Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Antique Halloween Witch Postcard

Just a classic Halloween witch image, circa 1910, 
to wrap up this year's October posts.
Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Fortune Telling Cake Charm Set

These fortune telling charms were typically hidden in slices of cake at parties and were a favorite Victorian holiday custom; this set is circa the 1940s. If the recipient managed to not swallow the charm, they could look up its fortune on the enclosed sheet. The thimble meant you'd be an old maid, the button indicated a bachelor was looking for you, and the baby predicted...well, babies.


These charms look like they've seen a lot of cakes.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

1920s Halloween Nut Cup

This delicate paper nut cup was made in the 1920s.
About 3 inches tall, it features beautiful lithography,
and was one item in a set of party supplies featuring this fairy design.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween Spooks Postcard, 1910

"I'm not afraid of Spooks, are you?
I'm just pretending they are true."

"Can you pretend?"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

1920s Halloween Silhouette Lantern

Here's another amazing survivor of Halloweens past: this cardboard and tissue paper lantern. Made in the 1920s, it was intended to hold a real candle inside, just like the papier mache and pulp jack o' lanterns posted earlier. This one was used, but somehow managed to not burst into flames.

These lanterns have recently been reproduced, like so much other antique Halloween, so collect carefully.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Antique Halloween Ghost Postcard

Although ghosts have long been a staple feature of stories traditionally told at Halloween time, for some reason they do not appear often in old decorations, novelties, or postcards associated with the holiday. This one is a rare example, dating from around 1910.

There are a lot of details in this card: note the barely-there face of the ghost,
and the tiny witch flying past the moon.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Gourd Guys Halloween Postcards, 1908

My very favorite antique Halloween postcards feature these little gourd guys, printed by Raphael Tuck and mailed between 1908 and 1909.

First, the gourd guys run from a witch and her cat. 

Look at all the detail in the tiny image
of the moon & witch!

Here, the gourd guys have reached relative safety atop a large squash.
Finally, they make it home where a Halloween party cake awaits.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pumpkin Candy Container

Here's a jolly looking jack o' lantern, a candy container made in West Germany around the late 1950s. Just 4 1/2 inches tall, he's made of molded cardboard and opens at the center, providing a space for small candies.

The candies are long gone, but here's where they were.
Candy containers of this type were exported from Germany for over 100 years, and they were made for many holidays, including Christmas and Easter. There are collectors who specialize in candy containers, and entire guidebooks are devoted to them. They're a fun collectible, although their fragile and disposable nature makes them a challenge to find today.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Antique Halloween Postcard: Pumpkin Boat

Something about the style of illustration in this Halloween postcard, circa 1910, makes me think of  children's picture books. I just see a story here, maybe something like "The Witch Who Came to Visit."

Where has she come from, and why didn't she just fly, as would have been traditional? Where is she going, in her broom masted pumpkin boat? Is she a good witch or a bad witch? She's smiling, but I suppose that's not a sure thing: the witch in Hansel and Gretel was probably smiling warmly right up to the time she tried to cook and eat her little visitors. Is that cat safe? Why isn't he in the boat too? I'm worried he's going to fall off. And just how seaworthy is that pumpkin boat? Is there any danger of fish nibbling away the bottom? Won't water come through the face holes? Seems like a major design flaw there. This is definitely a postcard that raises lots of questions.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Vintage Halloween Jack o' Lantern

Here's another vintage Halloween jack o' lantern from my collection. This one was made in the United States in the early 1940s, and is of a pulp/composition material. 6 inches tall, it still has its original paper face insert, and was clearly used: there is melted candle wax and sooty residue inside. Its amazing that these fragile lanterns still survive to enchant us today!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin Head Postcard

This antique Halloween postcard is one of my all time favorites. The pumpkin head girl is so detailed: note her teeny tiny gold teeth, and the black cats on her dress. This fabulous character was mailed in October 1912 from Wahoo, Nebraska.

Friday, October 5, 2012

1920s Jack o' Lantern

This little 1920s German jack o' lantern measures 3 3/4 inches tall. In delicate, all original condition, he's one of my favorite Halloween pieces. These types of lanterns were made in the thousands some 80 years ago, but their fragility, along with the fact that they were intended to be used with real candles inside, makes them scarce today.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy October!

October is my favorite month of the year, and the perfect time to showcase some of the Other Stuff I collect: old Halloween decorations, postcards, lanterns, games, and assorted ephemera.

Over the next few weeks I'll highlight some of the favorites from my collection, starting with this fabulous postcard from 1908, featuring a romantic pumpkin-headed couple.

Pumpkin love.