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.
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.
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."
I have trouble wrapping my head around this result - especially given the condition.
Beistle first issued this design in the early/mid 1960s. They reissued it in the very late 1960s printed on both sides. These reissues have about 50% of the value of the first issue, or about $25 if in near-mint or better condition.
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.
This is one of the diecuts Beistle made few of near the end of their long creative run. It is hard enough to find that I don't have one in the collection. I am not surprised by the price.
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."
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!
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.
Be aware that someone bought this complete diecut at a dime store than decided it would be cool to cut out portions of the eyes and cover them with crepe paper. Dennison, which began making this diecut in 1927, did not issue this diecut this way. If you decide to purchase this, it would not have any collectible value.
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.
Beistle produced this broomed witch diecut in the early 1920s. These were sold in assorted enveloped sets similar to the ones shown on page 147. The diecut is made from a light construction paper stock and is non-embossed. This is a classic Beistle design and I am not surprised that even with the flaws, this item brought a respectable price.