Thursday, August 27, 2015

Heubach Porcelain Halloween Cat with Fly Trinket Box (Circa 1910)

"German porcelain trinket box made by the famous factory of Heubach around 1910.

On the lid there is an attached, realistic metal fly.

The black cat has an orange ribbon with a little metal bell around is neck. This piece makes a wonderful Halloween decoration and can also be used as a candy container.

Marked with the Heubach sunburst mark and the number 9395 3 .

About 6,5" long , no damage at all, only slight signs of age."

Autre Temps, Autre Moeurs

   "This rare find comes from the heart of Ohio.  Made in  Toledo, Ohio in the early 1900s  this parade lantern is a rare find. Going door to door for treats did not take hold in the United States until the 1930s or later, but Halloween pranks began much earlier, at the same time as the first costumes. Perhaps outfits from that period were stark and ghoulish because they were designed not for a party, but for parading through the neighborhood with scary shenanigans. Composed of two molded half spheres with cutout features and painted highlights, this guy has green painted features and features its original wire bale that attaches it to its original parade pole. Even rarer is the fact that this little fellow has his original candle cup!!  It looks like he was originally painted shades of yellow and does show some scorching as he must have been used at some point. Sure, I would let MY child parade around town with a flowing ghost costume and an open flame, why not???  But that's the way they did it back in the day!!  This one is approx 7-1/2" tall, 6" in diameter and 11-1/2" to the top of his bale. The original stick is 18" long."

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

There's Something about a Bernhardt Wall Jack-o'-Lantern...

Gibson artist Bernhardt Wall died in 1956.

He was a rather old man by then, having been born in 1872.

He was a Gibson artist who designed more than 5,000 postcards and was known as the "Postcard King" during his lifetime.

So if you've looked at old postcards in a flea market, you've almost certainly seen his work.

I like the zest of his Halloween cards, his brash use of jarring color and his playful sense of composition.

Wall's anthropomorphic jack-o'-lanterns are pretty distinctive.

Unfortunately, when you do a Google search for his work, you will see some cards featuring pretty awful racial stereotypes. This is a small number of his cards and they don't seem to be particularly malicious. But they are offensive. I know a lot of black collectors love those sorts of things. For example, S. Epatha Merkerson has a large collection of this sort of artistic production, and has a great explanation of why she collects such works. (I just found this out because she was featured in a design book I recently read about showcasing one's collections.)

Here are a just a few of the Wall postcards that caught my eye just now. If you do a Google image search, you'll find thousands more. He illustrated all the holidays and designed occasional cards as well.

The card with the raven pun is probably not actually a Halloween card, but it seemed to fit the holiday thematically (via Poe).

Monday, August 17, 2015

Little Lulu and Tubby / Halloween Fun (Dell, 1957)

Twenty-five cents for all the Halloween hijinks you can handle.


Thank Heaven There's a Fan

Check out this sports mascot costume being marketed as a Halloween costume.

This is a brand new Basset Hound Dog Professional Mascot Costume.  This is ready to ship right now, no delay. Also local pickup in NYC (me: posted August 2015...probably long gone by the time you're reading this.)

Costume Includes:
Jumpsuit Body - Plush fake fur fabric 
Head - Made of foam rubber sandwiched between two layers of natural latex rubber.  Head has a built-in fan. 

Size fits from Adult 5'4" to 6'1".

Phish @ Halloween (2010)

***Rare limited edition! **signed and numbered** print of the incredible show @ boardwalk hall in Atlantic city 2010. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Could Garcinia Cambogia Be the New Mini-Pumpkin?

I'm actually taking this every day right now to see if its claims of being a great weight-loss aid with virtually no negative side effects are true.

It's too soon to tell you that, but I can tell you that this fruit is pretty darn adorable.

I wonder if it could be adopted by Americans and others as the new Halloween mini-pumpkin?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Wicker Coffin/Casket "Cooling Box" (19th Century)

I suppose transportation of the deceased would have presented problems back in the day, when embalming might not have been "state of the art." Probably this was especially so in warm weather.

