In the mid-20th century, common Halloween decorations were similar to today, and included jack-o-lanterns, black cats, spiders, bats, ghosts and witches. In the late 1800s, spiders, spider webs and bats were painted on bowls and vases that were displayed in the parlor.
However, back in Victorian times, bats and spiders were symbols of success and longevity rather than fear. Spiders, bats and other creatures like frogs and snakes were features of Art Nouveau pottery, jewelry and silver. In the 1920s, bats and spiders started becoming part of Halloween decorations, but weren’t popularly featured until the 1970s. These days, it seems that these critters aren’t scary enough, and we see more and more zombies, ghosts, vampires, etc.
A 12-inch vase featuring two large bats, clouds, stars and a crescent moon was made by a pottery that operated in England from the mid-1800s to 1935, called Wardle. It was likely created by Frederick Hurten Rhead who was the art director of Wardle from 1899 to 1902. The piece sold for $1,003 at an auction in Cincinnati.