Blog

Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Antique German Halloween Devil Jack-O-Lantern, Compo Nose, Ears & Horns--Great!

I’ve never been particularly attracted to lanterns, but this would be one that would have a place of some honor amongst any collection. As with retailers today spanning the spectrum from Dollar Tree to Nordstrom, back in the 1920s there were the dime stores at the low end where most holiday goods were sold and posh retailers at the high end selling such things as this lantern. The Durante proboscis, the add-on horns and those ears all differentiate this from the garden-variety lantern. The seller is a collector well-known for his vintage Christmas collection and expertise. It will be fun to see what this somewhat sizable lantern fetches.

04/09 Update: This brought $1,862.87.

Smiling Jack-O-Lantern Face Vintage German Halloween Candy Container; Mint!

It was refreshing to see such a high-quality item appear on eBay. This genre of item is among my favorites. (Check out pages 58-60 to see the items in the collection.) These were made from 1916-1921. They seldom surface in such nice condition. There is an identical design made in a slightly larger format that you can see on page 59. The ending price was right where I expected it to be.

Antique German Halloween candy container Witch on cat TINY!

This great seller rightly states that most such German compo items were cheaply made and cheaply sold so the molding isn’t the finest. That said, some were very finely cast indeed. Those items were expensive then (~1910-1914, then late teens through the mid-30s) and command quite a premium today. For what this is, the result is quite pleasing. The witch looks comfortable as she sits on a sturdy black cat with an enormous spring tail. This would have a home in any respectable collection. I do wonder if the candy box is original to the piece.

02/19 Update: I thought this would bring more than it did - $227.50.

1930 GERMAN HALLOWEEN CARDBOARD TIN HORN WHISTLE NOISEMAKER SCARY FAIRY TALES

I suspect this item is a recently made fantasy piece. The graphics are unknown and don’t correspond to anything I’ve seen on unquestionably genuine German horns. Look at the only photo the seller provided of the horn’s interior. Although the bottom rim is splotchy, the interior is pristine and is constructed differently than any unquestionably genuine German horn I’ve seen. This reeks of a recently made fantasy item.

1930s German Bisque Figurine Scared Child carrying a Pumpkin excellent 3 1/4"

There were a number of different cold-painted bisque items produced in the early 1930s by the Germans with a Halloween theme. These figurines have become quite popular with Halloween collectors over the last ~5 years. I used to see them with some frequency, but that day has passed. I’ll have two such figurines in my annual auction held in May. One has perfect paint - like it was purchased and immediately stored away. If you’ve purchased my reference book from me directly, please ensure that I have your contact information, so that notifications about the auction can be sent in April. The auction is only open to those who have purchased a copy of the third edition of Vintage Halloween Collectibles from me directly.

01/24 Update: This great item sold for $70.

Vtg RARE German 1920s HALLOWEEN Porcelain PUMPKIN FACE JOL CANDY CONTAINER Jar

This exceedingly rare double vase certainly went for a lot of money, mainly due to my bidding. I was the underbidder, actually content not to have had to pay my top bid of $3215.15. I placed the bid, thinking there may be a very few collectors more crazed than I who would pay such money. I was right. Although I would liked to have it as part of the collection, in the final analysis, the price was too high, so I was not unhappy to have been outbid. Congrats to whomever the prevailing bidder was.

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!

IMG_E2521.JPG
Tea1a.jpg

"EXCEEDINGLY RARE"--MINI-- EARLY 1930'S GERMAN HEAVY EMBOSSED OWL-GREAT ITEM

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.

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.)

Vintage German Halloween Pumpkin Jar

If I were to sell my collection, this segment of the market - the German porcelain Halloween tea set and its sundry assorted delights - would be the last to go. Made in two grand phases, 1908 through 1913 by Craemer & Heron, then by unknown manufacturers from 1913 through 1932, the diversity of their designs delights me. I’ve never seen this handled jug. The price paid was hefty, but there surely are a mere handful of these in existence, especially in this pristine condition. Check out pages 119-121 to see some very rare examples indeed.

RARE Vintage Halloween DEVIL Tiara Diadem Diecut Decoration. Germany 1930s

This seller has four of the better tiara designs listed for sale right now. Overall, condition seems to be quite good. The Germans issued these as a set of 12 during the 1920s. I feel individual designs were also sold separately. Given the recent sale wherein another tiara design brought an unsustainable price of $1608.14, I felt we'd be seeing others flushed out by the frenzy generated by a relative handful of determined, deep-pocketed bidders. What I didn't expect was to see some of the best and rarest designs being offered is such fine condition. The Halloween market seems to be too frothy right now. It'll be interesting to see what prices these tiaras bring on September 3rd. 

09/04 Update: The devil tiara brought $790. The seller's other three tiaras brought $1782.12, $1982.12 and $2182.12. These are astounding sums. I will sell any of my tiaras - I own all 12 - for an average of these last three prices! :) 

Halloween JACK-O-LANTERN Pumpkin Wastebowl with Face German Childs Tea set

If I had to select one segment of the vintage Halloween collectibles market that I love the best, the German porcelain items would be my choice. They are getting harder to find with each passing year - probably true of most great items. The Germans were stupefyingly creative in coming up with fairly outlandish items to supplement the basics like the teapot, creamer, lidded sugar, cups and waste bowls. (Check out pages 119-121 to see what I mean.) This is a somewhat better than basic piece since some waste bowls are faceless. Made from 1908-1932, this little gem was made at a later point in that range given the mark. SGV is $150.