Quite multi-purpose in nature, his legs hold spools of thread, and under his red vest, he hides a pincushion (his chest) along with 2 felt strips for needle and pin storage (his arms)! Four decorative plastic rings can be used to hold safety pins! He also sports a ring on the top of his hat to allow one to hang him on the wall.
Condition is quite fine! No rips, stains or tears with just some subtle fading to his green felt bowtie and black face and legs--all age-related. He has two, insignificant moth holes on the BACK of his red vest.
Handy to keep by the sewing machine, but also just a delightful, vintage, Black Memorabilia whimsy to decorate your sewing room!
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!
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 Dandy graphic remaining free of scratches and abrasions. The mirrored back shows evidence of 2 tiny areas of subtle, minor chipping along the perimeter edge, and the glass front has a small surface chip at the base of the Dandy's shirt. (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!
This circa 1920-30's Johnny Griffin letter opener is constructed in solid brass. It remains functional for such use today or may be simply used as an attractive desk paperweight!
It is in all original condition with delightful patina- not a reproduction- no replaced parts- and measures 10 1/4 inches long. Remnants of green paint are visible on Johnny's shirt. Interestingly, this piece also doubles as an advertising piece as on the reverse side it is impressed, “I. C. Herman + Co., 507-9 Broadway, NY (New York)”.
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.
This circa 1900-1910 Johnny Griffin item is a double image still bank that features 2 images of Johnny's head placed back-to-back. It was manufactured by the A.C. Williams Company of Ravenna, Ohio, which at the turn of the 20th century and up until World War II, was the largest toy and still bank manufacturer in the world. (At the start of WWII, production declined sharply as iron was needed for military consumption, marking the end of an era.) The bank is constructed of cast iron in two pieces which unscrew to facilitate the emptying of coins. There is a coin slot at the top of Johnny's head for use in depositing the coins. This sweet bank remains functional for banking use today or may be simply used as an attractive desk paperweight!
It is in all original condition with delightful patina- not a reproduction- and measures 3 inches high x 2 1/2 inches wide. It retains traces of the original gold leaf paint and may (or may not!) have a replaced screw.
The Johnny Griffin image- in the arena of 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.
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.
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 10.75 inches wide x 8.25 inches long, the book has seen gentle use as evidenced by the fairly good condition of the little boys' heads which, while providing visual interest, are primarily present to allow easy turning of each page. Given this purpose, neck creasing and edge wear is expected and evident. Corner and edge wear of front and back boards is present, as is a brown oval stain on the front board near the word "little". Front and back covers are constructed of heavy cardboard, the pages of heavier stock paper. Both the front and back boards evidence age discoloration and some foxing, and a bit of vintage staining from handling on the back board.
The book retains its brilliant, bright, crayon-box-like colors. The book has ten pages with alternating color and black and white illustrations as noted in photos. I did not have sufficient space to post photos of all pages, but those present are representative of overall condition. Some pages evidence foxing, but all pages are free of rips and creasing. The binding is tight and the book retains its original, red, binding spiral.
Originally published in 1868 under the Title of “The Ten Little Indians,” this poem was used during minstrel shows, which oftentimes were traveling acts, performed by white actors in blackface following the Civil War. The following year, the poem was adapted to this overtly horrid, racist rendition, replacing the word Indians with “Nigger” in both minstrel shows, printed sheet music, and children’s nursery rhyme books. This version married the stereotypes of violence and ignorance within the African-American population with the intent of villainizing freed black males while simultaneously allowing violence acts to befall the black characters portrayed in the rhyme.
This 1942 version having changed the derogatory term nigger to that of colored (equally derogatory), also depicts a somewhat tempered portrayal of the violence befalling the characters as compared to earlier versions of the rhyme.
Ten little colored boys sitting in a line; one slid off the roof, then there were nine.
Nine little colored boys fished with worms for bait; one fell in the river, then there were eight.
Eight little colored boys flying up to heaven; one tried to parachute, then there were seven.
Seven little colored boys doing circus tricks; one teased an elephant, then there were six.
Six little colored boys found honey in a hive; one tried to pet a bee, then there were five.
Five little colored boys heard a lion roar; One didn't run in time, then there were four.
Four little colored boys started out to ski; One hit a snowman, then there were three.
Three little colored boys cooked some chicken stew; One ate the pot-ful, then there were two.
Two little colored boys playing with a gun; Thought it wasn't loaded, then there was one.
One little colored boy thought it would be fun to settle down and marry, then there was none.
He had a family of colored boys and then, before very long, there were ten of them again.
To view other versions of this book presently available for separate purchase, please type the words "ten little" into the SEARCH box on our home page.
