By Judith Coebly, Plank Road #236

Have you really taken a good look at your papier mache pumpkin lantern? Do you know if you have a vintage (pre-1940) Halloween pumpkin or is it a reproduction?

fakepumpkinAlthough it may be difficult to have a definitive answer, there are some things you might exam: Paint: the “new” pumpkins give off a strong odor after a year. Surface: The vintage exterior is generally dull and smooth – the new has a rough deeply crackled surface made by machine. Also – beware of white paint chips. Old paint chips have been darkened with dirt and age and are not white. Another clue is to look at the Paper behind the eyes, nose and mouth. Your recently made lantern will have the computerized patterns seen under magnification. What makes this difficult to date is that you might have a vintage lantern with “updated” – replacement paper. Original paper is translucent and not the modern office opaque. This new paper will fluoresce under a long wave black light – old paper generally will not. The black light can also help when looking at the glue. Synthetic glue will fluoresce; Vintage natural glue will not. Beware of repairs!! Your vintage lantern may have some modern repairs.

Using these general guidelines, you have a better chance of dating your Halloween lantern. But keep up with the changes. Continue to research and look at your find through the eyes of a Quester!!!!

Information taken from Fakes and Reproductions by Mark Chervenka