Labeled #298, "Native Cane Grinders in Sunny Florida", the scene depicts 7 young Black men either chewing on a sugar cane stalk or holding a sugar cane cutting implement.
Printed on the back of the card is a brief history of sugar cane cultivation from its origins in 500 AD China to its introduction in the US in 1675 by the Jesuits. The harvesting process is also discussed.
Ready for framing, this unusual piece of history would be a fabulous addition to one's collection of slavery or medical artifacts. It measures approximately 7 inches wide x 1.34 inches high and would look fabulous double-matted in an exquisite frame.
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."
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!
An absolutely wonderful addition to one's School or Artist Memorabilia collection!
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".
The work is entitled, "Coffee With the Spirit World" and is done in acrylics on watercolor paper. It comes mounted on acid-free foam core which can continue to be used when the piece is framed.
Of this piece of artwork, Sister Raya says, “When peoples get up in the morning they slog on coffee and stumble round full of stress and worry, but they don’t be knowin that’s the time when the spirit folk be slippin round they heads. They be friendly folk and like you to say good morning to them. People go too fast today, slow down when you be drinkin yo coffee and say good mornin!”
The vibrant blues, yellows and reds make this art work tremendously visually appealing and thought-provoking!
This pleasant diecut is in excellent condition and comes protected in an attractive, walnut-tone, oval decorative frame! The frame bears some minor veneer loss that does not impact the frame integrity, nor is it immediately noticeable.
A sweet piece!
Completed in silk thread on early, thick, pressed paper canvas, the diminutive, 1 5/8 x 2 3/4 inch piece of needlework remains stitched onto the original, 1 ¾ x 8 inch long, deep red satin banding. Standing on deep red ground, the black boy wears pale green and black striped clothing.
This wonderful, early piece of Black Americana needlework remains in excellent, original condition. At some point in time, a previous owner matted and framed the piece to allow for both ease of display and protection; however, to meet archival requirements, the piece requires a replacement of its current cardboard backing, and spacer bars separating the needlework from the glass should be added. Framed measurements are 4.5 inches wide x 11 inches long.
A phenomenally rare piece for the advanced Black Memorabilia collector!
It is difficult to photograph glass without reflection- please note that any aberrations are reflections only.
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.
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!
The CZAR Baking Powder card is SOLD. It was printed by the Empire Lithography Company, Pearl Street, New York, and is so marked at the bottom of the front side. This card is brilliantly colored with a phenomenal graphic of a Mammy and her son admiring an utterly huge loaf of bread which presumably owes its immense size to CZAR Baking Powder. The reverse side carries a testimony by a Yale College professor attesting to the wonder of the CZAR product which is manufactured by Steele and Emery Company of New Haven, Connecticut. The card measures 3 inches x 4.75 inches.
The MISFIT Clothing Company card is copyrighted 1898 by J.H. Bufford Company in the lower right front corner. In the upper left corner, the card is entitled "In the Land of Cotton" and features a wonderfully detailed scene of African-American families working the cotton fields with a large cotton gin looming in the background. The card measures 2.75 inches x 4.50 inches. The reverse side is an advertisement for Misfit Clothing sold by the J. Bamott & Company of Washington Street, Boston.
The Welcome Soap advertising card also measures 2.75 inches x 4.50 inches and is entitled "Photography Under a Cloud". It features a fabulous litho of 5 African-American boys with exaggerated facial features who are attempting to take a photograph using an early camera. The litho is marked in the lower right corner "Bufford, Boston". The reverse side further advertises WELCOME SOAP and features two shaking hands.
All three trade cards are in very fine condition with nice color and some very subtle evidence of age staining as seen in photos. The cards have no rips, bends, or fading. The back sides of the Czar card and the MISFIT CLOTHING card have glue stains.
These rare trade cards would be stunning matted and framed as a group!
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.
Protected in an antique gold wooden frame with gold matting, this magazine sheet has retained all of the brilliance of its original color, making it a rather striking piece of wall art! Seldom located in such fine condition!
A striking piece that would be a colorful centerpiece to any Black Americana 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!
This seldom found copy was originally published in 1932 by Rand McNally & Company of New York.
This copy has superficial scratches to the front and back covers, as well as surface soiling, and wear on book cover edges.(see photos). The front cover has a slight tear at the crease that does not effect strength or integrity of the cover board. A couple of pages have minor staining. The binding is super-tight and all pages remain present.
Topsy's adventures are divided into three chapters in length, approximately 59 numbered pages. Book is filled with a variety of black-ink and black and red illustrations as represented in photos. The story of Topsy was likely inspired by the Little Black Sambo stories which originated at the turn of the 20th century. PLEASE NOTE: in the photos, the printing seems light and faded- not so! It is merely the function of over-lighting or light reflection.
A wonderful and truly RARE book not to be missed!
Please see the other Topsy Turvy book available for separate purchase, a 1938 copy of Topsy Turvy's PigTails.
