Detailing in construction sets this sweet black doll apart! Her creation was very carefully executed through a combination of hand and machine stitching. She was lovingly dressed in machine-stitched clothing made from old red, pink, cream and rose-patterned scraps of cloth, while her body was hand-sewn and constructed of old, black stockings stuffed with cotton batting.
This young girl's nose and mouth are hand-embroidered, while her eyes are represented by small, black buttons. Her hand-applied and stitched hair is made of black wool yarn and has been fashioned into braided pigtails edged with faded red ribbon bows with fluffy bangs topping her forehead. Her hands are carefully hand-stitched to delineate fingers.
This sweetie is in near perfect condition with the exception of some fading to her clothing as well as two age-related, small holes to her stocking-constructed left foot and lower leg. (This wear and fading to the fabrics and stockings used in her construction may well be the very reason they were used, as they may have been discarded from personal use. Please refer to photos to view wear.)
Purchased in Charleston, South Carolina. Simply full of charm with lovely touches! A quite difficult-to-find-in-this condition, 90+-year-old, cloth rag doll!
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.
Both of these colorful brushes have natural bristles with the Porter measuring 7.5 inches high and the Mammy measuring 6.5 inches high.
The Railroad Porter brush has minor paint wear to his cream colored pant legs, to the edges of his cream colored hat and also has some very teeny paint wear spots round his eyes. The Porter's ear is consistent with where one would hold onto the brush while using it.
The Mammy brush is in near excellent condition with little evidence of having ever been used. Love the expression on her face! If one carefully separates the natural bristles, it is evident that at one time they were dyed green to match her bodice, but have lost their applied color with the passing of time.
Please note that the white spots seen in the photos are lighting reflections and are NOT areas of missing paint. If one looks closely, the teeny areas of missing paint can be distinguished from the light reflections.
The Mammy brush is priced at $85, the Porter priced at $70.
Please take the time to peruse our second grouping a Mammy and Porter brushes, listed separately.
As the backside paper label displays a 5 digit zip code, this product was produced in 1963 or later. I purchased this piece from a Texas collector of Black Memorabilia for my own personal collection in about 2007. The seller stated that at one time this product was readily and prolifically available in her area, up until the late 1960s - early 1970s.
The bottle is in very fine condition with age-related creasing to the front paper label as evidenced in the photos.
While newer in age than pieces I typically collect and/or sell, I found this piece to be culturally unique enough to be worthy to collect and then offer for sale. I have never seen another!!!!
The graphics on the cover of this box feature a smiling, happy, young African-American boy (the company's trademark) who is peering through a rip in the paper, unknowingly about to be pounced down upon by a very ugly and venomous-looking spider!
The box is in amazingly near-perfect condition despite its 100+ years of age with very insignificant soiling present as well as rubs and abrasions to box edges, all of which are more than perfectly reasonable given the age of the piece.
A very seldom-seen advertising piece featuring a Black Americana theme! The first that I have had from this company! is in excellent, all-original, perfect condition!
Recently acquired from a private collection, the framed diecut is without glass (which can be easily and inexpensively added).
The embossed-surface diecut is in near excellent condition, the only noted issue being a crease in the bigger girl's left leg (see close-up photo). An unusual find, with vivid, colorful imagery!
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 dolls were conceptualized as advertising pieces and were only obtainable from the Aunt Jemima Mills of St. Joseph, Missouri, in return of 25 cents in stamps or coins along with 4 box tops or backs from select Aunt Jemima products (proofs of purchase!). Dolls were then shipped promptly, postpaid upon receipt!
I have never come upon a complete, uncut set!!! Rather, these dolls are more typically found as "singletons" here and there by chance-- already cut, sewn, stuffed and played with as opposed to the pristine, complete, uncut versions offered here.
The set is in quite wonderful condition given its 93 years of age. The color of each doll remains amazingly crisp and brilliant! Mild foxing is noted here and there throughout. Fold lines are evident as well; HOWEVER, it must be noted that these fold marks are the result of ORIGINAL PACKAGING and SHIPMENT as these linen pieces were carefully folded to fit within a simple, small to medium-sized envelope when mailed out from the factory.
Additionally, a prior owner likely had framed these pieces as mild tape staining is noted on the backsides of each piece of linen, with some mild, tape-stain, bleed-through noted at the feet of Uncle Mose and Aunt Jemima on the front side. The set is truly in fine condition given its age and was obviously prized and very well cared for over the years.
Each figure is printed on its own, separate piece of linen. Aunt Jemima measures 10.5" wide by 35" long; Uncle Mose measures 10" wide by 35" long; Diana and Wade each measure 12.5" wide by 17.5" long.
