The graphics on the cover of this box feature a smiling, happy, young African-American boy (the company's trademark) who is peering through a rip in the paper, unknowingly about to be pounced down upon by a very ugly and venomous-looking spider!
The box is in amazingly near-perfect condition despite its 100+ years of age with very insignificant soiling present as well as rubs and abrasions to box edges, all of which are more than perfectly reasonable given the age of the piece.
A very seldom-seen advertising piece featuring a Black Americana theme! The first that I have had from this company! is in excellent, all-original, perfect condition!
Recently acquired from a private collection, the framed diecut is without glass (which can be easily and inexpensively added).
The embossed-surface diecut is in near excellent condition, the only noted issue being a crease in the bigger girl's left leg (see close-up photo). An unusual find, with vivid, colorful imagery!
This piece is very much reminiscent of Johnny Griffin items with the exception of the intact, broad-rimmed hat on this piece versus the torn rim typically seen on all "named" Johnny Griffin pieces.
This circa 1920-30's novelty piece is constructed in solid brass, is hefty in weight, and was likely used as an ash tray given its tobacco leaf design/theme. The "Johnny Griffin-like" head of the young African-American boy that serves as the centerpiece of this wonderful piece, was molded separately and screwed into place. The screw is concealed under an original brass cap, done purely for esthetics.
The piece is in all original condition with the delightful, warm, rich, golden patina of old brass- not a reproduction- no replaced parts- and measures 7 inches long x 4 1/2 inches wide. It does not retain any markings, and country of origin is unknown, although likely of European origin.
A very seldom found Tobacciana piece of Black Memorabilia, that indeed pairs well with Johnny Griffin items!
To view all of the Johnny Griffin items currently available for sale, simply type “Johnny Griffin” into the search box on our web home page.
From approximately 1915 through the 1930's, Mrs. Vargas-Alphonso, influenced by the artistry of her father who also sculpted in wax, crafted a variety of wax dolls inspired by the black folk she saw on New Orleans's street corners while growing up. Sold exclusively at the time through Harriet's, of 318 Rue Royale in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the completely hand-made, one-of-a-kind dolls are seldom found on today's market due to their inherently fragile nature, making them highly sought after in the Black Memorabilia Collectible arena.
This particular figure is known as The Banjo Player and is actually quite rare and very difficult to find in today's collectible market, likely because there were not as many Banjo players crafted as opposed to the more commonly found Vargas cotton pickers or praline sellers.
Vargas wax figures are distinctly characterized by their interesting but highly exaggerated facial features. The Banjo Player wears a tan hat with black band, a green flowered neck scarf, a red and yellow patterned shirt and textured, loose-fitting black pants- with all but the hat constructed of actual cloth fabric that was coated with a fine layer of clear wax to stiffen them. He supports all of his weight on his back left leg while propping his right leg up upon an actual wooden log as he plays! His wax body is internally supported by a wire frame through which the figure is attached to the wooden base via his left leg.
This wonderful figure is in very fine condition for his 85+ years of age with the following imperfections: missing left-hand fingers (an unfortunate, but extremely common consequence of time), and the most obvious imperfection being a missing section of his hat brim. It is evident that the banjo has been re-glued into position over the years---a situation which does not surprise me given that the banjo is only supported by the left hand and propped upon the right leg--not a very secure position from a constructional viewpoint.
Regardless of his minor imperfections, this VARGAS figure would be classified as in FINE condition. Wax is a very delicate and fragile medium in which to work, and some loss is expected given that these figures are fast approaching 100+ years of age. The banjo player's brilliantly executed face with open mouth filled with song, his realistic and intact banjo complete with all original strings, and his incredibly natural and realistic pose remains a most delightful snapshot of C1920 New Orleans African American cultural history!
Please note- photos were taken in interior natural light. The first two photos best represent true, actual color. Any white or light spots on the figure are a result of light glare and are not reflective of discoloration or fading.
In utterly excellent condition with the only flaws noted being subtle wear to the paper dust jacket and a past owner's name and address, this version of the Little Black Sambo story is highly collectible as any item produced by its publisher, Platt & Munk, is aggressively sought-after due to the company’s reputation for use of extraordinarily vivid graphics.
This mini book is sixty-two pages long with 29 vividly colored illustrations designed and executed by the author, Frank Ver Beck.
A must have edition for the collector of Little Black Sambo books!
