Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Vintage Metal Halloween Noisemaker Snaggletooth Witch 8"

You can confidently date this long-produced gypsy witch clanger to the 1950s. How? Earlier versions used wood balls for both sides. As with all tin litho manufacturers, T. Cohn had to find a way to compete in the cutthroat 1950s thanks to an onslaught of cheaply made Japanese products. One of their cost saving measures was to replace the wood balls with these unattractive flat-stamped pieces of tin. I prefer the earlier versions.

Vintage Halloween Witch Pumpkins Tin Noise Maker w Red Wood Handle T Cohn Nice!

This 1930s tin litho noisemaker is fairly common. What makes this example of this T. Cohn item different and somewhat more desirable are the colors. This is normally seen in black, orange and white. The use of green is powerful and really makes the design pop. SGV for this item is $25, but I could see this bringing somewhat north of this price point. 

04/08 Update: This sold for $29.99. 

Vintage Halloween Tin Litho Tambourine Noisemaker T. Conn

This seller obtained very nice results across the board for his tin litho offerings, a genre that has been flickering back to life. This tambourine is quite rare. I've been wanting to acquire one for the collection, but this one escaped my scrutiny as I was traveling. Produced by T. Cohn during the 1930s, this design has that motion and energy the best Art Deco designs were meant to convey. 

Vintage Halloween Themed Mechanical Noisemaker Toy

This great siren noisemaker was made by T. Cohn during the 1950s. There aren't that many tin litho siren designs relative to clangers, ratchets and shakers, and this is arguably the best one. The form is compact, the design creatively takes advantage of the space available and the siren is LOUD! Generally, these have become silent over the decades, but the seller describes this as fully functional. Working examples come up rarely, and the seller started this at a reasonable price using the auction format. Sustainable guide value is $80. 

11/03 Update: I suspected this would bring strong dollars as it was in beautiful condition and described as fully functional. But the predominant factor is the ending price of $154.50 was that one hadn't been offered for awhile. With a cadre of impatient collectors these days, people want their collectibles now. If several were to surface within relatively close proximity to one another, the price would settle at its sustainable level of ~$80. 


Given how cool and early this design by T. Cohn is, I've long been surprised that the marketplace doesn't more highly value this hard-to-find noisemaker. This looks to be in superb, all-original condition. Sustainable guide value is $145. 

10/04 Update: Someone bought a great item from a great seller for a reasonable price, $135.83. 

Vintage Halloween Tambourine - U.S. Toy Co. - Jack-O'-Lantern with Witch

Too bad there is so much rust on this rare tambourine, one of the better designs out there. This Art Deco inspired noisemaker was manufactured by T. Cohn of Brooklyn, New York, sometime during the 1930s. It has an RSIN of 2, so you know it doesn't surface often. Guide value in near-perfect condition is $375, but I doubt this well-loved piece will approach that figure. 

1940 Halloween Tambourine Vintage T. Conn Witch on Pumpkin 6 Inch Diameter

I was surprised at this listing. The seller is someone who was one of the earliest collectors of vintage Halloween memorabilia - a true trailblazer. When I was a fresh-faced collector in 1988, this seller was already an old hand at the hobby. This seller is savvy, so I was surprised that she offered this rare tambourine at such a bargain. (That this was a bargain is demonstrated by just how quickly some lucky buyer snapped this up.) Also, she should know that there was no such firm called T. Conn making these items. It is T. Cohn.