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!


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 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.


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. 

Antique German Halloween Noisemaker Witch Cat Devil Jack O' Lantern Rare & Fine

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!


The best item in this trio is the tambourine. I've been looking to add one to the collection for years but cannot find one in good enough condition. (There is another iteration using a different color scheme that you can see on page 216.) Made by an unknown US manufacturer during the 1930s, the simplicity of the design is compelling. SGV is $225. 

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. 


These early Chein tin litho clanger noisemakers are desirable, but haven't been bringing strong dollars for many years. This auction listing pulled in strong dollars indeed! Although the lithography is commonly seen, what makes this desirable is the form. It is a large-panned clanger with a double-layered handle that prominently displays the patent date. This form is the earliest and wasn't made for more than a season or two before the form shrunk and the handle became single-layered. It is good to see these early tin noisemakers regaining some of their deserved luster.