Blog

Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Vintage Metal Halloween Noise-Maker Featuring Black Cat, Witch and Pumpkin

The tin litho noisemaker segment has been moribund for years but has been lately showing signs of life. This was one of the first market segments I collected, so these “green shoots” are welcome. This is a desirable noisemaker. Bugle produced this sometime during a 20 year span beginning in the late 1920s. I don’t believe I’ve seen this particular form with this imagery before. I show a clicker and a rectangular shaker on page 212 with this same imagery, but this round shaker is a previously unseen form for me. As I write this it has already been bid up to $93.02 with over five days remaining, so others have keyed in on this rarity.

08/12 Update: This sold for $255.33!

Vintage Kirchhof Metal Slide Whistle Halloween Noisemaker

When I was a new collector I saw these fairly regularly. Times sure have changed! I haven't seen one being offered for sale for some time. It’s great that some nice items finally are being listed on eBay after a dispiriting run where virtually all listings were forgettable. The RSIN for this slider noisemaker is 2 with a sustainable guide value of $150. Kirchhof made this nicely designed slider in the early 1930s. I can't think of similarly designed tin litho noisemakers, so if you don't have this yet in your collection, this item looks to be in very nice condition.

08/04 Update: This great item sold for $156.28.

VNTG 1920s-50s LITHO TIN WOOD HANDLE HALLOWEEN BELL NOISEMAKER WITCH BLACK CAT +

This tin litho clanger has superb graphics and is bigger than most. This item is elusive. I looked for one in this kind of condition for nearly 30 years before acquiring one. Tin has been one of the cooler genres these last 10 years although there have been recent signs of re-invigoration. The rare tin items have routinely brought strong prices - as I expect this will do.

05/21 Update: This sold for $566.56. Naturally, two determined bidders escalated this well beyond the sustainable level of ~$350.

1930's PRINTED PAPER-FACED TAMBORINE w/TIN RIM-7" in Diameter

The version shown on page 213 has a decorated rim whereas this one has a plain rim. I’m surprised there would be two versions of such an economically made design. I would love to know for sure which firm produced this tambourine. Several collectors have mentioned that they’ve found this tambourine design as part of a Collegeville “gypsy” costume from the 1930s, but I’ve never been able to independently verify that Collegeville included such items with their costumes.

1930 rare sexy flying witch Halloween tambourine

This rare tambourine might very well have brought a stronger price if the seller, seemingly new to eBay, had posted numerous, clear photos. Simply posting one blurry photo and providing a skimpy description was a poor effort on the seller’s part. This Deco witch flying over a cityscape tambourine noisemaker is rare enough I’ve never seen one in good enough condition to acquire. It was produced by T. Cohn during the 1930s.

I just received this email from the buyer - an informed and savvy collector: “… looking forward to your upcoming auction. I have been looking for a mint condition version of this tambourine for my collection. After many requests for additional pictures with no results I was able to get the seller to tell me it is in mint condition.  I took a chance and paid $300 for it. I will let you know if I made the right decision.”  

03/12 Update: The acquiring collector turned out to be thrilled with his purchase. It turns out the tambourine was in near-mint+ condition. I wonder why the seller didn’t bother posting several clear photos?

Vintage Halloween Clapper Noisemaker Art Deco Flapper Jack O Lantern Retro

Sometimes tin litho manufacturers like the one that produced this clanger, T. Cohn, would allow these seriously misaligned scrap items to be sold as irregulars. They aren’t too common as the producers weren’t looking to be considered anything less than a company issuing first-tier products. Aesthetically, I find these unappealing, but do understand the allure of owning such a novelty item.

Vintage Kirchhof "Life of the party" tin tambourine l930's-40's

Whenever you see a tin litho item marked "Life of the Party," you know two things immediately: Kirchhof produced the item and the item was produced during the 1950s. Even if this witch face tambourine wasn't marked, you should deduce it is of more recent vintage by the bright colors used. Contrast it with one made with muted colors during the 1930s shown on page 215.