These two folk art pieces came straight from the 93 year old great grandma who played with them as a child!
While the heads were constructed from dried apples painted black, the bodies were cut from various pieces of sponge which were then hand-sewn together. Hands were cut from pink--- and not brown or black felt--very interesting---while the teeth were formed from tiny white beads, and the white fuzzy hair fashioned from nothing more than small, cotton batting pieces. Eyes are glued-on googly eyes.
The homemade clothing is nicely constructed via a combination of hand and machine sewing. Mammy's green, teal and rust flowered dress is embellished with a bit of lace at the sleeves, and she also wears a fancy, white eyelet petticoat and a soft pink crocheted shawl. She is barefoot. Pappy's light blue shirt features 3 button detailing, and he wears denim pants and black felt shoes and hat with a red felt vest.
Condition is quite fine with no observable issues! No odors, rips, stains or missing parts. A very sweet pair!
The neck opening, arm openings and the hem of her cream and red flowered dress are all hand-stitched. Her head and torso, cut from a piece of wood, are completely hand-painted, and the facial details and head scarf details were executed with a very fine-tipped paintbrush and were very nicely done! Mammy's dress contains a ball of old cotton string which is allowed exit through a small circular hole cut into her mouth.
Paint condition is very good with only slight edge wear and a couple of very subtle, tiny surface scratches. There are no rips, tears or wear to Mammy's dress, but some small staining splotches on the left side edges of her dress in front and in back are evident. A small eyelet was screwed into the top of Mammy's head with a string attached to allow for hanging and easy access.
The walking stick is constructed of a single piece of wood. The staff is painted with black stripes, and at the very top, the stripes switch to polka dots to simulate the man's shirt. A handle has also been carved out which apparently represents the man's arm, painted with the same polka dots.
The head carving features distinctive full lips and a strong, protruding chin. A mustache and goatee are painted in black under the nose and bottom lip. The hair is also simply painted in black with a crude nose drawn in. The eyes are also hand-done and feature pupils and numerous full eyelashes. The left eye is slightly faded while the right eye is quite distinct.
The carver/artisan is unknown as is the walking stick's origin. A unique Folk Art Black Americana piece!
Pepsodent product users would collect box tops and along with a small sum for shipping, would mail all into the Pepsodent Company in return for Amos n Andy's "Eagle's Eye View of Weber City, Inc." lithograph map!
The litho itself is just extraordinary---very brightly colored, original and mint condition, measuring 20 inches wide x 15 inches long. No rips, bends, or creases. This has been stored for years inside two clear plastic bag-type casings using a 16" x 20" art canvas for support. The litho is not attached to the canvas. The original fold creases which occurred when the litho was first mailed out in the 1930s remain. This litho would be absolutely fabulous framed given all of its bright, visually-striking detailing!
Also included are the Amos n Andy mailing envelope and promo letter from them that accompanied the litho asking their fans to buy Pepsodent products. The aforementioned, 9 x 12 inch, complete, all original, Amos n Andy sheet music package additionally comes with this offering. The cover features a fabulous, visually-appealing graphic of Amos n Andy and their dog that also would look wonderful framed right beside this fabulous litho!
All pieces are in absolutely amazing condition! I have not seen this litho before in my many years collecting and selling Black Americana. Its scarcity and superb condition make this offering a Black Memorabilia must-have!
Please note: some photos show shadows. These are a function of lighting conditions and NOT any discrepancy in lithograph coloring.
The banks may be purchased as a pair for $425.00, or they may be separately purchased as follows: Mammy with Spoon $295.00 and Black Man Darkey Sharecropper $225.
The Mammy with a Spoon measures 5 7/8 inches high and was produced between 1905 and 1930. She retains much of her original paint and exudes a warm, rich patina commensurate with a well-loved antique of approximately 100 years of age. She wears a blue dress, black shoes, a silver apron and a red kerchief that still retains some of its white polka dots. Mammy holds a gold-colored spoon in her right hand while placing her left hand firmly on her hip. Mammy means business!
The Black Man Darkey Sharecropper measures 5 1/2 inches high and was manufactured from 1901 to 1930. He retains most of his original paint showing less paint wear than Mammy and also exudes a very warm, rich patina. He wears black pants with red suspenders and a gold hat and gold shirt with red collar. He wears black shoes; however, his left black shoe is worn through at the toes, resulting in all five toes peeking out! He stands casually with his hands in his pocket. His back screw, while an old one, is a replacement.
Mammy and the Darkey Sharecropper were clearly manufactured as companion pieces given their similar size and stance. Both stand freely and would make wonderful additions to the well-curated, antique, Black Americana collection.
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.
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 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.