Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

1925 SET OF 3 Beistle Nut Cups Honeycomb Favors Baskets RARE VTG Halloween

I feel $1200 is an enormous sum to pay for this trio of favor baskets. Beistle produced four designs of this size from 1927 through 1931. The best design, the witch wearing a dress decorated with skulls, is not amongst this trio. Even at $300 each, the envelope isn’t worth the remaining $300. It might be if it was something to look at, but being a plain glassine envelope limits its appeal and brings the “wow” factor down to nothing.

Beistle Halloween Hallowe'en Place Cards Witch Broom Decoration Envelope 1920s

Beistle issued at least two packaging variations containing these place cards meant to be suspended from the edge of a glass. Both have the same stock number, 584, but one enveloped set contained six place cards whereas this one contained ten place cards. However, both should contain an assortment, whereas the set on offer here contains all witches. A proper assortment would contain three designs - a witch, a black cat and a ghost. 


Vintage Orig. 1923 "Halloween Party Decorations" 30 Pcs. Beistle Co. Org. Env.

Beistle made three iterations of their 1923 party set: boxed, enveloped and in a booklet form. (The latter was produced with both orange pages and white pages. The color of the pages doesn't seem to impact value.) The boxed and enveloped sets are quite a bit harder to find than the booklet form. The envelopes of the enveloped set are nearly always in poor shape, as was this example. Still, it nearly reached SGV of $400. 

Vintage Halloween Catalog "Dennison's Bogie Book" 1915 w/Mailing Envelope

This listing featuring both the 1915 Dennison Bogie Book itself plus the exceedingly rare 1915 enclosure is the third time this has surfaced within about seven months. Guide value for the duo is $775. The duo listed in July 2016 fetched ~$838. The duo listed in August 2016 fetched ~$810. Comparing condition of the two from last year to this one, this is in third place, the least best. Both the envelope and the Bogie Book have much more wear showing. SGV is $775, but the condition here may work against this listing from achieving that sustainable level. It'll be fun to see where this ends. 

03/14 Update: As I suspected, this set in fair condition ended well below SGV - at $556.99. Condition is so important that there was almost a 33% decline in the money this brought compared to the only previous two examples sold on eBay. 

Old Vintage BEISTLE - HALLOWEEN HATS - Envelope/Wrapper - Halloween Party

Lavishly decorated envelopes like this one was one way that Beistle differentiated themselves from their competitors in the marketplace. Nice as these envelopes were, most end-consumers tossed them after liberating the contents, hence the rarity of finding one for sale. Even though this one survived through the decades, it wasn't like it looked like Dorian Gray after the journey. This one was, as the seller aptly described it, in poor condition and the ending price reflected that. If one in perfect condition was to surface, I have no doubt it would have brought up to 10 times what this one did. 

Antique Original 1915 Dennison's Bogie Book Halloween Decorations w/ Envelope

When it rains it pours! Funny how things work. When I bought the one in the collection 3-4 years ago I had never seen one before in any reference or in any collection. One was listed a few weeks ago and now this third one has surfaced. The set that ended recently sold for a reasonable $838 but the enclosure was in arguably lesser condition. 

09/18 Update: This sold for $809.99. The sustainable value tracks closely with guide value of $775 for both items - the Bogie Book itself and the exceedingly rare enclosure. 

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.) 

Original Dennison Cat Head Seals Screaming Cat Face Halloween

Most Beistle packaging is coveted and hard to come by. The earliest packaging is less interesting as Beistle hadn't yet added the detailed artwork that festooned the most sought after variety. This is an early enveloped set as there is nothing to it except the simplest of descriptions and an example of the contents glued to the front. Even so, the seller would have garnered far more than the $20 that was obtained if they had run this as an auction rather than an ill-advised BIN event. 

Vintage Halloween Witch Party Pin The Tail Style Game w/ Envelope 1913 RARE!

I've seen this game several times in nearly 30 years of collecting and each and every time the envelope is barely holding together. The manufacturer must have used the cheapest, least durable paper stock possible. The contents of the game typically are fine, but the envelope is always chipping and separating. I swear even looking at one causes it to degrade. 

HTF Beistle Mechanical Bat & Hoot Owl Diecut Decorations in Original Envelope

If this is an example of the delights that await us all in late 2015 when this seller begins to sell in earnest, them I am chomping at the bit! What makes this exceptional, of course, is its condition. Just look at it! I have two envelopes in the collection, one shown on page 145 and one on page 219. Neither one is identical to the one being sold here. (It is interesting that there were at least three variations.) In any event, these sellers are top-notch. I wish many other Ebay sellers would take a page out of this seller's playbook in that they supply many high-quality photos, have razor-sharp descriptions and stand by their merchandise. I have been one of their customers and can personally attest that they'll treat you right. Significantly better than the set in the collection, I may very well be a bidder!