The character of Rastus was based on an actual person- a black waiter from Chicago- who was paid $5 for the use of his image by Colonel Mapes, the General Manager of the Nabisco Company, the owner of Cream of Wheat. The company began using the waiter’s image in the early 1900’s, replacing the original woodcut of a black chef that appeared on the packaging from 1894 until that time. Interestingly from a social and historical perspective, the depiction of the ever-pleasant, always-smiling Rastus was both a subtle yet positive departure from the extremely derogatory advertising much more typical of the era- advertising that nearly always featured blacks with wildly contorted and exaggerated features most often in very undignified poses and predicaments.
This beautiful, scarcely-found puzzle, which is in excellent condition, is attractively framed in a hardwood molding colored in walnut, ebony and gold. The puzzle frame is original to the puzzle, and it is contemporary to the production date of the puzzle as it still retains its original wood panel backing, a framing technique not typically found after 1910. The puzzle pieces, themselves, are very finely and delicately cut, and are of a much smaller size than what is typically found in puzzles dating from the 1920’s and beyond.
A phenomenal piece that would be a centerpiece to any serious Black Americana, Advertising, or Cream of Wheat collection!
PLEASE NOTE: Any discoloration, white spots, or other unnatural variances in color are due to the unavoidable light reflections caused by the glass in the framing. The presence of the glass made photography quite a challenge!
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!
The needlework measures approximately 15 by 14 inches and is in good condition overall, given its 120+ years of age! The central design is superb with no problems, but the two upper corners show evidence of some unraveling, particularly the upper right, which has a small hole. This little hole could be repaired, or if the piece was framed, it could be visually eliminated; however, it truly does little to detract from the central focal point of the children on the seesaw, when viewed in its entirety. The piece does show subtle evidence of typical, age-related discoloration.
An utterly wonderful and scarce example of 19th century Black Americana themed Needlework!
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!
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!
Pepsodent product users would collect box tops and along with a small sum for shipping, would mail all into the Pepsodent Company in return for Amos n Andy's "Eagle's Eye View of Weber City, Inc." lithograph map!
The litho itself is just extraordinary---very brightly colored, original and mint condition, measuring 20 inches wide x 15 inches long. No rips, bends, or creases. This has been stored for years inside two clear plastic bag-type casings using a 16" x 20" art canvas for support. The litho is not attached to the canvas. The original fold creases which occurred when the litho was first mailed out in the 1930s remain. This litho would be absolutely fabulous framed given all of its bright, visually-striking detailing!
Also included are the Amos n Andy mailing envelope and promo letter from them that accompanied the litho asking their fans to buy Pepsodent products. The aforementioned, 9 x 12 inch, complete, all original, Amos n Andy sheet music package additionally comes with this offering. The cover features a fabulous, visually-appealing graphic of Amos n Andy and their dog that also would look wonderful framed right beside this fabulous litho!
All pieces are in absolutely amazing condition! I have not seen this litho before in my many years collecting and selling Black Americana. Its scarcity and superb condition make this offering a Black Memorabilia must-have!
Please note: some photos show shadows. These are a function of lighting conditions and NOT any discrepancy in lithograph coloring.
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!
Constructed of tin with tin back and a cardboard lithographed image and a glass cover, the puzzle is in all-original condition with some tiny crimps to the edges as noted in photos. (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!
All cloth and done in a great, red paisley fabric, this darling Black Mammy bag features an interesting, smiling face! Due to its small size, this bag would have held undies or stockings or also may have been placed on one's bed and used to hold one's nightie during the day!
Very sweet and displays nicely!
Her interesting and expressive face is completely hand-stitched and bears a tiny hole in the center of her chin. A similar teeny hole may also be seen (see photo) on her back. Mammy wears a lacy bonnet detailed with tiny pleats and 2 ribbon flowers. Her pink skirt and blouse, also hand-stitched, is presented in various shades of pink as Mammy's outfit has been subjected to light over the years and is in places, quite faded. Although now clean, Mammy's clothing is speckled here and there with teeny dark pinpoint size spots, most particularly in the bust area. Her white apron is pristine and is accented with a small, non-functional pocket. Her lace bonnet is fragile and must be handled with care as it can tear easily.
Although her bottle frame is covered by a black stocking, the stocking has opened slightly under her skirt revealing her sand-filled milk bottle.
This wonderful, early bottle doll is one of 3 currently offered bottle dolls --- all priced separately.
Prominent facial features- eyes and brows, nose, cheekbones, lips and teeth -and tight curly hair rise from the surface of the bowl. The bowl is rather heavy for its diminutive size and has no markings. Measures 4 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches high. Condition is excellent with some tarnishing that may be cleaned if desired; our preference was to offer this 140+ year old piece in as found condition.
An outstanding and highly collectible offering to add to one's advanced Black Memorabilia collection!
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!
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.
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 wonderful piece is unmarked but is documented in numerous guides as the Black Chef cookie jar made in the 1940's by the National Silver Company. It likely once had a "NASCO" foil label on its base which dried up and fell off over the course of the jar's lifetime.
Fabulous cobalt blue accenting makes this cookie jar quite striking in its appearance. A great display piece!
As stated, the cookie jar remains in all original condition-- a rarity for a cookie jar of this vintage! Please take the time to view all photos as they represent condition quite nicely. Glaze crazing typical to the age of this 60+ year old piece is evident as well as small surface flakes present here and there along lid cover edge- a very common site for flakes/chips on any lidded ceramic piece given that the lid was continually taken on and off during use and thus easily subject to damage. A single superficial hairline occurring during firing can be seen on the interior base; it does not go through to the exterior.
It is quite rare to find a vintage cookie jar in such fine overall condition! Reproductions abound on today's market, but authentic pieces such as this are quite scarce and are truly collecting treasures when discovered!
Measuring just 6 ½ inches tall with a skirt circumference of 4 ½ inches, her head, torso, and arms are constructed of fabric with an inverted basket serving as her skirt. Her clothing is machine-stitched with attention paid to detail: teeny gold fabric braiding serves as earrings and necklace; delicate lace accents her skirt hem; her red shawl features zig zag stitching accents; her face is finely hand-painted.
A sweet addition to one’s Black Memorabilia or Doll collection!
No chips, cracks, or repairs with only minor, subtle paint loss as noted in photos. Retains its original notepad but is missing its pencil.
Please see our other Aunt Jemima items!