Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

My German Porcelain Collection

Someone asked me to post photos of my German porcelain collection. It is probably my favorite segment of the vintage Halloween market. It has taken me 30 years to gather together these wonderful items. Enjoy!



Tom and Deb C, aka stnick22, are long-time collectors who typically shower us collectors with a cascade of vintage goods auctions around this time. There are a number of their 88 lots that I hope to add to the collection, but thankfully I already own this incredibly rare set. I bought it sight unseen over the phone many years ago from a famous dealer in Chicago named Bindy Bitterman. (Bindy even made a cameo in the fairly recent documentary on the now-famous street photographer, Vivian Maier.) I discovered Bindy had two complete sets from long-time collector and publisher of the not-forgotten Boo News, Dawn Kroma. Even though the photos accompanying this auction are super, they don’t do the individual pieces justice. The pieces are really beautiful. Frankly, this is THE party set to own. I’ve only seen a handful come up for sale in 30 years. The last complete set sold for ~$2300 some years ago now, but in a very tatty box. I can’t wait to see what this stellar example fetches.


Wow, the eBay listings now are an embarrassment of riches after a long drought of mainly common, lower-end items. The various German mini-diecut sets are amongst my favorite to collect. The artistry in such small form factors always amazes. Look at this owl managing to look angry and befuddled at the same time. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen this item. The condition is as amazing as the seller, who has my full confidence. Others from this set can be found on page 185.

Incredible Beistle Halloween Spooky Tree Wall Decoration

It is nice to see a truly rare item listed on eBay. This is a large and imposing diecut! Here is what I have to say about this superb diecut in my third edition, made at the zenith of Beistle's creative powers: “A touch of mystery swirls around this object. All the catalogs I have examined, Beistle publications and the many ones put out by wholesalers over the years, indicate this embossed diecut was sold as one of a set of four. There were five large diecuts with scalloped edges made beginning in the early 1930s. (The other four can be seen in Diecuts.) Some catalogs show that at times this skeleton in the graveyard was sold with the seated cat while others show it was at times sold with the arched-back cat. The others, owl and broomed witch, remain constants. The point is that the skeleton in the graveyard is itself a constant in these publications, so why doesn’t it ever turn up?” Look at how the branches of the Wizard of Oz-like trees end in creatures. Dark and creepy! 

09/21 Update: A long-time collector snatched this up for $2500. I think he did very well indeed.

Antique Vintage Rare Halloween Witch Hat Aleinmuller

I have seen a handful of Aleinmuller hats for sale during the last 30 years but all save this one had significant condition issues. The paper used was of thin stock that simply hasn’t worn well through the decades. Most of the time there are significant chunks missing, major tears and/or creasing. This Aleinmuller hat is in the best condition I’ve ever seen. Hats like this are hard to display unless you have ample wall space - something I no longer have - so it isn’t for me. However, if you’ve coveted a colorful, busy Aleinmuller design, you mustn’t let this hat escape your grasp.


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.

RARE Vintage Halloween nut cup party decoration

This is a very intriguing item. I have never seen it, or anything similar, before. I am curious as to the purpose of the holes punched in the base. What was this item designed to hold that such venting holes would be required? (If a reader has a theory - like Ross Perot - I’m all ears.) The imagery is super. I especially like the rare graveyard scene. (Graveyard scenes are surprisingly uncommon in the overall iconography of vintage Halloween.) I got a kick out of the directness of the seller when stating, “This is not a grand showpiece, but an interesting piece nonetheless considering it’s a rarity.” AMEN to that! I would love to have this as part of the collection, but the condition is too rough for me.

Halloween German Owl Accordian Decoration

I love that this fine seller included a photo of the 1920s German hangers she has in her collection. She is selling the owl with black accordion paper. I have never seen the JOL and the Brownie before. I once had a small collection of these but found them too challenging to display. (Anything part of the collection must be displayed - a primary rule for me.)

New Lantern Design From Tim Ramzyk of Pulp Novelties!

Wow! I just received Tim Ramzyk's 2018 Halloween pulp lantern, The Goblin, and LOVE it! As you know, it is rare that I tout anything but vintage items on this blog, but take a look at this captivating and unsettling lantern.

Tim is a Wisconsin-based artist who meticulously and painstakingly hand molds his own designs from a heavy, durable material. Including this year's true treat, The Goblin ($120), he has 6 designs in limited quantities at price points that are in a few words, way too cheap! The other designs are Nosferatu the Vampire ($120), The Witch ($110), The Skull ($110), The JOL ($90) and The Black Cat ($90).  He has just a handful of The Black Cat left. Tim tells me that once they're gone the design will be retired.

I am in awe at the workmanship and the true craft Tim brings to pulp design. I proudly have now five of his treasures on exhibit in my main display room. (For those who I've been lucky to host at my home, you know that in order for something to be placed in that room, it has to carry its own weight. These do, easily.) 

Having seen the meticulousness of these wondrous and limited edition objects, I can surely say the prices cited above are way too cheap. (Hurry, order quickly before Tim comes to his senses and raises them!) By the way, Tim numbers each of his creations, but better yet, impresses his seal into the base of each lantern. (Check out the last photo to see the impressed seal.)

For those who know me, you know that I rarely buy anything Halloween unless it is vintage. I've made an exception - and you should too. Snap these up before they are ALL GONE by contacting Tim directly at He began listing his awesome creations yesterday on Etsy. Tim tells me that he plans to sell any and all Halloween designs only through the third week in October, or until his castings for this year are depleted, whichever comes first.


The Goldbergs On ABC Halloween Episode 10/24

Key production personnel on this long-running ABC comedy are lovers of vintage Halloween memorabilia. I was recently contacted to give formal permission for them to “…copy and enlarge collected decorations from the book Vintage Halloween Collectibles 3rd Edition…” I happily signed the “Props/Set Dressing/Artwork/Wardrobe Release” and have been told that whatever they harvested will be shown on The Goldbergs Halloween show scheduled to air on Wednesday, October 24th. I’ll be watching!

When A Listing Has Ended.....

eBay is trying to make it harder for interested parties to see details of finished listings. 

eBay's latest trick is to show you a completely different item than the finished item you clicked on. If you want details of finished listings or if you have clicked on a finished listing directly from my site, follow these instructions when the completely different active item pops up:  

At the top of the page showcasing the different active item you will see in a text block this wording, "The listing you’re looking for has ended." 

At the right of this text block, simply click on the "View Original Item" button. 

That's all there is to it!