Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.


This box of seals seems pristine. Given that the seller didn’t state otherwise, I assume all 20 seals were extant. Although the selling price is excessive, Dennison products from this period are truly scarce. Beginning around 1928 and continuing through the early 1930s, Dennison’s design aesthetic took a sharp turn away from what it had been. Instead, a playful, Art Deco vibe was adopted along with vibrant colors. Products from this period are among the best things Dennison produced. This box was sold with stock number H921.


There are several Dennison boxed seals sets that have a black background and that aren’t found in any Dennison references. Admittedly, I’ve been too busy lately to do an exhaustive search, but I haven’t found this design referenced in any of my Dennison Bogies, Price List pamphlets, etc. The design is interesting but not as intricate as their earlier ones, so the ending price was quite the surprise - probably for the prevailing bidder, too.


Some boxed Gibson seals have recently sold for significantly more than SGV. Owls have never commanded the highest prices in seemingly any of the vintage Halloween genres, and this was no exception. The hammer came down almost precisely at the SGV. Although complete Gibson boxed sets are significantly harder to find than many of the Dennison boxed sets, the latter typically command high dollars. Gibson's production was more limited as was their distribution. Not helping the secondary market for Gibson's boxed sets is that their art was, by and large, pedestrian and uninspired. 

Antique Vintage Halloween Black Cat Seals in Box Gibson Art Company c1920s

This beautiful box of seals was produced by Gibson during the 1920s. Gibson's output was significantly less than their arch-competitor, Dennison, and, sadly, their distribution network was similarly circumscribed. Hence, today it is difficult to find Gibson boxed sets - and even more difficult to find such a clean and nearly complete box. My operating theory is that vintage Halloween paper (aside from napkins, table cloths and the like) will continue its rapid ascent, so if you like this genre, snap this one up. If you wish to see an extensive array of Gibson boxed sets, please refer to pages 264-265. 

10/22 Update: This fetched a strong $150.50. 

Rare SET Of 1920'S 7 Vintage BEISTLE Halloween BROOMED WITCH Gummed SEALS

This seller has flooded eBay with listings these last few days. Although I love seeing new items, rather than the high percentage of retreads choking eBay, I wish this seller could get a handle on how to properly load photos. Only a small percentage of her items have photos that show as thumbnails when searching by category. This will surely hurt the overall returns expected from the listings. 

Vtg Halloween Flying Witch Seals Stickers In Tiny Box Like Dennison Fabulous!

This small box of seals was produced by Whitney during the 1920s. The market leader for such boxed seals was Dennison by a wide margin, followed by Gibson and their simpler yet somewhat quirkier designs. Whitney was definitely out of their element in making these sets. The art is flat and uninteresting. They rarely marked these boxes, whether out of shame or expediency I cannot say. Dennison boxed sets were produced in relatively high numbers and had a national distribution. Gibson less so and Whitney even less so. Although hard to find, especially complete, these typically change hands for around $100 per box, so the buyer paid a premium here. 

Vintage Halloween Dennison Seals

This is an awesome set of rare Dennison seals. The seller is correct - these first appeared in Dennison's 1924 Bogie Book. There were two leaf designs - one smiling and one frowning. Both were sold with stock number H684. Sustainable guide value is $180. I have not seen a full box of these offered for sale for many years. It'll be fun to see what they fetch. 

10/06 Update: This great set brought an eyebrow-arching $511.23. The prevailing bidder must have wanted the set VERY badly, as this price probably won't be seen again. 

Vtg Box of 12 Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Gummed Seals/Stickers USA Gibson Art 1920

I was glad to see this box of early 1920s JOL seals sell for what it did. Even without a photo showing the reverse of the box to see the factory marking indicating how many seals were originally sold as a set, and the general scruffiness of the box and seals, this early Gibson boxed product brought a respectable $30. Although I like Dennison boxed sets more, all else being equal, it is much harder to find Gibson boxed sets, especially complete ones. The market has been slow to recognize the value of Gibson boxed products although this has been changing over the last 2-3 seasons. 


Gibson produced this stunning seal design in the early 1920s. Much of Gibson's output in this boxed genre is fun but one-dimensional compared to the more thought-through designs Dennison typically released. (That said, I love the Gibson boxed products. They are much harder to find - and that makes the hunt all the more fun. Overall, I think they are currently under-valued in the market.) This design is an obvious exception. A sister design is shown at the upper left on page 264. Both are killer! Guide value for a full box of 20 seals is $250. This box had 8-10 damaged seals and an unfortunate blemish on the packaging. Therefore, the result seems right.