Paper Mache Pumpkin Lantern

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Pre-1950s paper mache (papier mache) pumpkin lantern

Paper mache or papier mache lanterns were very inexpensive and fun items. Many lanterns featured paper facial inserts. Most had the likeness of jack-o-lanterns but some were made to look like cats and other Halloween themes.

Aside from lanterns, these were used as candy containers and often used as nut cups.

Lantern paper, the facial paper behind the eyes can provide important clues to age. Original lantern paper is translucent; it helped spread and diffuse the light from the candle flame.

Authentic lanterns most likely won’t have curled wires, and to the obvious set of eyes, the paper mache will show accurate age marks.

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