This particular estate document is extraordinarily unique and atypical in comparison to other estate documents of this period as it lists 15 SLAVES among the articles of property, and it actually labels these individuals as SLAVES as opposed to the much more common and typical practice of listing "Slaves" as "Negroes". The slaves are listed on the back side of the document with all other inventory listed on the front side.
Each slave is listed by first name with the corresponding current market value written to the left of the name, with the total market value of the 15 slaves named at $8600-- quite a hefty sum when one considers that the remainder of the estate (furniture, livestock, transportation and work vehicles, tools, etc) is valued in total at $980.75. Also listed in the inventory was 13,000 pounds of seed cotton, indicating that Lewis Mattair owned a sizable cotton plantation, clearly farmed by the slaves.
Lewis Mattair is noted in the 1860 Federal Census as a resident of Suwanee County, Florida; the 1860 Federal Census- Slave Schedules references Lewis Mattair owning 28 male and female slaves, ranging in age from 4 to 58. Lewis Mattair is listed in the 1865 Florida Tax records, but his name does not appear in any archived state or federal records after that year. Thus, it is presumed that this document dates from or just prior to 1865, the year that the Civil War ended.
The Middle Passage Museum was the dream of Jim and Mary Anne Petty of Mississippi as well as that of an anonymous Georgian benefactor who had together compiled a collection of slave artifacts numbering over 15,000 pieces and who had hoped to find a permanent site in Mobile, Alabama, for their museum. While they formed a non-profit organization to raise funds for their hoped-for museum, their dream was never realized.
In a 2003 statement, Jim Petty remarked, "The importance of the exhibit of these artifacts is to understand the harshness of what slavery and segregation was all about. The items in the exhibit remind us of the terrible heinousness of slavery. Viewing the collection can be very emotional, but it is a tool through which we can understand, honor and respect a great culture. We want to realize that out of slavery, a great culture emerged, and carried on, and continued to strive for a better life regardless of the adverse conditions that were placed upon them."
The 8.5 inch tall bottle has the manufacturer's letters “W.T.CO. – Pat. 1889 - USA” embossed on the base.
This label under glass (LUG) tincture bottle is in fine condition. The stopper sports ground glass construction as well. The label is complete and displays well.
This appealing bottle originated from a former pharmacy in Putnam, CT, which closed in 1949.
The trademark for Sharpoint is a cleverly-designed, eye-catching, broadly smiling image of an African American gent. If one looks closely, one can clearly see the words "Sharpoint Cobblers Nails" printed within the black space of the gent's mouth! A very "sharp" advertising strategy!
Sharpoint Wire Cobbler's Nails were manufactured by the Charles F. Baker Co, Boston, Massachusetts. The smaller box retains its end flap which features both the manufacturing and patent information, with the patent number corresponding to a 1933 USA Patent date. Each box amazingly still retains the original cobbler's nails!
The boxes are in very good condition considering their age and the fact that they held tiny, sharp nails for over 80 years! As stated earlier, the smaller box does retain the end flap which features manufacturing info. The larger box is missing this flap. The cover litho on each box remains very crisp and clear. Typical, age-related edge wear is noted. Please peruse all photos for condition details. The boxes have been shrink-wrapped to protect the integrity of the cardboard, and they do contain the nails.
These VERY, VERY RARELY FOUND SALESMAN SAMPLE size boxes WITH ORIGINAL NAILS are offered at $125 each, or the two boxes can be purchased as a pair for $198.00 firm.
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!
****NOTE ****CHLOROHYDRATE is SOLD
Offered is a wonderful collection of approximately 35 Merck & Company pharmacy stock bottles from the 1940 - 1950s era, recently acquired from the collection of a retired Pennsylvania pharmacist.
Included within this grouping are five, RED-labeled, POISON bottles displaying the visually-interesting skull and cross bone image!
The bottles measure 5 inches tall, sport front and back labels and have plastic or bakelite type caps. The condition of all of the bottles is very good with almost no wear!