The golly's clothing is machine stitched; his red mouth and white eyeballs are constructed of felt. His body is tightly stuffed with cotton batting allowing him to be displayed either in a sitting position or standing with the support of a doll stand.
A brief history of the Golliwog doll: The Golliwog is based on a Black minstrel doll that the Victorian era illustrator, Florence Kate Upton, born in 1873 of English parents, had played with as a small child in New York. Upton's Golliwog character was first introduced to the world in her 1895 book entitled The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls. Like the rag doll that inspired it, the Golliwog in her book was an ugly creature with very dark, jet black skin, large white-rimmed eyes, red clown lips, and wild, frizzy hair. Golliwogs are typically male and are generally dressed in a jacket, trousers, bow tie, and stand-up collar in a combination of red, white, blue, black, and occasionally yellow colors.
A very sweet piece!
Cleverly designed, the elephants themselves, serve as the body of each tea pot, while the turbaned Black Natives lift off the elephants' backs revealing their function as tea pot lids. A wicker handle facilitates handling on the two large tea pots. The base of all three pieces are marked "JAPAN".
The largest tea pot measures 7 inches high by 8 inches long; the middle-sized tea pot measures 6 inches high by 7 inches long; the tiny novelty piece measures a diminutive 3.25 inches long by 2.75 inches high.
Condition is excellent on all three pieces with the exception of the wicker handle on the middle-sized tea pot. One end of the handle is missing its looped section of the wicker that would have wrapped around the ceramic loop to secure the handle to the tea pot. As is noted in the photos, that end of the handle can be propped against the ceramic loop to maintain its proper appearance for display purposes.
Handsome and difficult-to-find pieces of vintage Black Memorabilia! All three Good Luck Elephant pieces are offered as a single group, priced at $245.00!
The origin of this sign is unknown, but given its very substantial size and weight, it likely once hung as a directional sign in a major bus or railroad station, designating the "WHITES ONLY" area where African-Americans were required to sit or stand.
The subtly convex sign has had no restoration and remains in all-original condition. It bears areas of paint loss, scratching and superficial rusting (some areas larger in scope than others) typical for its age and use as noted in photos. Please view photos for further assessment of the sign's condition. The age and use-related signs of wear do not impact the physical integrity of the sign and are more than appropriate to the age and purpose of the piece.
An utterly phenomenal, extremely RARE, one-of-a-kind, museum-worthy piece of Black American history!
Please take a moment to view the other "Jim Crow" Segregationist Era signs that I currently have the pleasure of offering.
This particular tin retains its original, paper, US Internal Revenue tax stamp with an additional red ink imprint clearly dating this tin November 1941.
The image of an African woman with the racist title of “Nigger Hair” imposed over her shoulders was used by The American Tobacco Company of Wisconsin to promote its product; the lithographed tin was manufactured by the B. Leidersdorf Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Interestingly, it must be noted that after World War II, the product name "Nigger Hair" was changed to "Bigger Hair", although the exact same image of an African Woman continued to be used. The company simply added the words “Fiji Islander” to the left of her face in a very, very weak attempt to broaden the product’s appeal by moving further away from the earlier, severely derogatory moniker. At that time, the material out of which the tobacco container was constructed was changed from tin to heavy cardboard.
Measuring 7 inches high x 5 ¾ inches wide, the condition of the tin is a fabulous 9 out of 10--- sporting a lithograph on the front side with extremely teeny, minor, superficial scratches and rubs, and on the back side, tiny scratches along with tiny areas of paint loss (please see photos for condition). There is a very subtle crimp on the seam side of the tin at the base- difficult to see and impossible to photograph. The lid and the base of the tin show minor evidence of oxidation. The inside of the tin is clean with some minor oxidation evident. The tin is free of both rust and pitting.
The original orange color of the tin remains consistent over the entire tin although the color is a darker orange tone in actuality than what the camera “saw” when photographing it. Any imperfections are quite reasonable and expected given the age of this piece-- nearly 80 years of age!! This tin is just a wonderful example of early Black Americana advertising and looks so much better "in person" than what the camera was able to capture with its lens! Please note that any "white" areas in photos are flash or lighting reflections and are not imperfections to the tin.
The tin still retains its contents; it appears very little was consumed. The contents are quite antiquated and are no longer fit for human consumption and are presented for display purposes only. Additionally included is a grouping of discount tobacco coupons that were discovered inside the tin on top of the contents!
