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All Items : Popular Collectibles : Memorabilia : Black Americana : Pre 1920 item #326332 (stock #BA151)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Measuring 4 inches long x 3 inches wide, this extraordinarily RARE Aunt Jemima Pancake Flour Advertising String Puzzle Toy dates to the 1905-1916 time period when it was used by the R. T. Davis Mill Company of St. Joseph, Missouri, to promote their product!

The puzzle is constructed of a cardboard paper material with Aunt Jemima’s image lithographed on the front and product advertising on the back. This puzzle toy was a “give-away” item--- customers could write away for the “free” puzzle by sending two 2 cent stamps for a “set of Aunt Jemima and her Pickaninny Dolls”.

Aunt Jemima is in all ORIGINAL condition and has no age imperfection to speak of other than minor creasing near the three string holes, undoubtedly created when someone long ago attempted to solve the puzzle---“separate the two cardboard pieces without untying the string!”

This RARELY found piece of early Black Memorabilia and/or Aunt Jemima advertising would be fabulous framed between two pieces of glass! A must-have for the serious Black Americana collector! These Aunt Jemima paper string advertising puzzles are simply not seen anymore- they are very rarely found in today's market due to the fragile nature of their composition!

All Items : Popular Collectibles : Memorabilia : Black Americana : Pre 2000 item #451878 (stock #BA560)
Stonegate Antiques
$75.00
Offered is an authentic signed baseball from former Negro League player CLIFFORD LAYTON. The ball was signed for me at an autograph show and is dated 4-15-05.

Mr. Layton was a skilled pitcher with a strong bat who had a four-year career in the Negro Leagues, playing for the Indianapolis Clowns, the New York Black Yankees and the Raleigh Tigers. One of his teammates was a promising infielder by the name of Hank Aaron, who signed with the Boston Braves in 1952, and eventually became a Hall of Famer. Layton received an invitation in 1951 to try out for the Brooklyn Dodgers, but by then his shoulder was troubling him so he declined, hoping it would heal and another opportunity would present, which unfortunately never came. As of 2016, Mr. Layton, at the age of 87, was enjoying retirement as an associate pastor in a North Carolina ministry.

A brief history of the Negro League:

African-Americans first began to play baseball in the late 1800s on military teams, college teams, and company teams, eventually finding their way to the established professional baseball teams of white players. However, racism and “Jim Crow” laws would force African-Americans from these teams by 1900, with black players left to form their own teams.

In 1920, an organized league structure was formed under the guidance of Andrew “Rube” Foster, a former player, manager, and owner for the Chicago American Giants. In a meeting held at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City, Mo., Foster and several other Midwestern team owners joined to form the Negro National League. Soon, rival leagues formed in Eastern and Southern states, which brought black baseball to major urban centers and to rural countrysides in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. The Leagues maintained a high level of professional skill and inspired economic development in many black communities.

In 1945, when Major League Baseball’s Brooklyn Dodgers recruited Jackie Robinson from the Kansas City Monarchs, Robinson became the first African-American in the modern era to play on a Major League roster. While this historic event was a key moment in baseball and civil rights history, it marked the decline of the Negro Leagues. The best black players began to be recruited for the Major Leagues with their black fans following them, and the last Negro Leagues teams folded in the early 1960s.

All Items : Popular Collectibles : Memorabilia : Black Americana : Pre 1900 item #1235723 (stock #BA894)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Offered is an extremely RARE 1861 Slavery Manumission document from Norfolk, Virginia, executed for A. A. (Alexander Augustus) Cowdery and referencing his slave, George Danley.

Measuring approximately 10 inches long x 8 inches wide, this extraordinary and historical document is handwritten and was executed on April 29, 1861, just 12 days after Virginia chose to secede from the Union on April 17, 1861.

The document is in excellent condition save the fold marks; this document clearly has been stored in this folded state for the past 153 years. It is suitable and ready for archival preservation- appropriate acid-free backing and matting materials with framing. In the upper left hand corner, the local stationery store's embossed imprint is visible and reads: “S & P Lawrence Superfine”.

The text of the document is as follows:

“Know all men by these presents, that A A Cowdery, of the city of Norfolk, for and in consideration of the faithful services of my negro man George Danley, do hereby emancipate and set free the said negro man George Danley and absolve him from all claim to my service; and for the consideration aforesaid hereby warrant unto him his freedom against the claim of myself and of all persons whomsoever to witness my hand and seal at the city of Norfolk, this 29th day of April 1861.”
A A Cowdery (SEAL)

“City of Norfolk, to wit
Simon S. Stubbs (sp?) a Notary Public in the city aforesaid in the state of Virginia hereby certify, that A.A. Cowdery, whose name is signed to the writing above (?) bearing (?) date on the 29th day of April 1861, has acknowledged the same before me in the city aforesaid. Given under my hand this 29th day of April 1861.”
Simon. S. Stubbs
Notary Public

Truly an extraordinarily rare piece of historical ephemera documenting a tiny light shining within a very dark period in American history. If only the circumstances and "story" surrounding the execution of this document were known today!

