Vintage Papier Mache Halloween Decorations
What do you think these types of papier mache jack-o’-lanterns are worth? If they’re vintage – made before the 1960s – and in good condition, they can go for $60 - $100 each. A jack-o’-lantern with a face on two sides can sell for as much as $200. Many papier mache and one-time-use items that have survived in good condition can be valuable.
Even though the holiday season is behind us, you may come across unique or older-looking Halloween decorations in one of your estate sales. Be sure to take a close look at those items and do your research. That inexpensive-looking pumpkin, skeleton, witch, or black cat could be worth quite a bit more than you think.
Black Cat Decorations Are Sought-After
Black cats have long been one of the more popular Halloween designs. This vintage tambourine can start at $80, and highly collectible black cat designs can go for as high as $300. Also, watch for black cat Halloween designs in ceramics, candles, papier mache, and candy carriers.
Vintage German Diecut Decorations
Keep an eye out for diecut Halloween decorations. Vintage items made in the early 1900s in Germany can be very detailed and often sell in the $100 - $200 range, depending on condition. You can see examples here. Even items made later in the U.S. can be collectible.
Watch Out for Fakes and Reproductions
Since a lot of vintage Halloween decorations were simply made, there are plenty of reproductions and fakes on the market. Keep in mind that earlier decorations were made to be scarier than most of today’s decorations, so an item with a cute (or franchised) character probably is not vintage. Also, look for signs of age such as dull paint or finish, chips, crackling, or cracks. The RealOrRepro website has an excellent article about papier mache Halloween reproductions and includes photos of vintage designs.
Remember, just because it looks “cheap” doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value. Even aged, worn, or slightly damaged vintage Halloween decorations can be worth more than you’d think.
Donna Davis has over twenty years of experience in the antiques and estate sale business, and conducts sales every weekend in the Greater Atlanta Area. She is also the Founder and Director of the National Association of Estate Liquidators, and Lead Instructor of NAOEL’s online school. You can contact Donna by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 800-521-8820.
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