Truly an extraordinarily RARE piece of Black Memorabilia seldom found in this phenomenal condition complete with bail handle, lid and tax stamp! (Soft tissue paper has been wrapped around the bail handle to prevent any further scratching to the tin exterior.)
***For the ultimate collector of Nigger Hair Tobacco tins, an extraordinarily rare, 1949, Bigger Hair Tobacco container is also offered for sale- separately. The addition of the Bigger Hair Tobacco container will complete your collection from both a cultural and historical perspective! *** Type "tobacco" in our web cover page SEARCH box to locate it.
Both the Nigger Hair and the Bigger Hair Tobacco containers may be purchased together for the single price of $1195 with no further discounts applicable.
Little Jasper was created by George Pal, a cartoonist who worked for Paramount Studios and who created the Puppetoons, a popular cartoon series played in movie theaters of the era prior to the screening of the feature film.
Push or pull him along, and he twirls around while the two present wooden flowers spin along with him! (One wooden flower top is, unfortunately, missing--the only imperfection to this fabulous toy!)
Overall condition is rated as excellent, barely-used condition! There is very insignificant edge wear to paint here and there, but the four wheels don't show even the tiniest trace of wear from use, suggesting that this toy quite likely sat either in a display cabinet or was packed away for its entire existence! Even the original, paper manufacturing sticker remains intact and in pristine condition!
"Little Jasper" is very RARELY found, and the opportunity to acquire him should not be overlooked!
The doll clad in all black depicts the rarely-found, black country preacher out for an afternoon stroll with his wooden walking stick in one hand and the Holy Bible clutched in the other. The preacher wears a machine-stitched suit thoughtfully detailed with white shirt cuffs poking out of his sleeves and the white reverend's collar at his neck. His left shoe reveals a hole with a sock-covered toe poking through! The preacher's stove pipe style hat is placed snugly on his head covering most of his gray hair although his full gray facial beard features prominently. His embroidered facial features, characteristic of these dolls, are further accented with "steel-rimmed" style eye glasses. The 1.5 square inch bible actually has real pages! Also characteristic of this type of doll is a small square of asphalt shingle glued to the feet to serve as a stand. The doll's body is well-stuffed with cotton batting.
The gray-hair and bearded, chicken-toting black country gent doll is also attired in machine-stitched clothing and additionally shares a cotton-bating stuffed body, embroidered facial features, and an asphalt shingle tile stand. He wears cotton britches detailed with double knee patches and suspenders along with a blue and cream striped cotton shirt and a red and white polka dot kerchief around his neck. His hat is constructed of black-colored felt. This country gent holds a finely crafted and detailed brown chicken under his right arm, while his left hand clutches a wooden walking stick.
Two very special dolls that represent a snapshot of history, capturing the lives of poor southern black folk of the Depression era.
The dolls are priced at $255.00 each.
The female doll depicts a black mammy out for a stroll with black umbrella in hand. This gentlewoman wears a red and white polka dot kerchief on her head covering most of her gray hair and has embroidered facial features – characteristic of these dolls. Also characteristic of this type of doll is a small square of asphalt shingle glued to the feet to serve as a stand. This doll has (not uncommonly) lost hers long ago, but a bit of the original shingle is still attached to the soles of both shoes. Clothing, with the exception of her neutral-striped knit-fabric sweater, is machine-sewn cotton with careful detailing right down to the red hankie poking out of her apron pocket. She also wears gold hoop earrings! Her body, which is well-stuffed to be anatomically correct, is black cotton fabric stuffed with cotton batting.
The white haired and bearded male country gentleman doll is similarly attired in machine-sewn cotton britches with a patch at the knee and suspenders along with a tan cotton striped shirt and red kerchief around his neck. His hat is constructed of cranberry-colored felt. Under his right arm, he holds a nicely crafted chicken that has sustained a tiny bit of fabric loss to its face. His left arm once held a wooden walking stick which is long gone, but alternatively, he now uses his free hand to hold the arm of his lovely lady! His asphalt shingle is also missing with remnants evident of it present on the soles of his shoes.
Two very special dolls that represent a snapshot of history, capturing the lives of poor southern black folk of the Depression era.
The dolls are priced at $225.00 each, or they may both be purchased as a pair at the discounted price of $395.00. Please note that no further advertised discount is applicable to this special paired pricing offer.
