Mammy's paper memo pad is original to the piece; however, she is missing her original pencil which would slip into the hole in her right hand and down into the broom top to form the broom handle! A present day pencil may be used as a replacement.
Condition is quite good with some tiny, age-related, surface and edge flecks as seen in photos. No repaint, cracks, repairs, no breaks! No maker's mark.
This circa 1920-30's Johnny Griffin inkwell is constructed in solid brass and has a hole for both placement of pen and glass insert for ink. This piece is offered without the pen and glass ink insert.
It is in all original condition with delightful patina- not a reproduction- no replaced parts- and measures 6 inches long x 3.25 inches wide and 2 1/2 inches high. It does not retain any marking other than a mold number 4557.
Johnny Griffin Black Americana collectibles should form the cornerstone of any serious Black Memorabilia collection!
To see all of the Johnny Griffin items currently available for sale, simply type “Johnny Griffin” into the search box on our web home page.
Constructed of tin with a tin embossed and lithographed image and a glass cover, this game has a paper advertisement on back which has been partially impaired presumably due to the removal of an old price sticker. The puzzle is in all-original condition with the embossed graphic remaining free of scratches and abrasions. (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!
Measuring approximately 12.5 long x 7.75 wide, this extraordinary and historical document is handwritten and appears to have been scribed by an individual other than the slave owner, Richard Dunn, as Mr. Dunn's signature is simply a "mark" labeled as such with his first and last name scribed around his "mark". The document is in excellent condition save the fold marks; this document clearly has been stored in this folded state for the past 170 years. It is suitable and ready for archival preservation- appropriate acid-free backing and matting materials with framing.
The text of the document is as follows:
"Know all men by these present that whereas my negro woman named Eliza having a strong desire for freedom and so I Richard Dunn of the county of Knox and the state of Tennessee being in possession of said woman Eliza and three children named William, Nancy and Mary Elizabeth. Now this is to show that I the said Richard Dunn for and in consideration of a certain sum of money to me in hand paid to my full and perfect satisfaction do hereby renounce my own right the right of my heirs or the right or claim of all manner of persons whosoever the said Eliza and her heirs forever to have and enjoy all the rights and privileges of a free white citizen so far as the laws of the state will permit and with regard to the law in such case made and provided it is necessary to have such matters attended to in open court I hereby (if it should not be done in my lifetime) make it obligatory in my heirs executors or administrators (as the case may be) to have the freedom of the above named woman and her children secured to them forever so as to enjoy all the rights and privileges of free white citizens so far as the law of the land will permit."
"In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 7th day of Nov. one thousand eight hundred and forty nine."
Signed, sealed ?GC?.
in presence of us,
Richard Dunn his mark
Truly an extraordinarily rare piece of historical ephemera documenting a tiny light shining within a very dark period in American history. One can only be hopeful that Eliza and her three children one day achieved the freedom that this document promised.
Vividly colored, this Black Memorabilia themed piece features a smiling black girl seated on a large straw basket while holding 2, smaller-sized, flower-filled straw baskets in each arm. The young girl is nicely attired in a ruffled blue and yellow dress and wears red sandals, white lacy gloves, and a rose-accented, straw bonnet!
The diecut is in excellent condition! An unusual find!
Cardboard candy boxes with black themes remain EXTREMELY RARE finds in today's market!!!
The piece is in very fine condition with expected edge and corner wear. The top left seam of the cover has split but otherwise, the box remains intact with no missing pieces.
D. L. Clark Company History:
David L. Clark (1864-1939) was born in Ireland and came to America when he was eight years old. He entered the candy business working for a small manufacturer in New York. After three years as a salesman, he bought a wagon, horses and merchandise, and went into business for himself.
The D. L. Clark Company was founded in 1886 when Clark started manufacturing candy in two back rooms of a small house in Pittsburgh's North Side. He began selling his candy in the streets of Pittsburgh. During his lifetime, his company became a leading candy manufacturer.
