Update on Halloween die cutsBy

Update on Halloween die cuts

In another article on Halloween reproductions, we included new crescent moon die cuts, but had been unable to locate the specific originals from which the reproductions were copied.

The originals can be seen in Halloween Collectibles, a book by Mark Ledenbach. Ledenbach traces the originals to Germany where they were produced during the 1920s. Vintage pieces were available in at least two known sizes, five and ten-inch diameters. In originals, at least six different figures appear with the moon including a running jack o'lantern, a bat, an owl, a sitting cat and the two figures shown here with a standing cat and a witch.

The reproductions are a hollow lightweight ceramic material similar to plaster of Paris. Reproductions are covered with a highly crazed glaze coat.

"The original German series was made from heavily embossed medium weight cardboard, not a ceramic material," said Ledenbach. "Originals are one-sided only with their backs in plain, unfinished cardboard; reproductions are double-sided."

Originals are also smaller with the largest being about 10 inches in diameter. The witch and cat reproductions are both over 12 inches across. New pieces are $20 each. Ten-inch originals are $75 to $100 each.

image

Fig. 1

image

Fig. 2 New 13-inch crescent moon with witch and new 12-inch crescent moon with standing cat are double-sided. Both are cast from a ceramic material covered with a highly crackled surface glaze.

image

Fig. 3 Original 10-inch crescent moon with witch and 10-inch crescent moon with standing cat are made of embossed cardboard.

image

Fig. 4 The vintage pieces have images on one side only. The reverse is plain unfinished cardboard. Photos courtesy Mark Ledenbach Vintage Halloween Collectibles, Krause Publications, 2003.

image

Fig. 5 The reproductions have a highly crackled "antique" finish. This surface is never found on the cardboard originals.

image

Mark Ledenbach is the author of Vintage Halloween Collectibles,
207 pgs. 700+ photos; Krause Publications.