German Halloween Decorations

April 30, 2008 under Halloween

[ad#Google Adsense]Between the end of World War I and the beginning of World War II, many of American's favorite decorations for Halloween were actually made in Germany. Funnily enough, Germans didn't really celebrate Halloween, but they were happy to produce all kinds of decorations for the US market. As production at the time was still mainly a small cottage industry, many of the vintage German Halloween decorations you'll come across were handmade individually -- so they are a lot different from the commercially manufactured material you'll see today.

Look especially for the cute Vegetable People that were popular for the Halloween theme. Have fun browsing!

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Vintage Halloween Pumpkin Wall Hanging German
Vintage Halloween Pumpkin Wall Hanging German $50.00
End Date: Tuesday Sep-2-2014 8:23:23 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $75.00
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BOY JOL BLACK CAT On A S BRUNDAGE Vintage German Made HALLOWEEN Postcard
BOY JOL BLACK CAT On A S BRUNDAGE Vintage German Made HALLOWEEN Postcard $18.99
End Date: Tuesday Sep-2-2014 11:00:45 PDT

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Vintage Halloween devil noise maker German Halloweentin halloween noise maker
Vintage Halloween devil noise maker German Halloweentin halloween noise maker $59.99
End Date: Tuesday Sep-2-2014 14:22:48 PDT
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Vintage Halloween German made Banana horn noisemaker Large size Excellent
Vintage Halloween German made Banana horn noisemaker Large size Excellent $74.99
End Date: Tuesday Sep-2-2014 16:53:54 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $99.99
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HTF LARGE VINTAGE GERMAN HALLOWEEN SKELETON EMBOSSED DIECUT 47
HTF LARGE VINTAGE GERMAN HALLOWEEN SKELETON EMBOSSED DIECUT 47 $115.07 (6 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Sep-2-2014 18:00:19 PDT

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LARGE VINTAGE GERMAN HALLOWEEN CAT DIECUT EMBOSSED
LARGE VINTAGE GERMAN HALLOWEEN CAT DIECUT EMBOSSED $66.00 (12 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Sep-2-2014 18:15:45 PDT

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Vintage German Halloween Witch 155 tall Embossed Paper Decorations
Vintage German Halloween Witch 155 tall Embossed Paper Decorations $22.49 (4 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Sep-3-2014 8:00:47 PDT

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Vintage German Halloween 8 Embossed Paper Cat Owl Decorations
Vintage German Halloween 8 Embossed Paper Cat  Owl Decorations $22.49 (7 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Sep-3-2014 8:15:03 PDT

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Vintage German Halloween Witch 13 Embossed Paper Decoration
Vintage German Halloween Witch 13 Embossed Paper Decoration $22.50 (4 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Sep-3-2014 8:26:13 PDT

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CHILDREN HUGE PUMPKIN On A S HBG German Made Vintage 1909 HALLOWEEN Postcard
CHILDREN HUGE PUMPKIN On A S HBG German Made Vintage 1909 HALLOWEEN Postcard $19.99
End Date: Wednesday Sep-3-2014 12:19:49 PDT

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Vintage German Die cut Embossed Black Halloween Cat Playing Saxophone 75
Vintage German Die cut Embossed Black Halloween Cat Playing Saxophone 75 $75.00
End Date: Wednesday Sep-3-2014 13:07:35 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $75.00
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LADY JOLs On A S BANKS Authentic GERMAN MADE Vintage 1911 HALLOWEEN Postcard
LADY JOLs On A S BANKS Authentic GERMAN MADE Vintage 1911 HALLOWEEN Postcard $19.99
End Date: Wednesday Sep-3-2014 16:57:03 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $19.99
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CHILDREN JOL On A S BRUNDAGE Vintage 1913 German Made HALLOWEEN Postcard
CHILDREN JOL On A S BRUNDAGE Vintage 1913 German Made HALLOWEEN Postcard $19.99
End Date: Wednesday Sep-3-2014 16:57:03 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $19.99
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Vintage German Halloween Paper Litho Tambourine Wood Frame 1930s Super Cond
Vintage German Halloween Paper Litho Tambourine Wood Frame 1930s Super Cond $48.00 (5 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Sep-3-2014 18:23:41 PDT

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Vintage German Tin Halloween Tambourine CHEIN Co USA Side Graphics 1920s
Vintage German Tin Halloween Tambourine CHEIN  Co USA Side Graphics 1920s $154.00 (47 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Sep-3-2014 19:04:12 PDT

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Collecting Vintage German Halloween Decorations

For Halloween memorabilia collectors, German vintage Halloween items dating from the period between the two World Wars are the most highly sought after. According to Mark Ledenbach, the author of Vintage Halloween Collectibles, the prime years were 1919 to 1935.

Halloween isn’t traditionally celebrated in Germany. The German holiday, Walpurgis, which takes place May 1st is probably the holiday that most closely resembles our Halloween and on the eve of the holiday, Walpurgisnacht, German kids may head out to do some mischief and dress-up in costumes, but with the exception of homes near American military bases, there is no trick-or-treating from house to house.

So all of the paper products and other decorative Halloween items made in Germany were actually manufactured solely for export to the American market, ending up on sale at the discount department stores, Woolworth’s and K-Mart. And this wasn’t a big assembly line production effort either. Halloween manufacturing was a small cottage industry and the majority of German Halloween memorabilia were made by home craft workers or by small craft companies. Virtually all of the items were hand decorated as well and have a clearly homemade look to them.

Some of the highly desirable German vintage Halloween items include German die-cuts, composition candy containers, lanterns and German toys or figures. Many of the German Halloween toys featured brightly painted pumpkins or vegetable people with grimacing features. In addition to the standard pumpkins, witches and black cats, vegetable people were very popular in early Halloween imagery and feature in all kinds of products -- from postcards to candles.

If you decide to start collecting German Halloween collectibles, it’s important to keep a few warnings from Mark Ledenbach in mind. He has indicated on his website, HalloweenCollector.com, that items advertised as being “vintage”, but recently brought back on trips from Germany by other collectors, are not likely to be vintage at all. Remember that all of these items were manufactured for export. Since Germany didn’t celebrate Halloween (and still really doesn’t, at least not in the manner in which Americans celebrate it), there was no reason for any of these products to stay in Germany.

Also be wary of any claims about vintage Halloween collectibles “found” in the former East Germany, for the same reason. There’s plenty of new Halloween decorations coming out of Germany today, but from a collector’s point of view, they certainly aren’t going to add anything to your vintage collection.

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