Each bottle sports a different content label; given the number of bottles in this offering, a comprehensive listing of specific bottle content labels is prohibitive. Instead, please view each of the photos for a representation of the content labeling on these great drug store stock bottles!
The entire grouping all together would make an absolutely stunning addition to one's pharmacy collection!
When pulled by its string, the toy rolls along on its metal and rubber wheels, causing the jockey to raise and lower himself off of the horse as the horse makes a coordinated "jumping" motion as his front legs raise up slightly.
The toy is labeled "Loros Bros Ltd London England" within a small triangle that is painted on one side of the metal supporting rim (see photos). The horse and rider are constructed of wood and are affixed to the metal frame. The toy measures 11 inches tall when the rider is standing straight up and is 10.5 inches long.
Condition is quite fine given the toy's 80+ years of age. There are scrapes and minor wear to the paint here and there, the horse's tail is missing, and 2 newer nails in the horse's hind legs were added as reinforcement at some point. The toy is structurally sound and works quite well! It is simply adorable and displays beautifully!!
It is embossed on the base: W.N WALTON PAT SEPT 23, 1862.
The bottle is just about 8 inches tall and is in excellent condition, containing its original contents!
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 litho was executed by John Karst with his signature appearing in the lower left hand corner. Highly detailed, the litho reproduces a bustling New Orleans' dock scene featuring numerous slaves at work.
This litho was professionally re-framed using museum-quality, acid-free materials in 2004. The frame is a classic styled, black painted, beaded, hardwood accented with a dark rose, acid-free mat.
A fascinating glimpse into life on the docks of the Mississippi River at New Orleans!
Please note that any white spots or streaking appearing in photos are the result of light reflection and are not damage to the litho.
Measuring 18 inches tall, Mammy 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. Her hair has been styled in six pigtails adorned with bows.
Mammy's red, machine-stitched dress is also vintage 1930-40's fabric and features the classic Grecian Key design in white.
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 Art crafts-person who is now deceased.
Please take a moment to view her little brother by typing the words "Maine Doll" into the SEARCH box.
GOLD DUST Trolley Signs are a very rare find in today’s market as they were made of cardboard, a material much less likely to withstand the test of time as opposed to tin advertising signs which were much sturdier!
This Gold Dust trolley sign features the Gold Dust Twins dressed in ruffled, red skirts emblazoned with the words “GOLD DUST”, busily scrubbing the front porch and the kitchen in a vigorous attempt at “Spring Cleaning”. The colors featured in this trolley sign are just stunning—greens, pale peachy-colored orange, pale blue, and yellows with white apple blossoms and red tulips flowering in profusion!! To the left of the Gold Dust Twin scrubbing the front porch, sits a large box of Gold Dust Washing Powder. The advertisement proclaims in black-outlined, peachy-orange lettering: “For Spring House Cleaning”.
The condition of this trolley sign is truly quite fine. Colors are very strong and consistent throughout; please ignore the various glass reflections seen in some of the photos- they were unavoidable and do appear to make the colors appear a bit faded—which is inaccurate! The sign is free of rips or tears although it does have two, early, fold-creases – one running from top to bottom of the sign along the left side of the pail and between the “O” and “L” in “GOLD” and the other vertical crease on the very right edge of the sign, running through the stove in the kitchen to the “T” in “DUST”. The creases are very unobtrusive and do not detract from the wonderful, colorful imagery this sign conveys.
An unusual opportunity to acquire a very RARE piece of Black Americana!!
In 1912, in a stroke of advertising genius, Mayo's Tobacco Company packaged their cut plug tobacco in round tins with a lithographed character. Each held 1 pound of tobacco. It was opened by removing the head!
These "Roly-Polys" were a unique shape that distinguished them from the rectangular and lunch box-shaped tins that surrounded them on store shelves. There were a number of different characters that were available, and smokers were encouraged to collect the entire set. The six original tins were the Satisfied Customer, the Storekeeper, the Singing Waiter, the Dutchman, Scotland Yard....and Mammy!
