Wednesday, September 30, 2009

One of My Favorite Decorations

A lot of my Halloween decor stays up year round-- I know, you're surprised, so just go ahead and pick up your jaw bones now. One of them lives permanently as my kitchen witch-- kitchen witches are supposed to be good luck in the food arena, and help keep your concoctions from burning.

Hilariously, I hung her by my print of "Le Chat Noir" by Rodolphe Salis. Accident, or Providence?

I knew she was old, but had no idea how to figure out her age. All I was sure of that she was old (instinct), and made in Germany (stamped on her leg). In May I stumbled across a really cool site, run by a man named Mark B. Ledenbach, and it turns out this guy is the end all be all in terms of Halloween collectibles! I emailed him and politely asked him if he would be willing to look at a picture of my witch; if he didn't want to do that, could he please recommend a site I could go to? He was very nice, and invited me to email him a picture, which I immediately did.

Some of the folks I've told this story to have asked me why I bothered so I'll answer that here: I am burningly, consummately, obsessively curious. If you make the mistake of telling me something I'll probably ask you a million questions about it, to the point that it drives you nuts because I. Must. Know. NOW. Drives my parents spare. So even though I have no intention of parting with her, I needed to know all I could find out about her.

Turns out she is very old, as I suspected-- Mark estimated around 1920's, in fact. She's what's called a German die cut, and because she's in such great shape she's worth a small chunk of change. The best part of this story is that I got her while thrift crawling; what can I say? I love going through other people's junk.

I love old die cut Halloween decorations and look for them every chance I get-- I used to stare at the awesome Beisel cut outs that every teacher in the universe had during the '80's. I would make up stories for each of them: as a result I am looking for those same cardboard leers now.

You should really, really check out Mark's site, it's an awesome way to murder and afternoon!
Go now, and revel in the encroaching season!

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