A rare opportunity for the advanced collector to acquire an uncut, complete set of 1924, Aunt Jemima Family Advertising Rag Dolls!
This offering will be sold as a complete set ONLY; offers for individual pieces will not be entertained.
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.
In utterly excellent condition with the only flaws noted being subtle wear to the paper dust jacket and a past owner's name and address, this version of the Little Black Sambo story is highly collectible as any item produced by its publisher, Platt & Munk, is aggressively sought-after due to the company’s reputation for use of extraordinarily vivid graphics.
This mini book is sixty-two pages long with 29 vividly colored illustrations designed and executed by the author, Frank Ver Beck.
A must have edition for the collector of Little Black Sambo books!
The golly's clothing is machine stitched; his red mouth and white eyeballs are constructed of felt. His body is tightly stuffed with cotton batting allowing him to be displayed either in a sitting position or standing with the support of a doll stand.
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 of English parents, 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.
A very sweet piece!
Cleverly designed, the elephants themselves, serve as the body of each tea pot, while the turbaned Black Natives lift off the elephants' backs revealing their function as tea pot lids. A wicker handle facilitates handling on the two large tea pots. The base of all three pieces are marked "JAPAN".
The largest tea pot measures 7 inches high by 8 inches long; the middle-sized tea pot measures 6 inches high by 7 inches long; the tiny novelty piece measures a diminutive 3.25 inches long by 2.75 inches high.
Condition is excellent on all three pieces with the exception of the wicker handle on the middle-sized tea pot. One end of the handle is missing its looped section of the wicker that would have wrapped around the ceramic loop to secure the handle to the tea pot. As is noted in the photos, that end of the handle can be propped against the ceramic loop to maintain its proper appearance for display purposes.
Handsome and difficult-to-find pieces of vintage Black Memorabilia! All three Good Luck Elephant pieces are offered as a single group, priced at $245.00!
The origin of this sign is unknown, but given its very substantial size and weight, it likely once hung as a directional sign in a major bus or railroad station, designating the "WHITES ONLY" area where African-Americans were required to sit or stand.
The subtly convex sign has had no restoration and remains in all-original condition. It bears areas of paint loss, scratching and superficial rusting (some areas larger in scope than others) typical for its age and use as noted in photos. Please view photos for further assessment of the sign's condition. The age and use-related signs of wear do not impact the physical integrity of the sign and are more than appropriate to the age and purpose of the piece.
An utterly phenomenal, extremely RARE, one-of-a-kind, museum-worthy piece of Black American history!
Please take a moment to view the other "Jim Crow" Segregationist Era signs that I currently have the pleasure of offering.
This particular tin hails from the latter period. Although it no longer retains its paper tax stamp, it must be noted that after World War II, the name "Nigger Hair" was changed to "Bigger Hair", so this tin can be assumed to be dated no later than 1945. Additionally, due to significant metal rationing during WWII, production of this tin was markedly reduced, making it more than likely that this tin falls within the 1920-1930's manufacturing time period.
This image was used by The American Tobacco Company of Wisconsin to sell their product; the lithographed tin was manufactured by the B. Leidersdorf Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Measuring 7 inches high x 5 ¾ inches wide, the condition of the tin is an 8.5 out of 10--- sporting a lovely lithograph on the front side with minor and superficial scratches and abrasions along with tiny areas of paint loss on the sides and back (please see photos for condition). Some very faint evidence of very superficial rust is noted on the cover, on the back side of the tin near the base, and on the bottom of the tin with absolutely no impact to structural integrity. The inside of the tin is clean with some minor tarnish evident.
The original orange color of the tin remains consistent. Any imperfections are reasonable and expected given the age of this piece--- 80+ years!! 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 reflections and are not imperfections to the tin.
Following the end of World War II, the American Tobacco Company changed the name of its product from NIGGER HAIR to BIGGER HAIR tobacco as it was felt that the previous moniker had become much less socially acceptable, and additionally, the company was quite motivated in broadening the product's marketability and appeal. At that time, the material out of which the tobacco container was constructed was changed from tin to heavy cardboard.
Truly an extraordinarily RARE piece of Black Memorabilia seldom found in this great condition complete with bail handle and lid! (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- and is featured in one of the photos beside the currently available Nigger Hair tin. The addition of the Bigger Hair 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 pieces may be purchased for the single price of $1195 with no further discounts applicable.