Mayo called this packaging a "Brownie" tin...apparently the company suggested that the tins be used as brownie containers after the tobacco was used, and designed them accordingly. They were never a plentiful tin, and today, are becoming increasingly more and more difficult to find.
The Mayo tobacco tins were distinguished by little packages of Mayo Cut Plug tobacco shown somewhere on the character. Notice that the Mammy tin has a tiny tobacco tin tucked into her front pocket.
Mammy's dimensions are 7"x7". She is in good condition, as evidenced by the photos which clearly detail the flaws she has acquired over her 100+ years of existence. The body of the tin has minor paint loss to the litho as seen in photos, minor and subtle surface scratching (see photos), and small areas of denting to the top of mammy's head (see photo) and to her base near the cigarette pack protruding from her pocket (see photo). The body has some light soiling and has the appropriate wear at contact points. The tin has no repaint but does have some light, interior rusting to the interior of the base as well as a couple of tiny size holes which can be seen in the 12th photo (tiny holes show up as white spots in the photo). The base was held up to the bright, outdoor light to illuminate the holes- which actually make them appear more prominent than they actually are!
The base of the tin is labeled "made in factory # 42, in the 2nd District of Virginia".
**The depth of color is better viewed "in person" as opposed to what I was able to capture in a photo.**
A must-have addition to any SERIOUS Black Americana collection! A note on the rarity of this item....this is only the second Mayo Cut Plug tin that I have had the pleasure of offering for sale in my 20+ years specializing in Black Americana! The tin displays beautifully!!
Mammy's paper memo pad is original to the piece; however, she is missing her original pencil which would slip into the hole in her right hand and down into the broom top to form the broom handle! A present day pencil may be used as a replacement.
Condition is quite good with some tiny, age-related, surface and edge flecks as seen in photos. No repaint, cracks, repairs, no breaks! No maker's mark.
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!
Remaining in its original frame with original wooden and paper backing, this watercolor retains its framer's identifying sticker which reads, "Staton's Art Shop 5409 Germantown Ave." Perhaps this Germantown address indicates Philadelphia area origin? In the interests of proper conservation, the new owner should re-frame this lovely piece with appropriate acid-free materials.
Please ignore any white streaks seen in photos; these are the result of light reflection off of the glass.
A lovely watercolor- nicely executed!
The graphic showing an African American woman picking cotton with her little girl at her side retains its vivid coloring and is in near mint condition with only one tiny speck of paint loss at the base of the little girl’s apron. Very minor wear is visible along the front edge of the tray rim as well as along the base edge as seen in photos. Overall condition is quite exceptional!
The front of the tray bears the advertisement, “ The Source of Cottolene- ‘Nature’s Gift From the Sunny South’”, and obviously refers to the cotton plant as the source of Cottolene Lard or shortening which was manufactured by the N.K. Fairbanks Company.
In extraordinarily microscopic-size lettering on the bottom front of the tray at the base of the cotton-picking scene can be read (with a super-magnifying glass), the name of the manufacturer of this metal tip tray: " Passaic Metal Ware Co. Litho. Passaic NJ".
The tray underside depicts a can of Cottolene lard which provides the backdrop for the Fairbanks Company product advertising. It advertising reads, “ ‘Way Down South in the Land of Cotton’ If you could see cotton growing in the fields in all its purity, could observe the skill and care used in extracting and refining the oil, you would appreciate while COTTOLENE- the perfect shortening- is so much purer and more healthful than lard could ever be. COTTOLENE is pure and wholesome as the finest olive oil; makes food palatable, digestible, healthful. COTTOLENE shortens your food- lengthens your life.” Wow, quite a testimony!!
A wonderful crossover piece equally appropriate for one’s Advertising, Black Memorabilia, or Tip Tray collection!