All seven of these colorful brushes have natural bristles, and range in height from 7.5 inches and 8 inches tall to the smaller, 4.5 inches tall, green and red-dressed little Mammy brushes.
The three black railroad porter brushes, the large red Mammy brush with cloth bow and the small red Mammy brush are all in near excellent condition with evidence of having been very lightly used as described:
Blue Porter with Cream colored pants: teeny, superficial "dings" to paint here and there with one teeny mark between the eyes.
Black and Cream Porter: teeny, superficial "dings" to paint here and there with one teeny mark near the mouth; paint wear to edges of cap.
Yellow Porter: paint wear primarily to right side of face and top of cap.
Large Red Mammy with Cloth Bow: paint in excellent condition with a couple tiny rubs here and there. Natural bristles have faint trace of original red painted dots to natural bristle skirt.
Small Red Mammy: paint in excellent condition; faint trace of original red dots on natural bristle skirt.
The following two brushes are also in very nice, barely used condition with minor imperfection as described below:
Large Red Mammy with hand-painted bow: brush has seen a little more use than the others(see photos)- very minor paint wear from use to Mammy's back. Black paint drip to collar area. Natural bristles dyed red.
Small Green Mammy: green cap and blouse, small, 4.5" tall --in very good condition with exception to paint striation on face that occurred during manufacture (close-up photo makes this appear more prominent than what is seen with the eye).
Please note that many of the white spots seen in the photos are light reflections and are NOT areas of missing paint. If one looks closely, the teeny areas of missing paint can be distinguished from the light reflections.
The taller brushes are all priced at $85 each. The smaller, 4.5", green and red-dressed mammy brushes are priced at $60 each.
Please take the time to peruse our second grouping a Mammy and Porter brushes, listed separately.
The little black doll retains its original cloth diaper and swaddling blanket with arm holes. The blanket shows spotted soiling. The baby doll features a nicely hand-painted face with the bisque in excellent condition with the exception of the right foot. The top front of the right foot appears to have been chipped during production as it retains the original paint that is applied over the white bisque during the manufacturing process. The doll is marked on its upper back: "made in Japan".
The 2 piece peanut shell is quite lightweight and appears to be made of layers of heat-pressed paper that was fashioned into a peanut via a mold. The two peanut shells retain the original hinges. A 1 inch long piece of the interior paper liner has separated from the peanut shell, but the separated piece remains (see photo). These delicate peanut shells are in fine condition overall!
Perhaps originally intended as an ornament, the peanut shell still retains a hanging string at its top edge. A rarely found piece of Black Memorabilia!
Constructed of painted wood that is nailed and glued together, this vintage collectible retains quite a few of its original but yellowed-with-age grocery shopping list pages. The holder/board retains a ball of string and a stub of an older, red pencil. It also has an inkwell cut-out that would have accommodated a bottle of ink; presumably, an inkwell pen once resided beside it versus the current pencil.
The holder/board remains in all original condition with no repaint or repair. The black chef is not painted on but is a decal--all original. The pale blue paint has appropriate, minor, age-related wear as noted in photos.
Has great visual appeal and displays wonderfully!
Measuring 7" long x 4.5" high x 4" wide, this colorful toy features two African-American boxers who are activated by jiggling the paddle which causes the boxer's arms and legs to freely fly about.
The boxers have painted wooden bodies with lithographed tin arms and legs. They are attached to the wooden paddle by a thin metal wire.
The toy is complete and in all-original condition and has not been subjected to any repair or repaint. Wear to the painted faces is evident as noted in the extreme close-up photos provided. No manufacture marking evident.
This seldom-found toy displays very nicely and would be a delightful addition to a Black Americana toy collection.
Constructed of tin with a cardboard lithographed image and a glass cover, this game has a mirrored back. The puzzle is in all-original condition with the graphic remaining free of scratches and abrasions. The mirrored back shows evidence of subtle, minor scratching. (Please disregard any light or shiny spots in photos which are due to flash reflection off of the glass.)
A delightful piece of early Black Memorabilia!
Unmarked, the toy was likely produced in post WWII Germany. It is in wonderful, barely-used condition with just the tiniest degree of scratching wherever metal rubs metal during toy movement. To operate the toy, one simply squeezes the metal lever on the back, which causes the woman to hit the poor monkey on the head with a mallet!
A RARE toy with crisp color and which displays wonderfully!