Some relevant family history that was very kindly provided by extant Cowdery-Taylor family ancestors:
Alexander Augustus Cowdery was born May 11, 1817, in Norfolk, Virginia, the son of Jonathan Cowdery of Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and Elizabeth Reddick of White Haven, England. Jonathan Cowdery was a career physician surgeon in the United States Navy, serving until his death in 1852.

Alexander Augustus Cowdery was uncle to Walter Herron Taylor, who served as Lieutenant Colonel in the Confederate Army as Aide-de-Camp and then Adjutant-General under General Robert E. Lee, becoming one of Lee's most trusted aides and an intimate friend. Taylor later authored two works documenting his wartime experiences: "Four Years With General Lee" and "General Lee, His Campaigns in Virginia, 1861-1865".

All Items : Popular Collectibles : Memorabilia : Black Americana : Pre 1900 item #961675 (stock #BA775)
Stonegate Antiques
$175.00
Produced as a souvenir piece for the 1884 New Orleans Exposition, this diminutive, antique, metal match holder measures just 2.5 inches high!

Marked "Pat Applied For" on its base, this darling match holder features two small black boys playing around a rather large cotton bale (the bale is labeled "COTTON").

Well-executed detail! A lovely piece seldom found in today's collectible market!

All Items : Popular Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1940 item #676630 (stock #BA450)
Stonegate Antiques
$78.00
A wonderful example of hand-crafted Black Americana Folk Art!

This wonderful Depression Era piece features a whimsical 10 inch long cutout figure of a little wooden black girl with hand-painted smiling mouth and eyes! She is dressed in a hand-stitched cotton costume that has been stuffed with scrap fabric.

Her feet feature two brass-finish hooks, presumably to either hang keys or pot holders from. Her ears each have a punched out hole--whether this is functional or purely decorative remains a mystery. A small brass hoop threaded through a piece of fabric which was then tacked to the back of the girl's head facilitates hanging on a wall. Overall condition is fine with age-related soiling to the dress and minor paint wear typical of a 70 year-old-piece.

One of my favorite hand-made pieces with true folk art appeal!

All Items : Popular Collectibles : Memorabilia : Black Americana : Pre 1900 item #877751 (stock #BAFolder)
Stonegate Antiques
$60.00
Measuring approximately 4.5 x 6.5 inches, this 1897 copyright souvenir postcard folder is entitled, "Souvenir Folder of Dixieland, Containing Typical Scenes". It was printed by F.L. Howe of Atlanta, Georgia.

The folder was mailed, but remains in fine condition given its age. Some edge wear evident at corners. While some photos may appear a bit blurry, this is a function of photography and not condition. All postcards are crisp and clear!

The Real Photo postcard folder features the lyrics and music of "Dixieland" and 18 full color scenes of the industries common in the South during this period: cotton picking and production, tapping pine trees for turpentine production, watermelon farming, and sugarcaning. Of cultural and historical interest are the numerous scenes of African-American life including less-flattering stereotypical scenes. Some very politically incorrect and derogatory captioning including use of "dialect".

All Items : Popular Collectibles : Memorabilia : Black Americana : Pre 1920 item #728806 (stock #BA683)
Stonegate Antiques
$495.00
Measuring 14 inches long by 11 inches wide, this delightful watercolor features a charming rendition of a young, straw-hatted black boy straddling a fence while clutching a plump watermelon! Signed "M. Shirreff" in the lower right corner.

Remaining in its original frame, this watercolor retains its vibrant color. A lovely piece of Black Americana executed with some naivete!

Please ignore any white streaks seen in photos; these are the result of light reflection off of the glass.

All Items : Popular Collectibles : Memorabilia : Black Americana : Pre 1960 item #365284 (stock #BA425)
Stonegate Antiques
$58.00
Measuring 23 3/4 inches long x 15 ¼ inches wide, this very charming, circa 1940-1950’s, machine-stitched, linen towel bears a very delightful, colorful stencil of the well-known Black Memorabilia character, Little Brown Koko eating a watermelon! In excellent, spotless condition, the towel may be folded and framed if desired! A great companion piece for those who collect Little Brown Koko books!
All Items : Popular Collectibles : Memorabilia : Black Americana : Pre 1950 item #383422 (stock #BA473)
Stonegate Antiques
$225.00
An unusual piece, this delightful, cloth Mammy Broom Doll from the 1940's measures 12.5 inches high with a total height of 31 inches including the broom.

