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 This type of shackle is noted in historical references as a Crab Rattler Shackle due to its visual similarity to that sea animal.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.
This pleasant trio of Sapolio Soap diecuts is in excellent condition and comes protected in an attractive, walnut-toned, oak decorative frame!
Quite visually appealing!
These signs have a very colorful, folk-art appeal and certainly are utterly unique! They very much fit into the American, Southern "Outsider Art" collecting genre, a genre which highlights the work of self-taught, rural area artists who create fabulous and highly expressive art using the media and materials that they have at hand and which reflects the world that they know and live in.
The signs are quite heavy as each is made from a solid wood board. The signs are nearly identical in size and measure approximately 25 1/2 inches wide x 14 5/8 high x 3/4ths of an inch thick. One of the signs has very, very slight warping, but the warpage is not readily evident as seen by pictures. Each sign has 2 holes from which to hang them, and the old rusted hanging wire which is seen in the photos has been replaced by new hanging wire.
Taken right out of her sewing room where it had hung for decades on the wall, the black and gold sign, which is painted on a heavy particle-type board, has a very lovely, warm, aged patina. It was very difficult to photograph as the black background paint readily picked up the slightest light source. The very first photograph most accurately depicts the color and appearance of this piece. Any white glare in any of the photographs should be completely disregarded, as both the color and tone of the sign are quite uniform.
Measuring 24" wide x 6" long, the sign has three eyelet-type holes in each of three corners (one corner is missing) to facilitate hanging. It comes with a heavy, ancient piece of wire that was used to hang the sign in the seller's home.
As noted in the close-up photos, the sign has its share of surface rubs, scratches, paint edge wear and three of the four corner edges missing-- all appropriate examples of wear for a well-used sign that is nearly 100 years old! Close examination of the sign suggests that the background was painted completely black first and then the gold edge-work and lettering were stenciled on top of the black background.
Just LOVE the look of this sign!
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!
While mourning jewelry in general is not at all prolific on the antiques market today, coming upon a Mourning Brooch immortalizing a Black American is truly a RARE find!
This brass brooch is in fine original condition and celebrates the memory of a smiling black woman clutching a bouquet of flowers. This brooch is further enhanced with a delicate twisted braid around its circumference.
The photograph is gray/black toned and is in fine condition!
A truly RARE piece of Black Americana!
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.
This advertising gem was once used at the Island Pharmacy, City Island, New York, and was acquired directly from the family.
This display box measures 11"H x 9.25"W x 4.25"D, is in very good condition and sports the "WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH" cardboard label on its front. Both the display box and label exhibit age appropriate wear as noted: a few, small, top edge chips to the wood, some staining to the label as seen in photos, and the "N" in the word "BLANKS" is damaged.
This graphically appealing, vintage, advertising piece comes with a wide variety of very interesting and historic associated ephemera that serves to define the vast scope of service that Western Union provided: a 1962 CIPHER (Encoding and Decoding Card) for use with money order messages, a guideline card defining the delivery of Military Casualty telegrams, a 1949 guide card defining the Priority Order of Messages, a Standard Abbreviations Guide card, 2 cards notating New York City and Albany addresses of the main Western Union Offices in the state of New York, numerous contracts spanning multiple decades confirming the continued authorization of the pharmacy as a Western Union provider, as well as 15 colorful and unused, telegraph and cable THANKSGIVING blanks and over 40 Christmas HOLIDAY GREETINGS blanks. Also included is a 1950's, 17 page, company history given to Western Union services providers entitled, The Story of Western Union.
The City Island Pharmacy contracted with Western Union as an agent for the delivery and acceptance of telegrams and cable services from 1939 through 1972!
What a delightful advertising piece with wonderful provenance, filled with historic Western Union ephemera!
She has a muslin, machine-stitched body which is stuffed with sawdust. Her feet are black cotton. Upper arms are also stuffed muslin with composition forearms.
Her curly-haired head is molded composition; eyes, nostrils, and lips are handpainted-- note the BLUE EYES!!
She wears a muslin slip under a Victorian styled, machine-stitched, tiered ruffled dress. Her clothing has been professionally laundered but does remain darkened with age in some areas- the photos make these dark areas appear more prominent than they are when viewed by the naked eye.
