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!
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!
Measuring 13.25 inches wide x 9.25 inches high x 1 inch thick, this wonderful piece patented February 16, 1886, is in very fine condition with a warm, rich patina and color as well as all 56 of its original wooden letters! To spell a word, one slides the letters along cut out tracks in the board.
Quite visually appealing!
Condition: three of the 1/8th inch thick, round, wooden letters suffered partial breakage at one point in time, but these letters continue to remain quite structurally sound and "readable". Some tiny edge chips to the wood- quite reasonable given its age.
A seldom found vintage, early School House item!
This 1920-30s, hinged, wooden game piece box features an original, hand-executed, ink-on-paper drawing of a black figure in a tuxedo that has been pasted to the box cover. The drawing has been preserved with a shellac covering.
The box contains fifty, sequentially numbered 1-50, wooden game pieces painted red and white. The game pieces are in mint condition and appear to have only been lightly used. They remain firmly in place within the box with the support of non-stick, archival tape which may be easily removed without damage to the game pieces, if desired.
The game box measures 5.25 inches wide x 10.50 inches long x 1 inch high.
Truly a one-of-a-kind piece of vintage Black Memorabilia! Displays wonderfully!
Text indicates that the diploma was awarded to Josephine Downey on October 21, 1899, and certified her to teach the Grammar or Primary Grade for the subsequent 6 years. Signed by Thomas Kirsh, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Secretary.
Further documentation on reverse reads, "Issued on the recommendation of the Board of Education of San Francisco County, in accordance with Section 1521 of the Political Code, upon a first grade or Grammar Grade Certificate of San Francisco County, California, 95% (Josephine’s teacher examination grade).”
With the exception of early fold lines, condition is mint! Measures 14.6 inches X 11.5 inches.
See my other items for an 1892 Teaching Certificate awarded to Josephine's sister, Mary Downey.
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.
Measuring 5 1/8 inches tall with soap dish attached, Mammy's colors- her deep red dress, mustard yellow shawl, and yellow and red polka dot head scarf- remain vibrant and brilliant with a wonderful old patina! Her face features large, dark eyes and a smiling, red mouth.
The soap dish is designed to be removed, and its anchoring cast iron peg fits into a hole atop Mammy's head. The exterior of the soap dish is cast to resemble a wicker laundry basket and is painted a slightly lighter-toned, mustard yellow.
A delightful, vintage piece of early Black Americana in premium condition!
This darling, all-glass piece remains in superb condition-other than its missing front label. It does, however, retain its wonderful, original paper label at the base of the bottle that reads, “ Made in France, Fluid Cont oz 13”. Underneath the label, the base of the clear glass bottle is impressed, “Bottle Made in France”. Additionally, the perfume retains one half of its original and rarely-found, pink-satin-lined, cardboard box which is also labeled "Vigny, Paris" on one of its panels.
The Golliwogg’s head is the perfume stopper (which presently is quite securely affixed in place), and the facial enameling/painting remains as clear and crisp as the day it was applied! Even his black furry hair retains its vibrant, original, dark tones! The Golly’s glass collar is enameled/painted white with black polka dots and his feet are accented in black.
Along with photos of the Golliwog perfume is a photo of an original 1920’s magazine advertisement for Vigny Perfumes including “Le Golliwogg”. The magazine advertisement is not available for sale and is only presented to serve as an historical reference.
A very, very special piece of Black Memorabilia that has appeal to Black Americana, perfume bottle, and Golliwog collectors alike!
Also pictured here and available for sale separately--- coming from the same estate--- is a 2.50 inch, Vigny, France, Golliwogg Perfume in Satin Camphor Glass dating post-WWI and priced at $425.00, as well as a second, 2.25 inch clear glass, 1920's, Golliwogg Perfume bottle complete with all paper labels (but without the box) and priced at $375.00. The satin camphor glass bottle was the VERY FIRST version of the Vigny "Le Golliwogg" perfume, and is much less-frequently found. The "Golly" brand continued to be sold through the 1920-30's. Type "Vigny" in the SEARCH box on our homepage to see all French Golliwogg Perfume bottles!
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
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".
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.
In 1926, the American Tobacco Company of Virginia changed its product name from Nigger Hair to Bigger Hair, viewing the latter label as the more-socially acceptable one. (The earlier Nigger Hair moniker was used by the American Tobacco Company from the 1890's through early 1925; the lithographed can was manufactured by the B. Leidersdorf Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.) Interestingly, the company DID NOT change the image of the African woman, but merely added the words Fiji Islander to the left of her face in its indifferent and weak attempt to move further away from the earlier, severely derogatory label.
Measuring 7 inches high x 5 Â¾ inches wide, the photos provide a fine representation of condition. The container is in near-mint condition with a tiny rub here and there, and some very minor wear around the top of the container that likely occurred from simply taking the cover on and off. This wear is completely covered by the cover. The original orange color of the container remains consistent throughout, and the structural integrity of the cardboard is quite sturdy. The original wax bag which held the tobacco remains inside--highly unusual! The container retains most of its paper Federal Revenue Tobacco seal on either side and is dated February 26, 1926. Truly incredible condition given the age of this piece--- 80+ years!!
This very rare tobacco container is just a wonderful example of latter 1920s Black Americana and looks even better "in person" than I was able to capture with my camera lens!
If the Nigger Hair Tobacco container is currently in your collection, the addition of the Bigger Hair container will complete your collection from both a cultural and historical perspective! The Nigger Hair Tobacco container featured in the last photo is currently available. Both pieces may be purchased for the single price of $1195 with no further discounts applicable.
*** Type "tobacco" in our web cover page SEARCH box to locate the NiggerHair tin currently available.
The needlework measures approximately 15 by 14 inches and is in good condition overall, given its 120+ years of age! The central design is superb with no problems, but the two upper corners show evidence of some unraveling, particularly the upper right, which has a small hole. This little hole could be repaired, or if the piece was framed, it could be visually eliminated; however, it truly does little to detract from the central focal point of the children on the seesaw, when viewed in its entirety. The piece does show subtle evidence of typical, age-related discoloration.
An utterly wonderful and scarce example of 19th century Black Americana themed Needlework!
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 49 years of age with light, expected wear to red paint at rim edges and back. NOTE: The piece of tape is not part of the pin.
Constructed of tin with a cardboard lithographed image and a glass cover, this game has a mirrored back. The puzzle is in all-original condition with the graphic remaining free of scratches and abrasions. The mirrored back shows evidence of subtle, minor scratching. (Please disregard any light or shiny spots in photos which are due to flash reflection off of the glass.)
A delightful piece of early Black Memorabilia!
Measuring 4 inches wide x 3 3/4 inches high, the black color-toned set was manufactured by A.D. Handy, Stereopticon & Supplies, Boston.
The four slides tell the story, through drawings and southern black dialogue, of a black boy attempting to steal a watermelon (slide 1). Four other black boys hiding behind a fence and watching, spook him, making the boy think there is a ghost behind him (slide 2)! Dropping the watermelon in fright, he dashes off for safety (slide 3). The shattered watermelon is then left on the ground, already broken into bite-sized pieces for the 4 other boys to enjoy!
This offering is truly an exceptionally scarce Black Americana collectible!!
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.
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.