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 set appears to have never been used! All blocks are present and are in wonderful condition! The paper label attached to the sliding, wood cover is intact with very minor, age-appropriate edge wear and scuffing. What a fabulous, graphic image that would certainly command presence when displayed on a shelf! The integrity of the all-wooden box remains strong and sturdy.
Sets such as these could be found in the more affluent home as well as in early elementary level classrooms, as such toys or learning manipulatives, promoted the development of eye-hand coordination and visual-spatial reasoning skills.
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.
This particular figure is known as The Banjo Player and is actually quite rare and very difficult to find in today's collectible market, likely because there were not as many Banjo players crafted as opposed to the more commonly found Vargas cotton pickers or praline sellers.
Vargas wax figures are distinctly characterized by their interesting but highly exaggerated facial features. The Banjo Player wears a tan hat with black band, a green flowered neck scarf, a red and yellow patterned shirt and textured, loose-fitting black pants- with all but the hat constructed of actual cloth fabric that was coated with a fine layer of clear wax to stiffen them. He supports all of his weight on his back left leg while propping his right leg up upon an actual wooden log as he plays! His wax body is internally supported by a wire frame through which the figure is attached to the wooden base via his left leg.
This wonderful figure is in very fine condition for his 85+ years of age with the following imperfections: missing left-hand fingers (an unfortunate, but extremely common consequence of time), and the most obvious imperfection being a missing section of his hat brim. It is evident that the banjo has been re-glued into position over the years---a situation which does not surprise me given that the banjo is only supported by the left hand and propped upon the right leg--not a very secure position from a constructional viewpoint.
Regardless of his minor imperfections, this VARGAS figure would be classified as in FINE condition. Wax is a very delicate and fragile medium in which to work, and some loss is expected given that these figures are fast approaching 100+ years of age. The banjo player's brilliantly executed face with open mouth filled with song, his realistic and intact banjo complete with all original strings, and his incredibly natural and realistic pose remains a most delightful snapshot of C1920 New Orleans African American cultural history!
Please note- photos were taken in interior natural light. The first two photos best represent true, actual color. Any white or light spots on the figure are a result of light glare and are not reflective of discoloration or fading.
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!
It features a vintage, EARLY HOLOGRAM IMAGE, a “moving” Court Jester or Clown, who in a gallant sweeping motion, removes his broad-rimmed hat and takes a grand bow. (Tilt pin slightly to make Jester move.)
Colors: bright, buttery yellow background, jester in dark fuchsia, green and white, and lettering and metal pin back frame in red.
Condition: quite nice for its 60 years of age with light, expected wear to red paint at rim edges and back. NOTE: The piece of tape shown in pics is not part of the pin or attached to it, but was used to prop the piece up to display the moving images.
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!
Detailing in construction sets this mammy doll apart! Her creation was very carefully executed through a combination of hand and machine stitching. Mammy was lovingly dressed in clothing made from old, red, black, and white-patterned handkerchiefs, while both her body and her interesting pair of black pantaloons were constructed of old, black stockings. Detailing was clearly important to the creator--an additional and elegant surprise is the cream-colored, cotton petticoat edged with lace!
Mammy's face is hand-embroidered, and she wears brass-colored, plain, hoop earrings. Her body is machine-stitched together and is stuffed with cotton batting.
Mammy is in near perfect condition with the exception of minor wear (not holes) to her stocking-constructed left foot as well as the underside of her right, stocking-constructed hand. (This wear to the fabric may well be the very reason the stockings were used to construct Mammy as they may have been discarded from personal use. Please refer to photos to view wear.)
Mammy is simply full of charm with lovely and creative detailing! A quite difficult-to-find-in-this condition, 80+-year-old, cloth mammy doll!
The well-appointed Chef Uncle Mose sports a very wide grin and holds a bowl of eggs in his right arm and a wooden mixing spoon in his left. He is in very fine condition with a very subtle suggestion here and there of a remnant of his original gold paint. There are subtle dings to the backside as well as evidence of superficial surface rust. The following is imprinted on the Chef's backside: “Compliments The Toledo Stove And Range Co”, although the striking of the "O" and "L" are very faint. This imprint documents the spoon rest’s original function- continuous promotional advertising presented as a free giveaway to buyers purchasing the company’s products!
The well-dressed Aunt Jemima Mammy sports a wide grin and holds an iron in her right hand and other household implements in the left. She is in very fine condition with a smattering of some very subtle superficial rusting here and there. Evidence of the original gold paint is also subtle but can be seen. The back side of the spoon rest is perfect and looks as though it came right out of the factory just yesterday with a very solid and clear imprinting of the Toledo Stove Company advertising.
A very rare find!
The records are in used condition with minor scuffing and/or scratching typical of used records of 80+ years of age. These records have not been recently played and are presented as historical artifacts, and as such, they are offered for sale without guarantee of "playing quality".
1912 "I'se Gwine Back to Dixie" by the Haydn Quartet
1923 "Two Black Crows Part 1 and Part 2" A Comedy Sketch by Moran and Mack
C1915 "No One Loves You Any Better Than Your Mammy" by Link-Nelson
1908 "Coon Band Contest--Fox Trot" by Earl Fuller's Famous Jazz Band
C1910 "Uncle Tom One-Step" by Hugo Frey.
