Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tips On Collecting Halloween Memorabilia, Party Goods And Collectibles

Collecting Vintage Halloween Collectibles: Tips For Beginners

I caught up with Halloween Collectibles collector Mark Craven busy at his pumpkin patch at Craven Farms in Snohomish, Washington. This guy has been collecting vintage Halloween memorabilia and holiday party goods for almost two decades. His massive collection has been featured in many magazines and books on Halloween antiques and collectibles.

So I asked Mark how a beginner collector of Halloween party goods will know the old stuff from the reproductions?

Companies That Made Halloween Collectibles

First he advises collectors to become familiar with the companies that made Halloween party goods such as Biestle, Dennison, Gibson, Luhrs and Whitman. Collectors should look for markings, stampings and the manufacturers name on the bottom of items you are considering to purchase.

The Chien Company made Halloween tambourines and noisemakers which are very collectible because of their wonderful graphics.

Another tip Mark gave me is to look at the "finish" of an object. Older party goods are not as brightly colored as reproductions. But this tip does not always hold true.

How To Date Halloween Party Goods
Looking at the shapes, designs, colors, materials,
graphics, lettering used for party goods such as paper plates, paper cups, paper napkins, banners, nut cups, party hats, tablecloths,accessories, horns, whistles, masks will give you some clues about the date of the piece.

For many collectors they are able to remember a particular decade. For example, if you grew up in the 1950s you may be able to spot party supplies that you may have actually owned. Many baby boomers remember the Crepe paper nut cups popular during the Atomic Era. The Dennison Company made a lot of Crepe decorations for many holidays including Halloween.

The Beistle Company made beautifully artistic and well illustrated lighter cardboard and honeycomb decorations as well as centerpieces in the 1930s. Some of these items sell for $100-$200. Beistle Roly-Poly table decorations (1930s) made of lithoed paper over cardboard in excellent condition sell for $70 -200.

Many shoppers find they get a sudden flashback when they see items from their childhood.

Start Hunting For Halloween Decorations

Beginning collectors will have a ball hunting for these quirky and nostalgic treats. When you start poking around antique shops, markets and thrift shops you will find a variety of treasures including postcards, greeting cards, party and paper goods, games ( board, fortune, stunts), Paper Mache, decorations noise makers, costumes, candy bags,candy containers, figurines and more.

German Halloween Collectibles

Once you begin to get familiar with common Halloween collectibles ($10.00-35.00) , Mark says you can than venture into the world of German Halloween collectibles ( stamped "Western Germany", "Containers Made in Germany"). You will find die-cuts, composition candy containers, lanterns, toys and figurals in themes of cats, pumpkins, skeletons, witches etc.
Halloween collectibles such as Jack-o- lantern candy containers of German Origin can fetch $100 -$1000 and more.

According to Mark Craven, rare German composition lanterns can be valued in ranges from $800-$2000 and higher.

Meet Mark B. Ledenbach of (Author of Vintage Halloween Collectibles)

Avid Halloween Collector Mark B Ledenbach ( and author of Vintage Halloween Collectibles has an excellent site with lots of valuable information and a gallery of photos of German Halloween collectibles. He currently is featuring a set of three 1920's German Candy Containers for sale (Black cat, Witch and Devil ) valued from $5000-$7,000.

Retro and Vintage Halloween Collectibles Available at Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT Year Round

While most antique shops pull out their Halloween collectibles right before the holiday, The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, Connecticut is lucky to have a avid collector of holiday collectibles who keeps an outstanding collection of revolving holiday collectibles including Retro Halloween goodies all year round. A professional designer, this vendor at Collinsville, has one of the most attractive booths you will find in any antique mall. Many other dealers at Collinsville also feature Halloween and other antiques and collectibles.

For More On Halloween Memorabilia Read:

Halloween collection photo courtesy of Country Living magazine. Photo of three German candy containers and the roly Poly honeycomb decorations courtesy of TAll other photos were taken at The Collinsville Antiques company of New Hartford, Connecticut

Learn More About Halloween Traditions

Some interesting links about the history and tradition of Halloween courtesy of the website:

Halloween A Christian Name with Blended Christian & Folk Traditions by The Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel

From the Library of Congress website: Halloween The Fantasy and Folklore of All Hallows by Jack Santino

History of Halloween,

The History Channel: Halloween History

UrbanLegends.Com Halloween History, Customs, Folklore

Be sure to visit

Also visit
C. Dianne Zweig
is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Authors Guild, Inc.

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