Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

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.


Rare Vintage Dennison Halloween "Eats" Party Sign with Witch - 1930's

Here’s another rare and wonderful item from the same great seller referenced below auctioning the witch falling into cauldron decoration. This is one of my favorite Dennison diecuts for several reasons: the colors are arresting, the design is clever for a relatively compact wall hanging and it nicely demonstrates just how ephemeral such decorations were meant to be at the time of their production. I mean, who would have thought to keep a sign so clearly meant for a party showing the way to the best part of any gathering? This was sold with the odd stock number of H667 1/2. Condition is fine as the diecut is whole with bright colors and minimal creasing.

03/14 Update: This sold for an eye-popping $667.


Beistle produced three large witch diecuts during the late 1950s. Each is extraordinarily difficult to find in collectible condition. This one seems to be in exceptional condition, making the purchase price a relative bargain in these days of an overheated paper market. Look on page 159 to see the other mates to this diecut. My favorite is the one in the middle with the worn soles. It is also the one that eluded my grasp for the longest time.

Vtg HTF Dennison? Beistle? Die Cut Spider`s Web 1950's HALLOWEEN Made in USA

This incomplete diecut was produced by Beistle during the 1950s. It was one of a set of four they produced during the mid-1950s. Missing is the spider made from black construction paper. (The others comprising the full set can be seen on page 158.) As I write, "Having an item like this spider separately attached to a diecut is unusual. More labor is required and the chance for defects increases the risk of returns. This may account for the mere three season run this diecut enjoyed." 


It would be nice if this desirable and exceedingly rare diecut would be in better condition. (When I first began collecting 30 years ago, lots of dealers referred to diecuts as "die casts." Having this seller use the term was a real throwback for me.) This unembossed party sign was produced by Gibson during the 1930s. As with so many of their products, it is unmarked but the use of the slanted exclamation point is a telltale sign of Gibson's parentage. I've seen this diecut 2-3 times over the decades, so it is a great one to have if you like Gibson. (I love Gibson products!) SGV is $250 for one in near-perfect condition. RSIN is 1. 

04/02 Update: This sold for $304. 

Antique Dennison,"Hallo' Inn" Die Cut

The crop this season of rare vintage items has been smaller overall than in many years past, so it is nice to see such a coveted and elusive diecut surface. As with many firms, Dennison was hard hit by the Great Depression. Their overall output was significantly lessened by the time this wonderful item was produced from 1930-1932. Not many were made and not many have survived the long journey through time. I know of VERY few collectors that own one of these. I do not. I struggle with whether to buy rare items with condition issue, and this falls in the "what should I do" zone. The SGV is $325, but since one of these hasn't surfaced in any venue I know of for nearly a decade, the sky's the limit.

10/26 Update: The stratosphere was reached with this rare diecut fetching $938.88.  


This diecut, produced by Beistle during the 1940s, doesn't surface as much as it once did. Part of a set that was middling in inspiration, this is a fun, memorable image. The condition of it makes me surprised that it brought as much as it did. As this poor JOL may have discovered, "Be true to your teeth or they'll be false to you." 

VINTAGE 1920's Dennison HALLOWEEN Arched Back Black Cat Die-Cut Decoration

Here is a true "this makes no sense" result. This smallish diecut, measuring only ~10" high, was made by Dennison during the early 1920s and is quite common. The SGV on a very good day is ~$35. As with nearly all such head-shaking results, this completely errant ending price was the result of two bidders putting in stratospheric flanking bids surely complacent in their belief that no sane person would ever use a similar strategy. SURPRISE! The seller, a true sweetheart who seems to have an inexhaustible supply of interesting small paper items, surely must be tickled by the folly of some eBayers, especially considering that she sold a nearly identical diecut, just significantly larger, minutes later for a comparatively paltry $43.77. As Herb Morrison once said, Oh, the humanity!

Vintage Halloween Witch Riding Black Cat Diecut by Dennison C1920s-1930s

This non-embossed diecut with an energetic air was produced by Dennison and first appeared in their 1928 Price List pamphlet. Dennison had an unusual design aesthetic starting in 1928 and continuing through the very early 1930s. They ditched their fairy motif and adopted almost a Deco look with lots of movement implied in the design. The colors they used for their boxed items made at this time tended to be brighter with a very playful, non-threatening air. Dennison items made at this item are typically hard-to-find. The Depression settled in by early 1930, affecting most businesses. Dennison was no exception. They produced fewer but cooler new  designs during this period than in the previous 4-5 seasons, and in smaller quantities. This diecut falls into this category. Relatively few were made, meaning that few are available today in collectible condition. 

10/16 Update: Surprisingly, this fetched only $51. Whomever acquired this got a true bargain. 

1920's Rare Beistle Devil Diecut, Jointed

It is satisfying to see some real treasures amongst the dross that makes up this eBay category! I have seen this non-embossed diecut come available only a handful of times in my nearly 30 years of collecting. This diecut was produced by Beistle during the mid-1920s. There is a somewhat slightly more common variant Beistle produced without the tail, but I find it less interesting. The condition issues the seller conscientiously notes aren't concerning. If you appreciate iconic Beistle imagery, don't let this great piece slip by. I like the design so much I've included it in the Inner Sanctum section of the 3rd edition with a guide value of $325-375. 

09/05 Update: This sold for an astounding $922! Looking at the bidding history, there were at least 7 different bidders who pushed it beyond guide value, indicating that that value may be much too low.