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.
This toy company exclusively produced toys in the clown image and were fairly quickly in and out of business during the depression era 1930s; thus, very few of this particular toy were produced!
Both Bojangle and his colorful, yellow and green, metal base both measure 7 7/8 inches in length. The base has a metal rod that can be pulled upright that Bojangle is then inserted into to facilitate dancing. When the red button on the base is pushed, Bojangle dances!
Bojangle is nearly constructed entirely of wood with only his yellow hat and arms constructed from metal. Bojangle's condition is perfect as is his metal stand. One very teeny scratch on the base is present that must have resulted from handling over the years. The cardboard box is in fairly good condition with just some surface and edge wear. It is missing one end closure tab as well as the "tuck-in' piece of the primary bottom closure tab. Two end tabs and the primary top closure tab are separated from the box.
A very rare Black Americana toy in quite fabulous condition given its nearly 90 years of age!
Colors are extraordinarily vivid, a fabulous display piece -retains original cardboard backing and original stand, but, alas, no game darts! The darts are extraordinarily rare and are seldom found!
Present are minor surface blemishes, surface scratches, some surface rust specks, as well as minor edge crimps that one would expect of a 90+ year old toy -all of which fail to detract from the fabulously bold visual imagery of this piece! (The most prominent scratch is on Sambo's target.)
To see all of the Little Black Sambo items currently available for sale, simply type “Sambo” into the search box on our website homepage.
As a doll collector myself, I just LOVE this doll. I love it as his composition head is in just flawless condition. I love it as he is completely original including the light soiling to and single broken button on his machine-stitched, renowned Stifel-Brand denim overalls! (see photo---the overall's bib is stamped with the trademark cowboy boot logo encasing the word "STIFEL" and the words, "Reg US Pat Office" above the boot.). I love it as his compo hands are in nearly perfect condition with the exception of the tip of his pointer finger on his right hand. And I love it as he has three tiny little holes in his left black sock! He obviously was very well cared for over these past 99 years!
In addition to his overalls, he wears a cream-colored, machine-stitched cotton shirt that comes complete with two button holes, but no buttons. His shirt has been carefully and competently sewn via both machine and hand. His black cotton stockings travel all the way up to his hip where they meet a pair of cream-colored silk underwear! He has no shoes!
His body, arms and legs are stuffed with cotton batting and covered in muslin. With the exception of his stamped Stifel overalls, this sweet boy is unmarked.
The graphics are fabulous, the titles are creative! Condition of all ten pieces is good to very good and is consistent with the expected wear of paper items 80+++ years of age!
1920 "Green River, The Snappy Trot", sheet music published by Van & Schenck, Chicago
1923 "The Path Across the Hill", a short play by Lillian Mortimer, Denison & Co. Publishers, Chicago
1926 "Two Days to Marry" by Walter Richardson, BugBee's Popular Plays, Syracuse, NY
1928 "Laffalot Minstrel Book" by Arthur LeRoy Kaser, Paine Publishing, Dayton,Ohio
1929 "Denison's Make-Up Guide for Amateur and Professional (Very Interesting!!!), by Denison Publishers, Chicago
1930 "The Burnt Corkers Jamboree", by Arthur LeRoy KaserPaine Publishers, Dayton, Ohio
1932 "Underneath the Harlem Moon" by Mack Gordon & Harry Revel, DeSilva, Brown & Henderson Publishers, NY
1934 "Happy School Days Minstrel" by Arthur LeRoy Kaser, BugBee's Minstrel Plays, Syracuse, NY
1935 "Ignorant Mama- Papa's Gonna Educate You" by Harold Dixon - Words, Music & Publishing NY
1936 "30 Songs-Tip Top Entertainment & Minstrel Album" made Famous by Outstanding Radio and Record Artists, NY
Unmarked, this toy is in very good condition with tiny superficial surface scratches wherever metal rubs metal during toy movement. To operate the toy, one simply squeezes the metal lever on the back, which causes the clown to hit poor Golly on the head with a mallet!
A brief history of the Golliwog doll: The Golliwog is based on a Black minstrel doll that the Victorian era illustrator, Florence Kate Upton, born in 1873, had played with as a small child in New York. Upton's Golliwog character was first introduced to the world in her 1895 book entitled The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls. Like the rag doll that inspired it, the Golliwog in her book was an ugly creature with very dark, jet black skin, large white-rimmed eyes, red clown lips, and wild, frizzy hair. Golliwogs are typically male and are generally dressed in a jacket, trousers, bow tie, and stand-up collar in a combination of red, white, blue, black, and occasionally yellow colors.
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.
A wonderful and rarely found piece of Black Americana!
This vintage piece of Black Americana is in wonderful condition absent a very tiny break at the tip of the base (see photo); it is not easily evident that the very extreme edge of the right base is missing a tiny piece.
The frame easily dissassembles into 3 parts for safe shipping and/or storage (see photo).