This circa 1920-30's Johnny Griffin tie rack is constructed in solid brass. It remains functional for such use today; however, only two of the five original tie hooks remain.
It is in all original condition with fabulous patina- not a reproduction- no replaced parts- and measures 13 inches long.
Johnny Griffin Black Americana collectibles should form the cornerstone of any serious Black Memorabilia collection!
To see all of the Johnny Griffin items currently available for sale, simply type “Johnny Griffin” into the search box on our web home page.
Ready to be framed, the puzzle has retained all of the brilliance of its original colors and also sports the artist signature of Fern Bisel Peat in the upper right hand corner. Slight and subtle edge wear to some puzzle pieces as noted in photo. A nice addition to one’s Little Black Sambo collection!
This wonderful Depression Era piece features a whimsical 10 inch long cutout figure of a little wooden black mammy with hand-painted “surprised” mouth and eyes! She is dressed in a machine-stitched cotton costume with great yellow ric-rac accenting —a wonderful kerchief on her head, and a cute little apron.
Her feet feature two brass-finish hooks, presumably to either hang keys or pot holders from. Overall condition is fine with minor paint wear to her face as seen in photos--typical of a 70 year-old-piece.
One of my favorite hand-made pieces with true folk art appeal!
The String Holder is stamped "JAPAN" on the back side, and it has a hole in the center of her mouth to accommodate the string! This wonderful piece has expected and typical glaze crazing and even comes complete with vintage string! On the upper right hand side of her forehead, these is a small white spot about 1/4 of an inch long where the face paint was not applied prior to factory glazing (see photo)- a tiny, insignificant manufacturer imperfection that does not detract from this rare piece! The entire piece is glazed with the exception of Mammy's lips which are cold-painted (meaning that the paint was applied after firing). As such, this area of paint would be the most vulnerable to wear, and Mammy does have 2 microscopically-sized specks on her upper lip where the paint has come off. Too tiny to be picked up in a photo!
Please note that photos were taken with a flash, so any white markings on the piece are flash reflections only and not imperfections.
Painted in 1934, the framed piece measures 20" x 26.5"; the watercolor, 13” x 19.5 “. Completed in various subtle tones of blue, gray, green, and brown. The watercolor was reframed in 1987 by the previous owner.
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 darling, all-glass piece remains in superb condition-no damage of any kind! It retains its wonderful, original satin string around the neck as well as the paper label that reads, “ Le Golliwogg, Vigny, Paris France” and features a lithograph of the Golli’s 2 black hands, positioned in such a way as to suggest that he his holding onto his big round belly!
The Golliwogg’s head is the perfume stopper (which lifts easily out of the bottle), and the facial painting/enameling remains as clear and crisp as the day it was applied! His black furry hair retains most of its original dark tones infused with shades of dark gray! The Golly’s glass collar is painted/enameled white with black lollipops and his feet are accented in black. The original paper label is completely intact.
The base of the clear glass bottle is etched but a challenge to read except under magnification or if the bottle is held up to a light bulb at a given angle. The etching reads, “FRANCE”. This bottle no longer contains perfume.
Along with photos of the Golliwog perfume is also a photo of an original 1920’s magazine advertisement for Vigny Perfumes including “Le Golliwogg”. The magazine advertisement is not available for sale and is only presented to serve as an historical reference.
A very, very special piece of Black Memorabilia that has appeal to Black Americana, perfume bottle, and Golliwog collectors alike!
Also pictured here and available for sale separately--- coming from the same estate--- is a 2.25 inch, Vigny, France, Golliwogg Perfume in Clear Glass dating post-WWI and priced at $375.00, as well as a second, 2.25 inch clear glass, 1920's, Golliwogg Perfume bottle complete with paper base label as well as a partial, original box and priced at $425.00. The clear glass perfume was the second version of the Vigny “Le Golliwogg” perfume produced from the 1920’s into the 1930’s. Type "Vigny" in the SEARCH box on our homepage to see all French Golliwogg Perfume bottles!
The oddly-shaped, hand-wrought shackles each have two lateral "pockets" that contain pieces of metal or balls that “rattle” as the wearer moves about, thus indicating the wearer's location. This type of shackle is noted in historical references as a Crab Rattler Shackle due to its visual similarity to that sea animal. Each shackle has a pair of small chain links attached at the top. One shackle would have been placed on each leg, and a metal chain would have then been threaded through the attached rings and secured with a lock.
The age of these shackles is formally listed as 19th century, but could very well be older, dating to the last quarter of the 18th century. Condition is quite good given age and use. Please note the small hole present on the side of one shackle as noted in photo. All original and untouched, an utterly horrible, tangible testament to the malevolence of slavery. A VERY RARE form of rattle shackle, even more particularly so due to its small size!
Also currently offered for sale and priced separately is a very diminutive child rattle shackle in an unusual form out of a South Carolina estate. Additionally, de-accessioned from the Middle Passage Museum is an ultra-rare set of 19th Century Slave Ship Shackles from a New Orleans, Louisiana, former slave trader estate! Please type the word "shackles" in the search box on our home page to find all sets of shackles currently being offered.
Marked "Copyright 1924", in the lower left hand corner, this extremely hard-to-find advertising piece measures 10.5 inches wide x 13.5 inches high. Colorful and visually interesting, the heavy cardboard diecut depicts an engaging Uncle Wabash serenely strumming his banjo on his front porch! Guess the message to the consumer was, "Eat one of Uncle Wabash's cupcakes to experience your own little slice of heaven and serenity!"
