Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.


This seller, like most people these days, has a tenuous grasp of history. The listing states that the candy container, with a West Germany mark on the bottom, was made in the 1920s. The Federal Republic of Germany, more commonly known as West Germany, was founded in May of 1949. This candy container almost certainly dates to the 1950s, but certainly does not date to the 1920s. Candy containers and other German made items manufactured after WWII have little value relative to their older brethren. The seller lists this with a BIN of $225. The more probable value is $85-100. 


I am disappointed that this seller doesn't define his use of the word, "vintage." This cat head lantern was made in Germany during the 1950s. The mark on the lantern's bottom, "Container Made in Germany," tells us the general manufacturing date. The Germans only used this mark during that decade. So, is something made during the 1950s vintage? In some cases, use of this generic term to describe something made during that time is probably not inappropriate. However, given the price difference in German lanterns made during the 1920s and those made during or after the 1950s, this seller should take care to define the word. This lantern typically fetches between $55-$95, depending on the enthusiasm of the bidders. Its value doesn't come close to the BIN price. 

Rare German Vintage Composition Halloween Black Cat Candy Container 3 3/4" Tall

I perused all of the Halloween listings this seller placed on Ebay over these last several months and was struck by how each and every one of them either featured well-known fantasy items or items that were made in the later 1950s and forward. Notice how elliptical the seller is relative to what is the working definition of "vintage" in this particular listing. The fact of the matter is that this rather drab container was not made prior to the later 1950s, and could have been made as late as the early 1970s. Even so, the BIN price of $59.95 isn't unreasonable. Just be sure of what you are buying. Items such as these don't command high prices and perhaps never will, as the workmanship just isn't present compared to German composition candy containers made from the mid-teems through the mid-1930s.