Are you a fan of vintage Halloween images? Learn more about spooky collectibles of the season and what they’re worth.
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Vintage Halloween collectibles range in type from paper mache pumpkins to postcards, and range widely in price from $1 to several thousand.
Often people think of Halloween as a children’s holiday, but in collecting Halloween antiques, it’s important to remember that early American Halloween celebrations were intended for adults, not children.
Different Types of Vintage Halloween Items
Ledenbach’s book outlines the various categories of vintage Halloween collections, including games, lanterns, candy containers, diecuts, noisemakers and other decorations.
There are certain very rare vintage Halloween items, such as a jardinière made by Rookwood in 1882 (valued at $5,000), a Halloween banjo or mandolin, or certain styles of composition candy containers from the 1920s. There are also a number of unique collectible items such as different Halloween games, candles, and liquor dispensers.
Halloween Collectible Manufacturers
Although many of the most valuable Halloween collectibles were produced in Germany for export to America, the two most prominent manufacturers of Halloween collectibles are the Dennison Manufacturing Company of Framingham, Massachusetts (founded in 1844) and the Beistle Company (founded in 1900) of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. Each company is still in business.
Although labels were not always used on vintage Halloween decorations, a mark of either one of these companies ensures the item’s value.
Vintage Halloween Reproductions
There are literally hundreds of different “vintage Halloween’ manufacturers – so be careful when collecting. Just because something says “vintage” doesn’t mean it is definitely an antique.
The best way to ensure authenticity is to know the market. Ledenbach’s 2007 Vintage Halloween Collectibles book is an excellent way for collectors to learn the various types of Halloween antiques and how to tell the difference between authentic and fake items.
The book lists the value of 1,600 vintage Halloween collectibles, including their manufacturers, dates of manufacture, dimensions, and current pricing values.
One of the challenges of vintage Halloween collecting is that many of the old items (particularly the diecuts) are made of cardboard or paper, making them very fragile. Light exposure, temperature changes and dust can be detrimental to vintage Halloween collections, so keeping the items free from exposure to these elements will help maintain their values.
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