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Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Vintage Halloween German Minature Tea Set Saucer Early 1900’s

Here’s a great item worth having. The Germans made a line of porcelain Halloween-themed tea set pieces in three sizes from 1908-1932. This green leaf saucer should measure 3.25” in diameter, and would have been made for their smallest tea set size. An otherwise identical pattern in orange was also made. Please refer to pages 119-121 for other items from these desirable sets.

10/15/Update: This sold for $392.77, quite strong considering a cup and saucer set sold the same day from the same seller for $421.

Halloween Handled Small Tea Cup with Saucer Germany 1908-1932 JOL Face

Over the three decades I’ve been collecting vintage Halloween, various market segments have waxed and waned. Prices for tin have decreased with occasional signs of life. Germany candy containers still bring strong dollars but nothing like they used to bring. ( I suspect this downtrend for such items will continue.) Lanterns by and large have also lost luster. On the other side of the ledger, early Beistle, Dennison and Gibson products have sizzled. Small paper (invitations, place cards and tally cards) has had a phenomenal rise as have German porcelain items. This cup and saucer result is the latest indicator of the health of this market segment. The realized price is near 100% more than it would have been 2-3 years ago. I suspect these same segments will continue to weaken and strengthen as the first generation of collectors, who specialized in what are now the weaker segments, ride off into the sunset.

Vintage Halloween German Childrens Tea Pot Jol

I suspect this is a teapot made not in Germany but in Japan. Some of the reasons are its knobby surface to both the pot and its lid, the dark-hued orange, the overly large eyes, the uncolored/unglazed lid bottom and the clumsy, hurried paint to the end of the spout.

09/15 Update: Given that I feel confident this is a teapot made in Japan, not Germany, the buyer overpaid by forking over $515.05.

Vintage Halloween Porcelain Devil Ashtray RARE

Outside of the complete set I’ve owned since 1991, this is the first time I’ve seen this ashtray. (You can see the set on page 130.) I bought the set from a show in North Carolina in 1991. When I began to research what it was all about I found a book on “country store collectibles” that had the plate, humidor and match holder shown, but no ashtray. The photo’s caption said it was from the collection of Mary Lou Holt. I found a way to contact her to ask about the ashtray. Her initial response was that there wasn’t an ashtray. I offered to send a photo - and did so. Maybe a week later Mary Lou called to say how excited she was to now know there was an ashtray as part of the set. She told me that there were only ten plates made and speculated that there were only 10 ashtrays made since she had never seen one before. Mary Lou and I became friends. She was a great source of knowledge on many collectibles topics, including vintage Halloween. She passed away a number of years ago. I miss her still.

04/18 Update: This brought $201.50.

Antique German JOL Halloween Children's Tea Cup

I don’t believe this item is from any vintage porcelain tea set - German or Japanese. It looks amateurish, especially the teeth. I think this is the result of someone with a modicum of talent copying the features from an authentic cup, perhaps for their own amusement. It doesn’t have collectible value in terms of vintage Halloween.

02/22 Update: I’m glad no one seemed to be fooled by this fake. It sold for $58.00.

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!

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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.

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. 

Small Vintage Ceramic Halloween Pumpkin Jack O'lantern Made In Germany

This is a coveted waste bowl from the German porcelain Halloween set produced from 1908-1932. The seller was a true oaf to offer it as a BIN with scant knowledge of what they were offering. This reminds me of a favorite quote: "The sum of the intelligence of the planet is a constant. The population is growing." Instead of netting out $15-16 for this, if run as an auction it surely would have fetched four to five times as much. People - use the auction format!

ANTIQUE HALLOWEEN - mini JACK-O-LANTERN pumpkin cup & saucer RARE

This is a doubly great item. The diminutive cup has a handle and the saucer is exceedingly rare. Although unmarked, these items are German-made. The Japanese made rather crude reproductions of only the basic items like the teapot, sugar and creamer. The Germans produced a wildly inventive range of these porcelain wares from 1908 through 1932. If I had to pick my top three segments of the vintage market, this segment would be amongst them. SGV for the handled cup is $125. SGV for the saucer is $175. The saucer was also produced with an orange and burnt orange finish. 

07/19 Update: This super combo sold for $344. 

Vintage Child's German Halloween Tea Set Pitcher Germany Jack o lantern pumpkin

When I first began collecting 30 years ago, pieces from this set were among my favorite finds. All these years later, I still love the inventiveness of the German artisans in fashioning the many interesting items in so many sizes that comprise the Halloween porcelain tea set market segment. (To see many more, turn to pages 119-121.) I'm glad this outstanding seller received such a strong price for the creamer. He is on my recommended dealer list. 

Ceramic Pumpkin Jack O Lantern Halloween Candle Holder - Vintage Germany 1970s

Whomever scooped this breathtakingly rare porcelain candle holder up for $29.99 should be thanking sweet Jesus they were trolling through the listings when this popped up. This is arguably the most coveted single item from the many the Germans produced for their porcelain tea set service from 1908 through 1932. Prior to this listings I had seen only two examples in the same large lot that was sold to me many years ago. One has been in the collection ever since, the other, heavily damaged and missing pieces, was sold. I have a long list of people who really want this. I sure hope whomever got it was on that list. The seller was foolish. She obviously had no idea what she was selling, given that she describes this as being from the 1970s. She basically robbed herself of thousands of dollars as I have zero doubt this would have sold for significantly more than SGV given its rarity and how many collectors want it. The lesson to be learned here is simple: If you don't know what you are selling, never list it as a BIN - always use an auction format.