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Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

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? 

VINTAGE BLACK SQUIRREL OWL MOON HALLOWEEN DIE CUT EMBOSSED DECORATION USA

Beistle made the 12 diecuts from this series for many years beginning in 1932. One of the ways to tell if a diecut from this series is an earlier pressing is from the depth of the embossing. This diecut's embossing appears deep and prominent indicating it was made early in the run. Does this affect value? I think in a general sense, yes, but not dramatically so. 

26 Inch Antique German DIE CUT HALLOWEEN Embossed Pumkin Head Man with Saxophone

This huge heavily embossed German diecut was one of two designs made in such a large form factor. I have yet to see one without bends or creases to the legs. Because they all had easels, they will all have a staple to the face. My feeling is that these were made as store displays to call attention to the no-doubt many German diecuts the retailer had in stock during the later 1920s. Although both designs bring strong dollars, the female cat example typically brings stronger dollars. Both can be seen on page 187. 

05/09 Update: This sold for $530, significantly lower than I would have forecast.