Condition of this charming piece of Black Historical ephemera is quite good given its 80+ years of age!! Old water staining to bottom of the diecut does little to detract from the piece. Crease line to one cupcake edge. Appropriate age foxing to back.
While some photos may appear a bit blurry, this is a function of photography and not condition. All postcards are crisp and clear! The six comical cartoon postcards are much more brightly and vividly colored than the photos depict. The four photo postcards also feature titles describing their subjects.
A delightful grouping that would be much-appreciated framed!
As each is priced separately (see photos for pricing), please email us stating which item you wish to purchase so that we can customize your order form.
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.
The female figure is known as the Praline Seller as her business was to sell freshly made Pralines, a candy confection composed of Louisiana cane sugar and pecans. Her straw, woven basket contains four Praline cookies or flatbreads.
The male figure is known as the grapevine and/or alligator seller. The grapevines are tied in a large bundle on his back which he also supports using the rope in his right hand, while leading a young alligator along in his left.
Vargas wax figures are distinctly characterized by their interesting but highly exaggerated facial features.
The Praline Seller wears a vividly colorful array of different pattern fabrics which work to comprise her eye-catching costume. Atop her head, she wears a large, green and red polka dot bandanna that allows a bit of her wildly-curly, dark hair to peek through, with a solid yellow bandanna tied around her neck. Her her red, cream and blue patterned blouse and skirt are partially protected by a rather sedate, cream-colored apron. All of her clothing is constructed of actual cloth fabric that was coated with a fine layer of clear wax to stiffen it. She carries her basket of pralines on her right arm, while holding a piece of paper in her right hand. A written price list, perhaps? In her left hand she carries a reed duster to keep the flies off of her confections!
The Grapevine/Alligator also wears fabric clothing coated in wax. His pink, white and blue patterned bandanna is tied around his neck and worn over a red, blue and yellow plaid shirt and blue denim pants. He is missing his hat-- perhaps, the alligator ate it?! He holds onto the gator's rope in his left hand while trying to balance the huge mound of grapevine on his back via a rope end clutched in his right hand.
The figures' wax bodies are internally supported by wire frames through which the figures are securely attached to the wooden base. The bottom of each base retains its original stamp which reads, "Genuine VARGAS New Orleans, LA".
These wonderful figures are in near mint condition for their 75+ years of age. The Praline Seller perhaps has lost a couple of her pralines from her basket over the years, an insignificant detail, or perhaps her basket was never meant to be filled to indicate that she had already successfully made some sales! The Grapevine/Alligator is missing his hat as noted earlier, as well as two of his fingers on his left hand, a common injury as they are so very, very thin and inherently fragile. The young Alligator is missing the tip of his tail and the tip of the top of his mouth, again, two very thin pieces of wax which were vulnerable to easily breaking off.
Please note that the Vargas figures are priced $795.00 EACH.
In lovely condition with age crackling to the backside of the seashell, this stunning piece appears to have never been used for its original purpose as a hanging wall planter. The black paint is in impeccable condition and any white dots that appear in photos are the result of light reflection off of teeny glaze imperfections and are NOT chips, rubs or scratches to the surface. The gold stippling to the seashell is perfect!
The piece has a hole in the back to facilitate wall-mounting or it may be easily displayed on a shelf.
A very seldom found piece of vintage Black Memorabilia that is truly stunning in appearance!
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 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!
Mammy or Aunt Jemima is wearing a white dress and head scarf with red trim. Her dark brown skin is flawless (any white spots or marks seen in photos are the result of light reflection and do not represent flaws of any kind.)
While she is unmarked, there is a very small black "X" on the bottom of the backside of her dress.
An incredibly hard to find piece! These very functional pieces were, more often than not, actually used in the home on ironing day, and thus were subject to damage or breakage and ended up in pieces at the local landfill! This wonderful Black American collectible was acquired from the original owner where it rested safely on a display shelf all these many years!
George Thompson’s missionary service to Africa occurs approximately 7 years after the MENDI natives of the AMISTAD were accompanied by missionaries on their return to Africa. He serves this very same mission, now in the of colony Sierra Leone, a colony which was established to serve as refuge for the liberated Africans taken from slave ships. 356 pages long, this journal provides a fascinating account of all aspects of the Mendi culture seen through the eyes, however biased in his mission to convert the Africans to Christianity, of a genuinely well-meaning gentleman of his time. Condition: complete, tight binding, foxing throughout, spine wear as shown in picture.
Thompson states, “It is hoped that the following narrative may, in the hands of GOD, awaken a desire in many hearts to go to Africa, for the purposes of preaching, teaching, farming, building houses, mills, manufactories, etc., and thus assist in making long despised and neglected AFRICA, what it is capable of becoming, THE GARDEN OF THE WORLD.”
Constructed of tin with a tin embossed and lithographed image and a glass cover, this game has a paper advertisement on back which has been partially impaired presumably due to the removal of an old price sticker. The puzzle is in all-original condition with the embossed graphic remaining free of scratches and abrasions. (Please disregard any light or shiny spots in photos which are due to flash reflection off of the glass.)
An interesting image and a delightful piece of early Black Memorabilia!