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 doll clad in all black depicts the rarely-found, black country preacher out for an afternoon stroll with his wooden walking stick in one hand and the Holy Bible clutched in the other. The preacher wears a machine-stitched suit thoughtfully detailed with white shirt cuffs poking out of his sleeves and the white reverend's collar at his neck. His left shoe reveals a hole with a sock-covered toe poking through! The preacher's stove pipe style hat is placed snugly on his head covering most of his gray hair although his full gray facial beard features prominently. His embroidered facial features, characteristic of these dolls, are further accented with "steel-rimmed" style eye glasses. The 1.5 square inch bible actually has real pages! Also characteristic of this type of doll is a small square of asphalt shingle glued to the feet to serve as a stand. The doll's body is well-stuffed with cotton batting.
The gray-hair and bearded, chicken-toting black country gent doll is also attired in machine-stitched clothing and additionally shares a cotton-bating stuffed body, embroidered facial features, and an asphalt shingle tile stand. He wears cotton britches detailed with double knee patches and suspenders along with a blue and cream striped cotton shirt and a red and white polka dot kerchief around his neck. His hat is constructed of black-colored felt. This country gent holds a finely crafted and detailed brown chicken under his right arm, while his left hand clutches a wooden walking stick.
Two very special dolls that represent a snapshot of history, capturing the lives of poor southern black folk of the Depression era.
The dolls are priced at $255.00 each.
The female doll depicts a black mammy out for a stroll with black umbrella in hand. This gentlewoman wears a red and white polka dot kerchief on her head covering most of her gray hair and has embroidered facial features – characteristic of these dolls. Also characteristic of this type of doll is a small square of asphalt shingle glued to the feet to serve as a stand. This doll has (not uncommonly) lost hers long ago, but a bit of the original shingle is still attached to the soles of both shoes. Clothing, with the exception of her neutral-striped knit-fabric sweater, is machine-sewn cotton with careful detailing right down to the red hankie poking out of her apron pocket. She also wears gold hoop earrings! Her body, which is well-stuffed to be anatomically correct, is black cotton fabric stuffed with cotton batting.
The white haired and bearded male country gentleman doll is similarly attired in machine-sewn cotton britches with a patch at the knee and suspenders along with a tan cotton striped shirt and red kerchief around his neck. His hat is constructed of cranberry-colored felt. Under his right arm, he holds a nicely crafted chicken that has sustained a tiny bit of fabric loss to its face. His left arm once held a wooden walking stick which is long gone, but alternatively, he now uses his free hand to hold the arm of his lovely lady! His asphalt shingle is also missing with remnants evident of it present on the soles of his shoes.
Two very special dolls that represent a snapshot of history, capturing the lives of poor southern black folk of the Depression era.
The dolls are priced at $225.00 each, or they may both be purchased as a pair at the discounted price of $395.00. Please note that no further advertised discount is applicable to this special paired pricing offer.
All seven of these colorful brushes have natural bristles, and range in height from 7.5 inches and 8 inches tall to the smaller, 4.5 inches tall, green and red-dressed little Mammy brushes.
The three black railroad porter brushes, the large red Mammy brush with cloth bow and the small red Mammy brush are all in near excellent condition with evidence of having been very lightly used as described:
Blue Porter with Cream colored pants: teeny, superficial "dings" to paint here and there with one teeny mark between the eyes.
Black and Cream Porter: teeny, superficial "dings" to paint here and there with one teeny mark near the mouth; paint wear to edges of cap.
Yellow Porter: paint wear primarily to right side of face and top of cap.
Large Red Mammy with Cloth Bow: paint in excellent condition with a couple tiny rubs here and there. Natural bristles have faint trace of original red painted dots to natural bristle skirt.
Small Red Mammy: paint in excellent condition; faint trace of original red dots on natural bristle skirt.
The following two brushes are also in very nice, barely used condition with minor imperfection as described below:
Large Red Mammy with hand-painted bow: brush has seen a little more use than the others(see photos)- very minor paint wear from use to Mammy's back. Black paint drip to collar area. Natural bristles dyed red.
Small Green Mammy: green cap and blouse, small, 4.5" tall --in very good condition with exception to paint striation on face that occurred during manufacture (close-up photo makes this appear more prominent than what is seen with the eye).
Please note that many of the white spots seen in the photos are light reflections and are NOT areas of missing paint. If one looks closely, the teeny areas of missing paint can be distinguished from the light reflections.
The taller brushes are all priced at $85 each. The smaller, 4.5", green and red-dressed mammy brushes are priced at $60 each.
Please take the time to peruse our second grouping a Mammy and Porter brushes, listed separately.