Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Victorian Era Bat Woman Halloween Costumes

Victorian Era Bat Woman Halloween Costumes

During the Victorian Age, there was a lot going. The Age of Spiritualism had begun in the late 1840's with the Fox Sisters and their mysterious "Spirit Rapping", knocking sounds which came "out of the air" and represented "ghosts" communicating to them. Despite the Fox Sisters being decried as a fraud by the 1870's, Spiritualism had taken hold. It came about in America due to the massive amount of death and destruction during the Civil War. With so many people losing friends and family, there was a "need" for the belief in the afterlife and being able to communicate with the dead. With William Mumler and his "spirit photos" in the late 1860's, there was now physical "proof" that ghosts did indeed exist. 

All of that is the backdrop for a couple of the coolest vintage Victorian CDVs in our collection. While on a constant search for rarities on ebay for spirit photos, we occasionally come across odd CDV photos from the Victorian era. 

This very rare circa 1880's German CDV shows a woman wearing a early "Bat Women" costume. This could be for a early Halloween costume or as a costume for something else. She wear a solemn look on her face and has her arms outstretched to accentuate the "bat wings". She has in her hair a pair of funny looking bat ears". She also has a bat across her chest area. This was bought for about $100 on ebay about a dozen years ago. I would imagine it being worth about $300-$500 now due to iconographic nature of the photo. This is the only original I have seen in all my years of collecting. 

This rare "devil girl" costume is on a CDV from around the 1870's. Here, she has devil wings of the Archangel and devil horns. This is likely of an actress who was doing a stage production of a play where the devil was featured. She has a grim look! The tights which were tight against her legs was scandalous in the day and would have had many men really turned on! This was bought for around $30 about 10 years ago. It may be worth about $50 now. 

If you are interested in buying oddities like this, go to ebay and use search terms with the CDV or cabinet card categories like "devil","bat" and "witch".  You may come across some interesting things. For other great items which feature odd imagery like this, check out SWEETHEARTSINNER on ebay and etsy. There are plenty of cigarette cases, pill cases, and jewelry with odd imagery that will please anyone. With over 3000 items at under $10 each, they make great and useful gifts!

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