In very nice condition with minor scratches to paint here and there as seen in photos, this wind-up toy works, but the mechanism does have the tendency to stick a little. Marked J. Chein.
A must-have for the avid Black Memorabilia Toy collector!
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.
ENTIRELY hand-stitched, this gent is dressed in fancy striped pants, straw shoes and hat, green belt, and in a navy blue and white polka dot shirt with a tiny breast pocket that holds a teeny pack of CAMEL cigarettes, labeled with a "C"! His outfit is topped off with a red tie that is held in place by a bean tie tack!
His face is hand-stitched with careful attention noted to the creation of his molded, 3-D nose. The weather must be warm as he wearily wipes his hot neck with a red and tan checked handkerchief!
A delightful African-American Southern character doll!
1) Paperback Autobiography by Dick Gregory, “Nigger”,12th printing, 1969. Cover wear, browning of pages, no missing pages,tight binding.
2) Paperback “Three Negro Classics”: “Up From Slavery” by Booker T. Washington, “The Souls of Black Folk” by William E. DuBois, and “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man” by James Weldon Johnson, 9thprinting, 1970. Very little wear evident!
3) Paperback “Black Boy” by Richard Wright, 6thPrinting, 1964. Slight cover wear, light browning of pages, no missing pages,tight binding.
4) Paperback “Look Out, Whitey! Black Power’s Gon’ Get Your Mama” by Julius Lester, 1st Printing, 1969. Slight cover wear, browning of pages, no missing pages, tight binding.
5) Paperback “Tales” by LeRoi Jones, 6thPrinting, 1967. Subtle cover wear.
6) Hard Cover “Race and Reason, A Yankee View” by Carleton Putnam, 1st Printing, Public Affairs Press, Washington DC, 1961. Very good condition.
The String Holder is stamped "JAPAN" on the back side, and it has a hole in the center of her mouth to accommodate the string! This wonderful piece has expected and typical glaze crazing and even comes complete with vintage string! On the upper right hand side of her forehead, these is a small white spot about 1/4 of an inch long where the face paint was not applied prior to factory glazing (see photo)- a tiny, insignificant manufacturer imperfection that does not detract from this rare piece! The entire piece is glazed with the exception of Mammy's lips which are cold-painted (meaning that the paint was applied after firing). As such, this area of paint would be the most vulnerable to wear, and Mammy does have 2 microscopically-sized specks on her upper lip where the paint has come off. Too tiny to be picked up in a photo!
Please note that photos were taken with a flash, so any white markings on the piece are flash reflections only and not imperfections.
These handmade tiles originate from Delft, Holland, and are part of a limited edition commissioned by the Burroughs & Wellcome Co. The back of each tile sports a label with a description including a brief history.
Ready to display, frame or hang in your favorite collection.
Tiles are priced $20 each.
In addition to making children's games, The Milton Bradley Company, for many, many years, produced an extensive array of school supplies, equipment, and materials!
A wonderful addition to School or Artist Memorabilia collection!
Although two boxes are pictured in the photo, sale is for ONE BOX ONLY.
Fabulous colored and black and white illustrations as represented by photos adorn this 26 page book! The book features the adventures of a little Southern boy who lives with his gran'mammy and gran'daddy in a log cabin set down in a cotton field.
Interior pages are in very nice condition, are clean and bright and are tightly bound together. The hard bound cloth covers are in fine condition, with slight wear to cover spine edges and book corners typical of a book of its age. There are two drip marks at spine and a few on the rear. Otherwise clean. A 1" tear at top of frontispiece is present along with a tiny one at bottom. No other damage. An early owner's name and gift date is inscribed in ink on the interior front cover. This is a first edition as later editions had the cloth board without the color pastedown. Illustrated on every page, alternating color and black and white.
A charming addition to one's Black Americana collection, and a black-themed children's book that is very rarely found in today's collectible market!!
The tubes bear the Stein's Trademark seal which is quite detailed and ornate and consists of a horseshoe labeled "Semper Fidelis" (Always Faithful), which encircles a stylized and entwined "M" and "S". Below the horseshoe is placed a Mortar and Pestle, all of which rests on a laurel wreath.
The tubes are labeled "Stein's Grease Paint" "Money Back for Unsatisfactory Purchases" "Manufactured By The M. Stein Cosmetic Company New York" "Made in U.S.A.". Each tube is labeled with the color code of the makeup - "No. 1 Pink", "No. 4 Medium Gray". The third tube's labeling is faded and difficult to read -"No.? ???Sallow Young Man???".
The grease paint makeup is contained in individual cardboard, push-up style tubes, they are all unused, and all three are 5 1/8" tall. Two of the tubes measure 1 1/8" in diameter and one, 5/8" in diameter.
The labeling on two of the tubes, while faded, is completely readable; one tube's labeling is rather faded and in some areas, completely unreadable.