This rather frightening artifact once encased and cooled coffins/caskets.

You can see the Victorian vogue for wicker items extended even into the funereal realm.

Apparently, ice or cold water was placed in a pan below (not pictured). I learned that on this Pinterest. It's so annoying that you have to be logged in to Pinterest to look at things there.

So what you are looking at is a very primitive refrigerator.

78" length.
23" at its widest.
17" high.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Vintage Aerolux Style Halloween Light Bulb with Frowning Jack-o'-Lantern Filament

This was almost certainly not produced by The Aerolux Light Corporation which, according to Wiki, existed from the 1930s through the 1970s.

But bulbs like this are often advertised as "Aerolux style," and one can easily see why.

The Aerolux bulbs could be quite beautiful and intricate. The panoply of flower bulbs below, for example, shows the high level of artisanship that went into their filamentous sculptures.

The patents for the Aerolux bulbs date back to the 1930s.

The bulbs would contain either argon or neon, or a combination of the two.

The little metal sculptures were covered with phosphors. The phosphors fluoresced when excited by "glow discharge."

The phosphors were delicate and could easily flake off and migrate throughout the miniature sculptures, and then certain patches would no longer glow.

The bulbs had a "high yield of light produced versus electricity consumed."

Vintage, Double-Headed Man Halloween Mask (Illusive Concepts, 1996)

Sometimes it's just a matter of balancing one's separate personalities.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Witch Brand Citrus Fruit Crate Label (Early 1900s)

Highland, San Bernardino County, California - Halloween Witch Orange Citrus Fruit Crate Box Label. 

Kitchen art has become a big industry these days, even spawning stores in malls dedicated to retailing only that. Maybe it's a fad, but it's been a few decades now, and it seems to be going strong with no sign of letting up. So it's no surprise there are reproductions of this rare California citrus crate label (originally printed in the early 1900's) floating around these days. Because it's a visual stunner.

I wonder what the backstory is, that they chose such an unorthodox name (was it an actual surname?) and image for their citrus produce.

Maybe they just liked the great color combination of orange and black and the ideas flew from there. If they were going for "memorable" and "visual wallop," I think they hit the nail on its head.

Maybe it was a group of actual witches who owned orange groves and formed a company to market their produce together. Now go write that story. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Frat Boy Halloween Heaven

I searched for "Halloween bong" just on a lark.

What came up was this beer bong.

I was surprised there weren't some original, OOAK glass bongs done in Halloween style.

I'm sure they exist somewhere.

Is that a Pabst Blue Ribbon being poured into the sawed-off skull? It would make sense. Because the resurgence of that began with the hipsters, and then spread throughout other (mostly young) demographics.

Oh, wait a second. If you search Google for "Halloween" bong, you get a completely different set of images.

Chalkware Halloween Figures Made from Antique Chocolate Molds

I thought this was a really cool way to bring Halloweens past back to life.

I had never thought of artists using antique chocolate molds to produce chalkware (or other media) figurines.

This "Scared Cat" is part of a limited edition, a signed figurine of a chalkware cat cat made by artist Rich Connolly.

Each item is, of course, one of a kind.

And I see the artist has used other molds for other editions.

I think it's a great idea.

You can see below the signature that the mold used dates to around 1920.

He's selling these at an incredibly reasonable price to beat the boutiques. This one, for example, is currently listed at just over twenty dollars.

I think the paint he used here and the details are about perfect. This truly looks vintage or antique.

I just read more of the listing and learned that Rich Connolly has been using this process for thirty years, that he considers the end result folk art, and that he was once invited to exhibit his work at the White House when (cough! gag!) Reagan was in office. Also, he's just down the road a piece in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Now I'm thinking of the Moravians and poet H.D.

(Oh, and Jackie O. used to collect his work--from 1983 to 1993.)