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Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

2 - Vintage Halloween Paper Diecut 5” Skulls

Even if these two were in perfect condition, I feel the ending price isn’t sustainable. Of course, the condition of these diecuts is poor overall given that one is missing a chunk and the other has significant general soiling. These skull diecuts were produced by Gibson during the early 1930s. They also made them in white. See page 169.

1930's Vintage Halloween Witch in Cauldron Die Cut - Rare Glow in Dark

This seller comes up with the most wonderful items! It’s nice to see some interesting items popping up on eBay, as there has been too much junk of late. As stated in the listing, this witch falling into a cauldron glow-in-the-dark decoration is a companion piece to the Jitterbug Jones decoration shown on page 293. I don’t know which firm produced this innovative item. I thought I had a photo of the placard that would have been attached to this originally, but I can’t find it. This is the best one (of the three) that I’ve seen for sale. I’ve never seen one in-person - they are that rare. It’ll be fun to see what this fetches. Its RSIN would definitely be a 1.

03/11 Update: Thanks to a fellow collector who may have the only compete example extant, I can relay what is printed on the placard that should be attached to this diecut: “Turn off the light And ghostly bright A grinning skull Glows thru the night.”

03/14 Update: This sold for an eye-popping $960! It wasn’t even complete. Irrational exuberance?

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 Beistle Die-Cut Halloween Skull

The seller is spot-on. This small diecut was made by Beistle. During the early 1950s, Beistle issued a set of eight small diecuts with some unusual imagery. This is one of the eight. (All are shown on page 157.) Items from this set once surfaced more regularly than is the case today. The smoking JOL, the JOL witch and the hooded witch are more avidly sought than the others. Each typically fetches $50-60. 

Awesome - Vintage Beistle Four-Sided Skull Halloween Lantern - 1930's

This four-sided skull lantern was produced by Beistle in the early 1930s. When buying such items, always ensure that the bottom piece is intact (or as this seller writes, "in tack."). They are often missing making it problematic for the lantern to stay standing. Sustainable guide value for one with its bottom piece and with no staining is $125, so this seller is quite an optimist, if not a careful speller. 

Antique Halloween Skull Die Cut Beistle USA 1930'S Human Skull in Cauldron

I can't recall seeing one of these up for sale for many, many years. This skull table decoration with a flip-out base was made by Beistle from 1930-1931. The one in the collection is unmarked, but this one has the diamond mark that was discontinued right around this time. This is a rare item with a sustainable guide value of $375. Given that one hasn't surfaced in some time and the propensity for some collectors to spend foolishly, who knows what this will fetch. I will be watching. 

10/23 Update: As I suspected, this flew right by sustainable guide value, fetching $460. 

Vintage Halloween Pulp Pumpkin JOL Lantern : White Small Skull

The seller is right - this lantern doesn't come up for sale too often. There isn't too much to remember it by. Plain as can be with minimal styling and with no insert ever produced for it, the unknown manufacturer didn't let any corner go uncut. Some collectors like the shock of white this does provide in a display cabinet otherwise dominated by black and orange, but I don't care for this lantern. My records indicate these typically trade in the $300 range - quite a bit for something so ho-hum. 

09/05 Update: As my post indicates, I think this is a remarkably dull piece from what it could have been if produced by a company with a hint of imagination. I'm happy to see it only brought a third of what it has brought in the past. 

Old Vintage 1930s Halloween German Skull and Crossbones with Hat Beret Diecut

I love seeing rare and visually compelling items populating the generally drab Ebay listings - and then to find such an item being sold by a premier seller - just makes the treat that much richer. There were at least two variants the Germans created in the 1930s of their basic skull and crossbones design. One is this one being sold now while the other, with a plume, can be seen on page 178. Both are valuable, with sustainable guide values of $525. 

10/29 Update: The end of the season is drawing near and lots of money has been spent, making the great items listed this late end at relative bargain levels. The buyer scooped this up for a mere $404.99. 

4 VINTAGE 1960's HALLOWEEN Trick or Treat Bags w/Witch/Bats/Children/Skull/JOL

The secondary market has never placed a high value on trick-or-treat bags, I think primarily due to their banal imagery. This one is sure different. There is a lot going on with its undercurrent of scariness. I love the steeple and moon in the background reminiscent of the large, tooth-edged Beistle diecut of a broomed witch shown on page 150. I like the skull in the foreground and the shambling nature of the kids skirting by the old hag. This is a great TorT bag! 

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Early German Embossed Halloween Stand-Up Die-Cut Skull & Crossbones

Who is azpaperlady and where is she getting such rare, wonderful paper items? Will she adopt me? The Germans manufactured these fancy hat skull and crossbones diecuts in at least two variations toward the middle thirties. As with so much of their output at that time, these diecuts primarily headed to Canada. The variant shown in my second edition on page 164 is valued at $400. Given the splendid condition of the diecut being offered for sale (Who cares about the easel?), I feel it should end right around there. 

10/01 Update: The ending price blew right past the forecasted $400 ending price settling at $967.77. This result is one I don't understand since several of these in similar condition have sold over the past year in a narrow range of $375-475. Perhaps it is the excitement engendered by the onset of the season!