GOLD DUST Trolley Signs are a very rare find in today’s market as they were made of cardboard, a material much less likely to withstand the test of time as opposed to tin advertising signs which were much sturdier!
This Gold Dust trolley sign features the Gold Dust Twins dressed in ruffled, red skirts emblazoned with the words “GOLD DUST”, busily scrubbing the front porch and the kitchen in a vigorous attempt at “Spring Cleaning”. The colors featured in this trolley sign are just stunning—greens, pale peachy-colored orange, pale blue, and yellows with white apple blossoms and red tulips flowering in profusion!! To the left of the Gold Dust Twin scrubbing the front porch, sits a large box of Gold Dust Washing Powder. The advertisement proclaims in black-outlined, peachy-orange lettering: “For Spring House Cleaning”.
The condition of this trolley sign is truly quite fine. Colors are very strong and consistent throughout; please ignore the various glass reflections seen in some of the photos- they were unavoidable and do appear to make the colors appear a bit faded—which is inaccurate! The sign is free of rips or tears although it does have two, early, fold-creases – one running from top to bottom of the sign along the left side of the pail and between the “O” and “L” in “GOLD” and the other vertical crease on the very right edge of the sign, running through the stove in the kitchen to the “T” in “DUST”. The creases are very unobtrusive and do not detract from the wonderful, colorful imagery this sign conveys.
An unusual opportunity to acquire a very RARE piece of Black Americana!!
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.
The piece has two tiny holes in its bowl suggesting that this was once screwed or fastened into another piece. Logic suggests that perhaps this may have been an advertising display item of some sort.
Remnants of red paint are easily visible on the back of the black boy's hat as well as on his lips, and the giant shoe also displays remnants of black paint. When one looks quite closely, one can see that the entire figure was at one time painted. Some light superficial rusting to the bowl is evident here and there.
Certainly a mystery piece as to purpose, this fascinating Black Memorabilia collectible remains quite intriguing and does reinforce a stereotypical occupation associated with black folk during the unfortunate Jim Crow era.
Her interesting and expressive face is completely hand-stitched and bears a tiny hole in the center of her chin. A similar teeny hole may also be seen (see photo) on her back. Mammy wears a lacy bonnet detailed with tiny pleats and 2 ribbon flowers. Her pink skirt and blouse, also hand-stitched, is presented in various shades of pink as Mammy's outfit has been subjected to light over the years and is in places, quite faded. Although now clean, Mammy's clothing is speckled here and there with teeny dark pinpoint size spots, most particularly in the bust area. Her white apron is pristine and is accented with a small, non-functional pocket. Her lace bonnet is fragile and must be handled with care as it can tear easily.
Although her bottle frame is covered by a black stocking, the stocking has opened slightly under her skirt revealing her sand-filled milk bottle.
This wonderful, early bottle doll is one of 3 currently offered bottle dolls --- all priced separately.
The puzzle is constructed of a cardboard paper material with Aunt Jemima’s image lithographed on the front and product advertising on the back. This puzzle toy was a “give-away” item--- customers could write away for the “free” puzzle by sending two 2 cent stamps for a “set of Aunt Jemima and her Pickaninny Dolls”.
Aunt Jemima is in all ORIGINAL condition and has no age imperfection to speak of other than minor creasing near the three string holes, undoubtedly created when someone long ago attempted to solve the puzzle---“separate the two cardboard pieces without untying the string!”
This RARELY found piece of early Black Memorabilia and/or Aunt Jemima advertising would be fabulous framed between two pieces of glass! A must-have for the serious Black Americana collector! These Aunt Jemima paper string advertising puzzles are simply not seen anymore- they are very rarely found in today's market due to the fragile nature of their composition!
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!
Constructed of painted wood that is nailed and glued together, this vintage collectible retains quite a few of its original but yellowed-with-age grocery shopping list pages. The holder/board retains a ball of string and a stub of an older, red pencil. It also has an inkwell cut-out that would have accommodated a bottle of ink; presumably, an inkwell pen once resided beside it versus the current pencil.
The holder/board remains in all original condition with no repaint or repair. The black chef is not painted on but is a decal--all original. The pale blue paint has appropriate, minor, age-related wear as noted in photos.
Has great visual appeal and displays wonderfully!
The toy is in very fine, working condition. When wound, the black dancers bob up and down, moving their hinged legs about and swinging their arms. The dancer's heads, bodies, and arms are constructed of flat tin, while their legs and feet are three dimensional. Other than a few light scratches here and there, the surface lithography and paint is in fabulous condition.
The toy measures 8” tall and 5 ½” wide. Marked with “MADE IN U.S.A.” on the back of the dancer's jackets as well as "MADE IN USA" and "PAT 2072308" (Patent Year 1937) on the bottom of the toy base.