The star of this lot is the bell clanger at the lower left with the Deco cat faces encircled by bats and owls, certainly one of the most intricate designs in Halloween tin. The maker is unknown. Prior to this listing, which escaped my eye until just now, I haven’t seen that design in that form. Quite nice!
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.
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.
This Bugle imagery is typically seen on a rectangular shaker or a clicker, so this form, a clanger, is unusual. The form drove the price. Given how big the image actually is, this form suits it far better than either the shaker or clicker forms. I received a lot of email asking me about the item, so I wasn’t surprised at the ending value.
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?
It is refreshing to see a seller offering a nicer item through an auction format rather than the too common methodology of sellers slapping a ridiculous amount on something as a BIN. Bravo!
Holy cow! As usual, only two very desirous bidders escalated this beyond a sustainable level of ~$175.
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.
The seller is correct - this is a hard tin litho noisemaker to find. However, the condition is poor, so the asking price seems steep. Kirchhof made two complementary designs, both of which can be seen on page 204. Of the two, this one will be seen more often, all else being equal. I’d say fair value for the one on offer is $150.
This was priced incorrectly by the seller with a BIN of $35. The listing lasted less than 20 minutes. Using an auction format, it surely would have broken the $200 mark. Unless you know what you are doing, avoid placing a BIN on items.
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.
Here's a tin litho clicker that I haven't seen for sale in a while. In terms of Halloween output, Japanese material is largely derivative and poorly made, hence the market for their items has never taken off. There are exceptions, though, and this visually engaging diminutive noisemaker is one of them. I'm glad to have one as part of the collection. If you like strong design coupled with a modicum of rarity, this is just the item for you.
09/04 Update: This sold for a very strong $169.50.
I've always liked this understated tin container. As you know, these are generally beaten to hell and back, but this one looks to be in very collectible condition, no doubt the reason it garnered so many dollars. It is a very soothing scene. Some collectors feel this is from the early 1950s, but I feel it is from the 1930s.
This rattler is indeed rare as the seller states. It was produced in Germany during the early 1930s. By that time, the Germans were producing far fewer exported novelty items in smaller and smaller quantities as their political leaders' attentions drifted toward war. Although I've seen this tin litho noisemaker a handful of times, I've not seen it in this nice of condition. This is truly an item for which it will be worth ponying up some bucks. As of this writing it would sell for $60 with over four days remaining. I expect it to go much higher.
08/28 Update: $675.99 - WOW!
What's rare about this is that it is purported to work. Most of these no longer make a sound at all, or a strangled one at best.
05/01 Update: This sold for $155.50.