering appears to be in. Why wouldn't the seller have simply listed this in the auction format?