Saturday, October 18, 2014

Vintage Halloween

Courtesy, Keith and Donna Kaonis
Halloween as we know it has origins in Ancient Egyptian, Celtic [especially Irish],  and Hipanic culture. James Joyce wrote a story about it called "Clay." An excellent and entertaining review of Halloween's history is found in the Ray Bradbury classic story The Halloween Tree, also an animated film by the same title which Bradbury narrates. The old Celts believed the year ended around October 31st by our modern calendar, and they also thought spirits walked the earth that night to settle unfinihsed business.  Mortals with a guilty conscience wore masks to that the spirits couldn ot find them.  This holiday was called Samhain in the Celtic world, and it is still marked today by serveral cultures.

Vintage Halloween decorations have been popular collectibles for many years. Dolls are part of the collectibles enjoyed.  Sharon Fiffer, mystery novelist and collector, features them in Scary Stuff.

Antique fortune teller dolls, with papier mache witch heads or delicage French Fashion heads, had skirts folded into leaves that when unfolded, foretold one's fate. Hex is a famous German bisque antique depicting a witch, and many penny dolls and vintage wax candles are shaped as witches, scarecrows and pumpkins.

Several articles on Halloween dolls, old and new, are featured on the site Doll Collecting at about.com; collectdolls.about.com.

Here, featured are figures from the Kaonis family collection, shares with their compliments.

Safe Trick- or -Treating, and I hope The Great Pumpkin brings you at least one doll!

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