Mammy's wonderful, smiling face is all hand-stitched while her clothes are machine sewn. Her blouse is striped cotton, as are Mammy's head, arms, skirt, apron, and cap. Her head, arms, and upper torso have been stuffed with cotton batting. The natural bristle broom fills out both Mammy's torso and skirt & the wooden broom handle extends upward through her neck and head.

Mammy is in all original condition with no mends or repairs. The structural integrity of the broom remains quite sound. Mammy's white cotton apron and cap have been professionally cleaned, removing nearly all traces of old stains, dirt, and dust.

A fabulous piece of vintage Black Americana, and a seldom seen form of the Black Mammy Doll!

All Items : Popular Collectibles : Memorabilia : Black Americana : Pre 1940 item #795228 (stock #BA516)
Stonegate Antiques
$245.00
Measuring 13 inches in height, this vintage 1930's, Mammy Bottle Doll is in lovely condition, with nicely detailed clothing and a very darling face!

Her cute face is completely hand-stitched and is accented by original celluloid hoop earrings. She wears a flowered bandanna, a cream colored flowered shawl, and an off white apron over her green and black mini-checked dress. She even has a cream colored petticoat underneath all! Her machine-stitched clothes are odor free and are nicely constructed, although her apron does have tiny age holes!

Although her bottle frame is covered by a black stocking, the stocking has risen up revealing her sand-filled milk bottle with red lettering from R.W. Tripp's Dairy, established 1889. The milk bottle lettering is in great shape and even features a graphic of a school boy and girl! Among milk bottle collectors, this particular milk bottle is quite rarely found and quite highly sought after, adding further collectible value to this sweet doll!

This great, early bottle doll is one of 3 currently offered bottle dolls --- all priced separately.

All Items : Popular Collectibles : Memorabilia : Black Americana : Pre 1950 item #596309 (stock #BA641A)
Stonegate Antiques
$75.00
This is an authentic signed baseball from former Negro League baseball player Luther "Luke" Atkinson. The ball was signed at an autograph show in March 2006. Luther "Luke" Atkinson was #20, a stand-out performer for the Wilson, North Carolina All Stars, the Carolina Tigers, and the Satchel Paige All-Stars, who played baseball in the Negro Leagues from 1955 to 1960, starting his career right out of high school. As of spring 2018, Mr. Atkinson, who lives in Maryland, remains an active volunteer in the newly opened, Hubert V. Simmons Museum of Negro Leagues Baseball, Inc., at the new Owings Mills Metro Centre Complex.

A brief history of the Negro League:

African Americans first began to play baseball in the late 1800s on military teams, college teams, and company teams, eventually finding their way to the established professional baseball teams of white players. However, racism and “Jim Crow” laws would force African Americans from these teams by 1900, with black players left to form their own teams.

In 1920, an organized league structure was formed under the guidance of Andrew “Rube” Foster, a former player, manager, and owner for the Chicago American Giants. In a meeting held at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City, Mo., Foster and several other Midwestern team owners joined to form the Negro National League. Soon, rival leagues formed in Eastern and Southern states, which brought black baseball to major urban centers and to rural countrysides in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. The Leagues maintained a high level of professional skill and inspired economic development in many black communities.

In 1945, when Major League Baseball’s Brooklyn Dodgers recruited Jackie Robinson from the Kansas City Monarchs, Robinson became the first African American in the modern era to play on a Major League roster. While this historic event was a key moment in baseball and civil rights history, it marked the decline of the Negro Leagues. The best black players began to be recruited for the Major Leagues with their black fans following them, and the last Negro Leagues teams folded in the early 1960s.

All Items : Popular Collectibles : Memorabilia : Black Americana : Pre 1940 item #1224370 (stock #BA884)
Stonegate Antiques
$450.00
This fabulous 1930's American Beach cast iron sign reading "AMERICAN BEACH FLA Negro Ocean Playground" is in very fine condition with remnants of original paint and vintage patina. This is NOT a reproduction! This sign was originally sold to be used as a license plate topper by African American folks frequenting this beach. It measures 11 inches in length x 4.50 inches high at its tallest point.

American Beach was established in 1935 on Florida's east coast under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln Lewis, one of seven co-founders of the Afro-American Life Insurance Company, and one of Florida's first black millionaires. His vision was to create a beach resort as a benefit for company executives and as an incentive for employees.

In the era of Jim Crow segregation laws, few public places in Florida or the rest of the South were open to African Americans. From the Depression until well into the 1960's, American Beach served as a holiday and vacation destination for thousands of African Americans, and was a magnet for black celebrities such as entertainers Cab Calloway and Ray Charles, heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis and writer Zora Neale Hurston.

