Confusing pumpkin lanternsBy Mark Chervenka
Confusing pumpkin lanterns
New pumpkin electrical lanterns in the market are confusing copies of vintage novelty lanterns, and the actual production pieces are different from the early samples reported in another article.
New shades, for example, in the actual production run are clear glass rather than opaque white glass. New shades are reverse painted with paint applied to the inside of the shade. Vintage shades are opaque white glass with the paint applied to the outside of the shade.
Original lanterns operate on batteries which fit inside the metal lantern base. The new lamps are powered by 120-volt household current and have an attached power cord and plug (Fig. 6). The smaller new lantern is close in size to the original pumpkin lantern shown in Fig. 2. The larger 10-inch new lantern is a fantasy shape, no original is known in that size.
The new lanterns shown here were wholesale priced at $18.50 and $14.50 each. Original miniature lanterns with milk glass shades can sell for up to $175.
When examining the lanterns in person, it's fairly easy to separate new from old. Simply looking at photos of the lanterns in online auctions is quite another matter.
If you can't make a firsthand examination, be sure and ask the seller some detailed questions. Original lanterns are battery powered with opaque white glass shades that are painted on the outside. New lanterns have a power cord and plug with clear glass shades that are painted on the inside.
You should also be alert for the small new shade being represented as a candy container.