Monday, February 9, 2015

Luminous Fortunes

clock-like numbers glow in the dark on vintage Halloween game (ghosts, devils, cats, symbols, charms, bats, witches).

Fortunes by the Luminous Spirit 
or 
How to Stretch Your Ectoplasm and get Cooler Spooks!

Following the spooklight glow of the previous entry Luminous Halloween, an interesting opportunity for a bit of compare-and-contrast occurred recently with two vintage Halloween games (one by the very same American Novelty Corporation of Omaha, 1943-1950). Although the condition of said game was not optimal, the outsider-art smorgasbord of this game (another example shown below) offers a ton of lo-fi messy fun - crazy fonts (some with random shadowing),  odd charms, symbols, and creatures, all surrounding a witch acting as the game's spinner. Best of all, we've got that fun glow-in-the-dark ink overlay (shown below). The game sold for around $50.

Spinner game 1940s 1950s features moon, ghost, devil, crossbones, bat, charms, witch, cat, and more.

Game with witch spinner glows in the dark after exposure to light.
Overlay of previous image with a shot in total darkness (see first image).

Another vintage Halloween game, of similar ilk, went for about 6x that amount! Arguably, this latter game (by Whitney) is not (imho) as interesting. While the artist may be more dialed-in on established art principles - the game contains only a portion of a witch's portrait with a small cat and owl in nearby silhouette. The bulk of the layout is plain text in a subdivided circle. 


Of additional curiosity, there was some recent indication by a long-time collector that the latter piece may not actually be vintage (i.e. a reproduction), and I would wonder this as well looking at various edges, (see earlier entry Halloween Diecut Quiz). The skewed result seems to add fuel to a bit of personal wisdom gathered these past few years: go with what you think is cool, not with what is currently being touted as an indispensable must-have

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