This scarce witch face lantern was produced by Gibson in 1929, probably for a single season. The lantern was designed to be three-sided and held together by a black circle of construction-type paper with slits that would then slide down the points of the three witch’s hats. (There is a JOL lantern of the same design by Gibson you can see on page 43.)
The Germans produced two variants of this embossed witch face. This is, by far, the rarer of the two. They typically trade for $250 and up, so this result, even given the condition, is surprising. (You can see the other design on page 177.)
This large diecut, made by Beistle from the 1950s into the 1960s, has never gotten the collector love that it deserves. The artwork is excellent and the colors work. Given its size, most of these have substantial wear. This example, not coincidentally priced at SGV of $65, seems to be in exemplary collectible condition.
08/01 Update: I was happy to see that this finished at $91.99.
This is an eye-catching and quite large diecut produced by Beistle during the 1950s and into the early 1960s. It measures a whopping 17.75" high by 12" wide. It isn't particularly hard-to-find, having been made for so many seasons. The guide value is $65, FAR above the price this seller established as a BIN. Since the seller is open to offers, a fair offer would be $65. It is too bad that the seller's eBay handle so aptly describes the price that they so obviously plucked out of thin air.
My good friend has been listing a very nice collection of German diecuts these last few weeks. This has long been one of my favorite of the German designs. The Germans made a head-spinning number of Halloween diecuts for export beginning in the very early 1920s and continuing through about 1950, with a major interruption from about 1935 through 1946. Everything the Germans made for Halloween was exported. Some designs are more common than others. The rarest designs were made for a single season only, 1935, and exported to eastern Canada. Among these designs are the two devil bats, skulls with several varieties of hats, the two crawling baby designs and a Puss'N Boots, among others. This witch face isn't among those rarefied number, but is quite an eye catcher nonetheless. A much rarer variant is offered in my auction this year. The auction's preview period is happening now, with the auction itself beginning this Sunday. Check it out. By the way, you can't go wrong with this seller. She is truly one of the best out there.
This is an interesting listing, being the first time I've ever seen this witch face sparkler attached to a card. Typically, these sparklers were boxed. The card indicates some involvement by the Hale-Nass Corporation of New York, a firm that seems to have been in business from the 1930s through the 1980s. All of the documentation I have seen on this noisemaker says that the iterations made in the US were done by Ranger Steel Products Corporation of New York. I wonder what the connection my be between it and Hale-Nass? This item is quite common and has therefore been assigned a "5" on my Relative Scarcity Index. A flood of reproductions was made in Japan beginning in the 1960s. The ending price of $128.49 is quite high, doubtless driven by the heretofore unknown card.
The buyer of this lot didn't do well for $97. Not only is the witch lantern in the middling stage of decrepitude but the witch sitting atop a pumpkin is not a vintage item. Its level of detailing is quite poor, the paint is wrong and the pumpkin seems smaller than it should be. Also, one of the photos shows the bottom. The ring around the opening is too pristine and the white of the inner wall is far too bright. Unfortunately, this design has been heavily reproduced beginning in the 1990s, a problem with many pulp-based items.
This great tally was made by Hallmark beginning in the later 1920s.
It is heartening to see such a rare item listed on Ebay. The pickings there have been so slim for so many months that seeing this was bracing. I've been a collector and curator of vintage Halloween memorabilia since 1988 and have only seen this Gibson lantern offered for sale one time. I bought it! (You can see it on page 42.) If you collect lanterns, this is a well-designed, interesting example of Gibson's artistry. Don't let this one go!
07/12 Update: And it didn't go quietly or cheaply! It sold for an astounding $493 after much spirited bidding. Although significantly more than current book value, it could be quite a long while before another one surfaces. Kudos to both the seller and the buyer!