By 1920, the D. L. Clark Company was making about 150 different types of candy, including several five-cent bars, specialty items and bulk candy. Clark was also manufacturing chewing gum in a building across the street from his candy factory. In 1921, they incorporated Clark Brothers Chewing Gum Company as a separate business.
By 1931, the candy bar business was so expansive that Clark decided to sell the gum company, and it was renamed the Clark Gum Company.
The D. L. Clark Company remained in the hands of the Clark family until it was sold in 1955 to the Beatrice Food Company who operated the company until 1983 when in turn, it was sold to the Pittsburgh Food and Beverage Company. In 1995, the Pittsburgh Food and Beverage was thrown into bankruptcy. The company was shut down for several months and its assets divested. Restructured as Clark Bar America, the company operated until May of 1999, when it was purchased by New England Confectionery Company (NECCO), the oldest candy manufacturer in the United States.
Mammy’s sweet little face has been hand-painted, and she has been nicely dressed in a red and white polka dot dress with linen apron and red flowered head scarf. She holds a tiny, plastic, white baby in her left arm who wears a linen gown edged with lace.
Condition of this wonderful miniature Mammy is very good! With the exception of her nipple face which has contorted a bit due to the ravages of time, she is in delightful condition!
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.
Mammy or Aunt Jemima is wearing a white dress and head scarf with red trim. Her dark brown skin is flawless (any white spots or marks seen in photos are the result of light reflection and do not represent flaws of any kind.)
While she is unmarked, there is a very small black "X" on the bottom of the backside of her dress.
An incredibly hard to find piece! These very functional pieces were, more often than not, actually used in the home on ironing day, and thus were subject to damage or breakage and ended up in pieces at the local landfill! This wonderful Black American collectible was acquired from the original owner where it rested safely on a display shelf all these many years!
Mr. Layton was a skilled pitcher with a strong bat who had a four-year career in the Negro Leagues, playing for the Indianapolis Clowns, the New York Black Yankees and the Raleigh Tigers. One of his teammates was a promising infielder by the name of Hank Aaron, who signed with the Boston Braves in 1952, and eventually became a Hall of Famer. Layton received an invitation in 1951 to try out for the Brooklyn Dodgers, but by then his shoulder was troubling him so he declined, hoping it would heal and another opportunity would present, which unfortunately never came. As of 2016, Mr. Layton, at the age of 87, was enjoying retirement as an associate pastor in a North Carolina ministry.
A brief history of the Negro League:
African-Americans first began to play baseball in the late 1800s on military teams, college teams, and company teams, eventually finding their way to the established professional baseball teams of white players. However, racism and “Jim Crow” laws would force African-Americans from these teams by 1900, with black players left to form their own teams.
In 1920, an organized league structure was formed under the guidance of Andrew “Rube” Foster, a former player, manager, and owner for the Chicago American Giants. In a meeting held at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City, Mo., Foster and several other Midwestern team owners joined to form the Negro National League. Soon, rival leagues formed in Eastern and Southern states, which brought black baseball to major urban centers and to rural countrysides in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. The Leagues maintained a high level of professional skill and inspired economic development in many black communities.
In 1945, when Major League Baseball’s Brooklyn Dodgers recruited Jackie Robinson from the Kansas City Monarchs, Robinson became the first African-American in the modern era to play on a Major League roster. While this historic event was a key moment in baseball and civil rights history, it marked the decline of the Negro Leagues. The best black players began to be recruited for the Major Leagues with their black fans following them, and the last Negro Leagues teams folded in the early 1960s.
Following the conclusion of World War II, the American Tobacco Company of Virginia changed its product name from Nigger Hair to Bigger Hair, seeking to broaden the product's marketing appeal as well as 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 the early, pre-WWII 1940s; 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, Series 119, a tax stamp which was issued exclusively in 1949. Truly incredible condition given the age and material composition of this piece--- 69 years!!
