The Top Five... Spookiest Hallowe'en collectibles
The Top Five... Spookiest Hallowe'en collectibles
With Hallowe'en drawing near, we look at items that collectors desire even more than they fear...
Hallowe'en is nearly upon us... This Sunday sees the popular festival of fear draw in once again. Originally it wasthought of as a time to mark the beginning of the dark half of the year, and a time when the barrier to the next world became thin, allowing spirits into our world.
Nowadays, traditions have moved heavily in favour of fun rather than rituals (costumes are still worn, but not to scare off the evil undead, as was the original aim) but the day is still celebrated with enthusiasm, and has generated some exceptional collectibles.
Here are a few of our favourites:
Jack o' Lantern Candy Container
Jack o'Lanterns with grinning faces and a light inside recall a folklore tale of a man named Jack smart enough to trick the Devil and make him promise not to take his soul, but too sinful to be allowed into heaven. He wandered the Earth with an ever-burning light set in a carved turnip as a lantern.
Jack O'Lantern candy container
The image of a carved turnip or pumpkin is the universal image of Hallowe'en and has led to some highly collectible pieces of craft, such as this metal alloy candy container made in Germany in the teens of the 20th century.
Part of Mark B. Ledenbach's celebrated collection of Hallowe'en collectibles it is extremely rare and worth around $2,100.
Bud Abbott's Mask from "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein."
One of Abbott and Costello's most celebrated films included a papier-mch wolf mask, used in some of the most prominent scenes in the movie, causing memorable laughts as he cajoled with Lon Chaney Jr.'s character (Wolf Man/Larry Talbot) before and during the memorable costume ball scene - without pesky Dracula (Bela Lugosi) or Frankenstein (Glenn Strange) getting in the way.
Once a key part of makeup mastermind Emile LaVigne's substantial collection, the mask was finally sold by his descendents via Heritage Auctions for $10,157.50 in 2007. Costello's mask fetched$7,767.50.
Dracula's Cape from Dracula (1958)
Christopher Lee's performance of Dracula is seen by many as the archetypal version of the fiend. Lee himself is supposed to have found the role rather wearing as the milky-white contact lens he had to wear rendered him virtually blind, causing him to run into scenery.
Nevertheless, the costume associated with the role is always likely to be valuable. In fact the cape was thought to have been lost for 30 years when it turned up within the collection of the famous costumers Angels in 2007.
Together with a confirmation note signed by Lee himself, the cap sold for 26,400 at Bonhams in London in 2009.
Zombie suit worn in Michael Jackson's Thriller
The music video for Michael Jackson's Thriller is one of the most famous around the world. Supposedly inspired by Jackson wishing to transform in the video in the way he had seen done in An American Werewolf in London, the visuals are best remembered for the zombies.
Recently Julien's auctioneers sold an altered suit used in the video to Ponte 16 Hotel and Casino.
The vintage men's suit jacket and trousers tailored by Robert Jordan Inc. were re-purposed and intentionally frayed, torn, airbrushed and adorned with foam to create a zombie look.
They are now one of the greatest attractions in the company's MJ gallery, alongside the rhinestone glove Jackson wore to unveil the moonwalk.
The Bride of Frankenstein 1935 teaser poster
Hailed as one of the greatest horror movies of all time, James Whale's critically acclaimed masterwork The Bride of Frankenstein is a rare case of a sequel outdoing an original.
It re-united cast members Colin Clive and Boris Karloff reprising their roles as Frankenstein and his monster, and the addition of Ernest Thesiger as the demented Dr. Pretorius and Elsa Lanchester in the dual roles of Mary Shelley (seen in the prologue) and obviously, as 'The Monster's Mate' proved to be a brilliant stroke of casting.
Only one example of the classic 'I Demand a Mate'1935 Bride of Frankenstein teaser is known.
Bride of Frankenstein poster
"Early Universal Horror movie posters are the blue chips of the collecting hobby," commented Grey Smith, Director of Movie poster Auctions at Heritage, "and this incredible Universal Horror one sheet from The Bride is easily the most dramatic poster I've ever seen, from any genre."
The poster is currently heading Heritage's Beverly Hills Signature Movie Poster Auction and will sell on November 12 with an estimate of $700,000-900,000.
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Images: Mark B Ledenbach, Heritage, Bonhams