The cardboard tubing of two of the makeup paints is, amazingly, completely intact; the No 1 Pink tube is also intact with the exception of the top cover which remains but is detached from the tube.
Interesting and early vintage finds for the theater enthusiast!
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!
Little Jasper was created by George Pal, a cartoonist who worked for Paramount Studios and who created the Puppetoons, a popular cartoon series played in movie theaters of the era prior to the screening of the feature film.
Push or pull him along, and he twirls around while the two present wooden flowers spin along with him! (One wooden flower top is, unfortunately, missing--the only imperfection to this fabulous toy!)
Overall condition is rated as excellent, barely-used condition! There is very insignificant edge wear to paint here and there, but the four wheels don't show even the tiniest trace of wear from use, suggesting that this toy quite likely sat either in a display cabinet or was packed away for its entire existence! Even the original, paper manufacturing sticker remains intact and in pristine condition!
"Little Jasper" is very RARELY found, and the opportunity to acquire him should not be overlooked!
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.
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!
Text indicates that the diploma was awarded to Mary L. Downey on January 15, 1892, and certified her to teach the Grammar or Primary Grade for the subsequent 6 years. Signed by 5 members of the California State Board of Education.
Further documentation on reverse reads, "Issued on the recommendation of the Board of Education of San Francisco, in accordance with Section 1521 of the Political Code, upon a first grade or Grammar Grade Certificate of San Francisco, 86.7% (Mary’s test grade).”
With the exception of early fold lines, condition is mint! Measures 8 inches X 10.5 inches.
See my other items for an 1899 Teaching Certificate awarded to Mary's sister, Josephine Downey.
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.
This sweet little pop-eyed character was recently acquired from the artist's daughter who stated that her mother made the puppet for her in the late 1950's.
With hands and head constructed of papier mache and a machine-stitched cotton body, this 10.50 inch long puppet sat for years in a doll cabinet seeing minimal childhood play. The body is very lightly soiled from dust with some seam separation at each shoulder (see photo). The hands and head have acquired a bit of a crackled look due to age; however, there are no flakes or missing pieces.
He has a darling "look" and would make a whimsical addition to one's folk art, puppet or doll collection. This hand-made piece is a truly one-of-a-kind creation!
The puppet, itself, is 14 inches tall and is colorfully dressed in blue and white checked pants, red shoes, orange and whit polka dot shirt, straw hat and red patterned neck scarf.
The puppet's face is composition and bears evidence of some age-related crackling as noted in photos. He has a tiny piece if composition missing on the left side of his neck partially covered by his neck scarf, so it is very difficult to notice. He bears a manufacturer stamp on the bottom of his right foot, but it is partial and unreadable. His hands which hold colorful pink straw maracas are a heavy molded plastic.
The puppet is free of stains, dirt and odor. He retains his original black strings and wooden airplane controller!
While some photos may appear a bit blurry, this is a function of photography and not condition. All postcards are crisp and clear! The six comical cartoon postcards are much more brightly and vividly colored than the photos depict. The four photo postcards also feature titles describing their subjects.
A delightful grouping that would be much-appreciated framed!
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.
Both dolls retain their 3 original pigtails, all tied off with tiny pieces of string. Their hand-painted lips and eyes remain in excellent condition as is the dark brown paint which covers the bisque bodies which were originally white when manufactured (the white bisque coloring is visible at the joints).
Both dolls have jointed arms and legs which allow them to assume different positions. The string holding the larger doll's legs in place has stretched over these many years resulting in looser leg joints. (This can be repaired if so desired by the new owner.)
The larger doll is dressed in a hand-made outfit consisting of an ivory, yarn-knitted petticoat under a yellow crocheted dress while the smaller doll remains au naturalle! A darling, teeny tiny pair that display quite nicely!
This piece was actually created to serve as an ashtray! It depicts a delightful image of a young black boy in a wide-brimmed straw hat!
In wonderful condition, this piece is stamped "LL" on back.
An uncommon piece of Black Americana that should not be overlooked!
This piece is very much reminiscent of Johnny Griffin items with the exception of the intact, broad-rimmed hat on this piece versus the torn rim typically seen on all "named" Johnny Griffin pieces.
This circa 1920-30's novelty piece is constructed in solid brass, is hefty in weight, and was likely used as an ash tray given its tobacco leaf design/theme. The "Johnny Griffin-like" head of the young African-American boy that serves as the centerpiece of this wonderful piece, was molded separately and screwed into place. The screw is concealed under an original brass cap, done purely for esthetics.
The piece is in all original condition with the delightful, warm, rich, golden patina of old brass- not a reproduction- no replaced parts- and measures 7 inches long x 4 1/2 inches wide. It does not retain any markings, and country of origin is unknown, although likely of European origin.
A very seldom found Tobacciana piece of Black Memorabilia, that indeed pairs well with Johnny Griffin items!
To view all of the Johnny Griffin items currently available for sale, simply type “Johnny Griffin” into the search box on our web home page.
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.