This very rare tobacco container is just a wonderful example of latter Black Americana advertising and looks even better "in person" than the camera was able to capture with its 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 oddly-shaped, hand-wrought shackles each have two lateral "pockets" that contain pieces of metal or balls that “rattle” as the wearer moves about, thus indicating the wearer's location. This type of shackle is noted in historical references as a Crab Rattler Shackle due to its visual similarity to that sea animal. Each shackle has a pair of small chain links attached at the top. One shackle would have been placed on each leg, and a metal chain would have then been threaded through the attached rings and secured with a lock.
The age of these shackles is formally listed as 19th century, but could very well be older, dating to the last quarter of the 18th century. Condition is quite good given age and use. Please note the small hole present on the side of one shackle as noted in photo. All original and untouched, an utterly horrible, tangible testament to the malevolence of slavery. A VERY RARE form of rattle shackle, even more particularly so due to its small size!
Also currently offered for sale and priced separately is a very diminutive child rattle shackle in an unusual form out of a South Carolina estate. Additionally, de-accessioned from the Middle Passage Museum is an ultra-rare set of 19th Century Slave Ship Shackles from a New Orleans, Louisiana, former slave trader estate! Please type the word "shackles" in the search box on our home page to find all sets of shackles currently being offered.
Poster reads further: "Benefit- Pals Bible Club-Elm Street Baptist Church". "Directed by Churchill Traylor". Features a very sweet Black Minstrel caricature graphic! It is believed that this event took place in the Petersburg, Virginia area.
Fine condition!!! Would look just wonderful framed!!
A tiny bisque black boy holding a watermelon slice is seated on a throne of sea shells. The name of the location that this sea shell souvenir was meant to commemorate is worn and is no longer readable.
Two very minor chips are present as shown in photos which do not detract from the beauty of this piece!
Mammy sports hand-stitched facial features, and all original, machine-stitched clothing. Mammy’s hands and arms are made of fabric-coated pipe cleaners allowing for flexibility and movement. Her corn cob body has been neatly encased in muslin. Mammy's costume is complete and quite brightly colored and even features a tiny apron pocket in which a teeny hankie is tucked!
Mammy has been well cared for over the years- no fading to clothing, no rips, tears or other blemishes! A most interesting and very seldom found Mammy doll in utterly excellent condition!
Both dolls are in near perfect condition with the exception of a tiny teardrop mark under brother's left eye and a tiny hole next to sister's left side of face on her hairline. Detailing is very sweet with nicely embroidered facial features and color-coordinated, machine-stitched clothing. Hair is authentic looking made of fuzzy wool yarn-- brother's hair is curly and nubby--- sister's is done in a head full of bow-tied pigtails! Bodies are machine-stitched, brown cotton that are each stuffed with cotton batting.
A pair of cuties!!!
Constructed with care and skill, Mammy's floral dress, white apron and white under-pantaloons were neatly machine stitched. Her facial features--- eye brows, eyes, nose, and lips --- are hand-stitched with embroidery thread. She has yarn-constructed black curls peeking out from under her red and white polka dot head scarf. Her arms, torso and head are stuffed with cotton or cloth scraps with the torso securely tucked over the top of the clothespin and into the pantaloons. Her black-painted clothespin legs are hidden under her long skirt.
A very sweet little doll in wonderful all-original condition-- no repairs, rips, stains or odor. Displays quite nicely!!
The Aunt Jemima offered here is machine stitched and lightly stuffed with cotton batting and holds a stack of her famous pancakes.
She retains her vivid, brilliant color and is free of rips, tears, holes with her only imperfection- a light, red smudge evident on her apron above the “t” in Aunt and “J” in Jemima.
A very interesting and iconic doll that displays quite nicely with her vivid colors as seen in photos! **Please note that any white marks seen in photos are flash reflections only and are not indicative as damage to the doll.**