Saturday, November 21, 2015

Halloween in Germany:1955

Vintage Halloween and Karneval embossed cardboard diecut cardboard decorations from 1955 - devil, lantern, skeleton, cat


The title of this entry is something of a deliberate misnomer. It follows on the heels of two previous entries Diecut Bubble? and Seven Spooks in Narrenfibel 1968 / 1970 concerning the presence of vintage products that appeared on either side of the Atlantic. Each previous entry was intended to dispel a centric notion that... "because we celebrate Halloween here in North America, there couldn't possibly be any of that imagery (as vintage decor) found or sold elsewhere in the world." Surprise!

While it's been apparent that European and Asian festival items have snuck into past price guides, it was about two years ago that I began to also question availability dates (not necessarily production dates). This was due to discovering vintage "Halloween" decorations in German-language catalogs printed as recently as the 1970's. (See Seven Spooks in Narrenfibel 1968 / 1970). This catalog displays themes for Germany's Karneval (www.german-way.com/history-and-culture/holidays-and-celebrations/fasching-and-karneval/) with pages containing what North American collectors had considered Hallowe'en product runs circa 1920's-1930's. That's curious math --- an additional timeframe of 25 to 40 years that these appeared somewhere on the market?

1968 / 1970 catalog (Germany)

So here is yet another catalog recently discovered from 1955...! Notice page 16, with the pirate theme. There you will find a devil (marketed as a Neptunian creature with a trident), a skeleton (as a pirate's dead-man bones), a black cat (as a sea creature?), and a lantern (as a pirate-ship light fixture down at the Underwater Bar).... once again, all previously considered to be rare because of limited North American availability. What does this information (in addition to the recent preponderance of German diecuts in the second-hand market --- see Diecut Bubble?) do to change the collectible landscape?

Cover of Karneval  katalog from 1955 - Einzinger & Co. Munchen
Page 3 of Karneval  katalog from 1955 - Einzinger & Co. Munchen
Page 6 of Karneval  katalog from 1955 - Einzinger & Co. Munchen - hats
Page 7 of Karneval  katalog from 1955 - Einzinger & Co. Munchen - hats
Page 8 of Karneval  katalog from 1955 - Einzinger & Co. Munchen  - masks
9 of Karneval  katalog from 1955 - Einzinger & Co. Munchen - masks, disguises
Centerfold of Karneval  katalog from 1955 - Einzinger & Co. Munchen  - costumes
Page 13 of Karneval  katalog from 1955 - Einzinger & Co. Munchen
Page 14 of Karneval  katalog from 1955 - Einzinger & Co. Munchen
Page 16 of Karneval  katalog from 1955 - Einzinger & Co. Munchen - Vintage Halloween items, devil, lantern, skeleton, black cat
Back cover of Karneval katalog from 1955 - Einzinger & Co. Munchen

Translation update 11-22-2015. Relying on online translation tools with some logical (?) adjustments, here is a rough approximation for items of note on page 16:

725 Lanterne aus schwarzem karton mit augest (aufgeklappt?). Grotesken figuren, 40 cm groß stück 4.50
725 Lantern of black cardboard, expandable (?), grotesque figures, 15 3/4" tall..... piece 4.50

735 Kater - 40 cm, Pappe geprägt, schwarz bemalt, mit grünen leuchtenden augen (auch paarweise, links und recht schauend lieferbar)  stück 1.50 
735 Tomcat - 15 3/4", embossed cardboard , black painted, with greens shining eyes (available in pairs, left and right-facing)..... piece 1.50

738 Fledermaus-teufel, 40 cm, bemalte, flach geprägt figure stück 1.50
738 Bat-devil, 15 3/4", painted, flat embossed figure..... piece 1:50

750 Totenskelett, 120 cm groß, aus starker pappe geprägt und natürlich bemalt...  stück 7.50
750 Dead skeleton , 120 cm tall, from strong cardboard and painted naturally.... piece 7.50

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