But in 1964, the area began to decline. Hurricane Dora destroyed much of the beach, and passage of the Civil Rights Act meant that blacks were, finally, no longer restricted to segregated beaches and the businesses that catered to them.

A fabulous and historically relevant piece of Black Americana!

All Items : Popular Collectibles : Memorabilia : Black Americana : Pre 1940 item #365750 (stock #BA454)
Stonegate Antiques
$125.00
Measuring 10 1/2 inches wide x 13 3/4 inches long, this brightly colored, all original, uncut paper doll entitled “Dottie Darling’s Little Friend Sunny Sammy ” published in the March 1934 edition of Pictorial review is in excellent condition! Designed by Corinne Pauli Waterall, this sweet paper doll set was one of a series, with this one featuring sweet-faced, Sunny Sammy’s Black Mammy Nurse, Diana!

Protected in an antique gold wooden frame, this magazine sheet has retained all of the brilliance of its original patriotic colors- red, white, and blue, making it a rather striking piece of wall art-perhaps for the nursery! Seldom located in such fine condition!

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!

All Items : Popular Collectibles : Memorabilia : Black Americana : Pre 1940 item #1222839 (stock #BA875)
Stonegate Antiques
$115.00
Measuring 3 inches long x 2 inches wide, this vintage, 1930's, advertising, lithographed-metal, pocket mirror remains in all-original condition (see photos). This is not a reproduction!

Given away by the Merrick Thread Company as a free advertising premium to encourage the purchase of its product, this mirror depicts a rather confident black boy hanging from a single strand of Merrick thread while dangling above the open jaws of a hungry alligator! At the base of the mirror the caption reads, "Fooled Dis Time Cully Dis Cotton Aint Gwine To Break".

A delightful Black Americana Advertising piece!

All Items : Popular Collectibles : Memorabilia : Black Americana : Pre 1960 item #1166268 (stock #BA835)
Stonegate Antiques
$375.00
Offered is a VERY difficult to find, Mammy or Aunt Jemima ceramic Clothes Sprinkler Bottle measuring 7" tall. My references indicate that she was made in Japan in the 1950's. She is in absolutely PERFECT CONDITION (no chips, cracks, breaks or repaint) and is complete with her original rubber and metal sprinkler stopper! Clearly, she was never actually filled with water and used to sprinkle water on wrinkled clothing prior to ironing!

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!

All Items : Fine Art : Paintings : Watercolor : Pre 1940 item #113646 (stock #BA279)
Stonegate Antiques
$425.00
Signed in the lower left hand corner by the Brooklyn, New York, born LISTED American artist, Olga Lea Rosenson (Born September 10, 1892), this original watercolor portrait of a young "Black Shoe Shine Boy" intimately captures the soul of its subject as he pensively awaits his next customer.

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.

All Items : Popular Collectibles : Memorabilia : Black Americana : Pre 1940 item #264029 (stock #BA382)
Stonegate Antiques
$125.00
Measuring just 11 inches tall, this sweet cloth doll with a composition face may be placed in either a standing or sitting position.

Her composition face is in impeccable condition with sharp, well-drawn painted facial features. Her face is further accented by 3 darling curls peaking out from under her brightly colored cloth bandanna!

Her body is machine-stitched cotton fabric stuffed with sawdust. On the back of her right thigh, her place of origin is stamped: "POLAND". Her little flowered skirt is also machine stitched and is the only piece of clothing that may be removed.

Condition is superb with the exception of a hand-stitched repair to the seam line of her left foot where the foot is joined to the leg. Does not detract.

All Items : Popular Collectibles : Memorabilia : Black Americana : Pre 1930 item #950251 (stock #BA908)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Measuring 10.25 inches wide x 4.50 inches high, this untouched, all-original, double-sided, solid, one half-inch-thick-wooden, circa 1920s sign is an extraordinarily RARE piece of Black American history-- an artifact of the "Jim Crow" era when segregation of the African American race was unfortunately, most commonplace.

The origin of this sign is unknown, but it once hung on either the interior of a bus or railroad car designating the section of the bus or rail car where African-Americans were required to sit. One side reads “FOR WHITES” and the other side reads “FOR COLORED” thus separating the two races on public conveyance vehicles-- segregating the African-Americans to the back of the vehicle.

This historically significant sign retains its original metal hanger and is in all-original condition. It has had no restoration and bears some paint loss and scratching typical of its age and use as noted in photos. The “For White” side has significant paint loss from the actual lettering although this side of the sign is still quite "readable". The "For Colored" side is in very nice condition with very minimal paint loss to the actual lettering. This side of the sign displays exceedingly well! The age-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.