Spooking season is nigh....
(This was the bewitching view out my front door today just beckoning me to take a mid-afternoon flight....)
...But, I was reminded that I have been neglectful of my monthly "collections" posts.
So, in honor of the season, here we go:
Vintage papier mache jack-o-lanterns....Most of you are familiar with them, and they certainly don't count among the oldest, largest, nor the "oddest" of my collections. But warm my heart and make me smile, they do.
The earliest lanterns (1920 - 1935'ish) were German made - formed from smooth cardboard pressed into a mold. The two halves were then sewn or stapled together to form the complete lantern.
The lantern was then painted (by hand) and a tissue paper face insert was glued to the inside. Although made of paper materials, they were originally intended to be lit with real candles ~ and some of mine have the wax inside to prove it.
The American versions appeared in the mid to late 1930's, through the 1950's. Unlike the German ones which were formed from cardboard, the American ones were formed from a clay-like paper pulp that was pressed into a mold and then allowed to dry....Kind of like a really thick egg carton. They were also painted and fitted with tissue paper face inserts.
Oh how I love these guys!
You see, to some (errr....my husband, for one), they may "all look the same...." But to me, each and every one has a personality all its own....even the "twins:"
There are many repro's out today, but I love the charm of the old ones. Even the ones that have lost their
(The above lantern is a later (late '40's to '50's), American, one, known as a "choir boy" style as he appears to be singing. Very distinctly different than the older and "scarier" German versions.)
If you are interested in starting your own collection of old ones, you can distinguish the orignal pieces from the reproductions by checking the bottom: original lanterns usually have one or more indented rings, while the repros have flat bottoms. (Also, the colors on the repros are usually duller than the originals.)