Condition: Difficult to photograph due to camera glare off the composition, her head remains in pristine, all original condition- no repaint- with just a couple of very teeny white flecks here and there! The breastplate has an old glue repair which appears to be quite solid. The repair is not visible unless the doll is undressed. Superficial wear to each thumb is evident as is seen in photos. No cracking or peeling to composition. She was very well cared for over the years!
A very lovely and rare Black doll!
Extensively used in the 19th century and earlier, the cupping glass is a glass vessel from which the air has been exhausted by heat or suction creating a vacuum, and then applied to the skin to draw blood to the surface for therapeutic or curative purposes.
From 1901-1924, Bruckner produced this original, 12" Topsy Turvy doll for Horsman's Babyland Rag Doll line that features Caucasian, "Betty", on one end and African American, "Topsy", on the other. The inspiration for this doll is based on the character of Topsy in Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic 1852 novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin".
The Bruckner Topsy Turvy doll was advertised in a 1907 Babyland Rag Doll catalog as follows:
"TOPSY-TURVY---What is this?
Looks like just a pretty miss.
But turn her over and you'll find,
She is quite another kind.
First she's White and then she's Black,
Turn her over and turn her back.
Topsy that side--Betty this--
Yet complete, each little Miss."
The detail on this hard to find classic doll is lovely. Both heads indeed have the pressed, molded mask faces with lithographed features. Topsy's face is in mint condition! Betty's face is also in excellent condition with no superficial rubs to the flesh-toned coating of her mask; her lithographed facial features remain just beautiful!! (Such rubs are not unexpected as these particular doll masks are, unfortunately, very prone to rubbing. To find one of these 100+ year old dolls without such rubbing is quite rare!)
Grinning Topsy has red bows tied to her black mohair braided pigtails which are tucked into her red headscarf. Her red blouse, which matches her head scarf, is trimmed with cream banding around the sleeve and neck edges. The cream scarf she wears around her shoulders tucks into her very full, red/cream checked, gingham skirt. Topsy’s cream banding is lightly soiled and there is also some subtle fading to her red head scarf, most notably in the back. Flip her over, and....
Betty's more subtle Anglo face and her hair are lithographed. She wears the same red/cream checked gingham fabric of which both her dress and ruffled bonnet are constructed. Over her very full gingham dress, Betty should also wear a sheer, ruffled, white pinafore, however, it has been lost over time. Betty’s cream banding around each sleeve is also lightly soiled as are her hands.
Both dolls have the typical "mitten" hands of the stuffed rag dolls of this era. There are no other difficulties to report other than some tiny, stray (original) glue spots here and there. No rips, tears, or odors, and she has been stored in a smoke-free home. The 1901 Patent Bruckner Topsy Turvy doll typically carries a $650+ dollar price tag, but deductions to price have been levied to account for the minor imperfections that are noted in this doll.
The photos show it all- these two girls are a charming pair! A very difficult to find doll in such wonderful condition!
Also offered for sale is a COMPLETE 1901 Patent Bruckner Topsy Turvy doll with absolutely no soiling or fading. To view, simply type Bruckner into the SEARCH box on our homepage.
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.
Measuring 13 inches tall, he is constructed of black, machine-stitched, vintage 1930-1940's, polished cotton which has been stuffed with cotton batting. Facial features have been hand-embroidered, are quite expressive and are exceedingly well done. His hair has been styled in tightly wound little ringlets.
His brown-patterned, machine-stitched shirt and pants are also vintage 1930-40's fabric, accented with two miss-matched buttons holding up cute red suspenders.
A delightful piece of Black Memorabilia Folk Art! This wonderful, 1940's-vintage-look, one-of-a-kind, Artisan Doll was constructed in the 1990's by a Maine Folk Artist who is now deceased.
Please take a moment to view his big sister by typing the words "Maine Doll" into the SEARCH box.
The bowl has glaze crazing typical of an 85+ year old piece of pottery with no cracks or hairlines. Three imperfections are noted and are in close proximity to one another (see photo): a manufacturer’s abrasion that is coated in original glazing and two small, superficial (1/8” and ¼”) flakes.
An lovely piece of American Spongeware! Becoming much more difficult to find- particularly in this condition!
Please type the word "spongeware" into the Search box to find the other pieces of C1900-1920 Ohio Yellowware Spongeware currently being offered for sale. All pieces are prices separately.