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.
Mammy’s sweet little face has been carefully hand-stitched, and she has been nicely dressed in a red and green plaid dress with linen apron and red flowered head scarf. She holds a bunch of sticks in her right arm- presumably to add to a fire.
Condition of this wonderful miniature Mammy is excellent! Oftentimes, the nipple dries up and deteriorates, so finding a nipple doll in such fine condition is truly a treat!
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 very fine with superficial rubs to the flesh-toned coating of her mask; her lithographed facial features, however, remain beautiful. (Such rubs are not unexpected as these particular doll masks are, unfortunately, prone to rubbing.)
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. 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 also wears a sheer, ruffled pinafore.
Both dolls have the typical "mitten" hands of the stuffed rag dolls of this era. There are no other difficulties to report other than the rubs to Betty's face and some tiny, stray (original) glue spots here and there. No rips, tears, soiling, or odors, and she has been stored in a smoke-free home. The photos show it all- these two girls are a charming pair! A very difficult to find doll in near excellent condition!
American Beach was established in 1935 on Florida's east coast under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln Lewis, one of seven co-founders of the Afro-American Life Insurance Company, and one of Florida's first black millionaires. His vision was to create a beach resort as a benefit for company executives and as an incentive for employees.
In the era of Jim Crow segregation laws, few public places in Florida or the rest of the South were open to African Americans. From the Depression until well into the 1960's, American Beach served as a holiday and vacation destination for thousands of African Americans, and was a magnet for black celebrities such as entertainers Cab Calloway and Ray Charles, heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis and writer Zora Neale Hurston.
But in 1964, the area began to decline. Hurricane Dora destroyed much of the beach, and passage of the Civil Rights Act meant that blacks were, finally, no longer restricted to segregated beaches and the businesses that catered to them.
A fabulous and historically relevant piece of Black Americana!
Measuring just 6 ½ inches tall with a skirt circumference of 4 ½ inches, her head, torso, and arms are constructed of fabric with an inverted basket serving as her skirt. Her clothing is machine-stitched with attention paid to detail: teeny gold fabric braiding serves as earrings and necklace; delicate lace accents her skirt hem; her red shawl features zig zag stitching accents; her face is finely hand-painted.
A sweet addition to one’s Black Memorabilia or Doll collection!
While her little body was machine stitched together, the remainder of Mammy is all hand-completed! She has a sweet, cheerful, hand-embroidered face that is framed by a tall red, white and blue bonnet! She continues her patriotic look with a red and white checkered top and blue and white flowered pants---how racy---pants instead of a skirt!!!
Mammy clutches a gold colored tomato which, of course, is designed to keep the sewing pins!
In wonderful condition!! Just waiting to be displayed with other sewing or black American collectibles!
Both dolls retain their 3 original pigtails, all tied off with tiny pieces of string. Their hand-painted lips and eyes remain in excellent condition as is the dark brown paint which covers the bisque bodies which were originally white when manufactured (the white bisque coloring is visible at the joints).
Both dolls have jointed arms and legs which allow them to assume different positions. The string holding the larger doll's legs in place has stretched over these many years resulting in looser leg joints. (This can be repaired if so desired by the new owner.)
The larger doll is dressed in a hand-made outfit consisting of an ivory, yarn-knitted petticoat under a yellow crocheted dress while the smaller doll remains au naturalle! A darling, teeny tiny pair that display quite nicely!
The little black doll retains its original cloth diaper and swaddling blanket with arm holes. The blanket shows spotted soiling. The baby doll features a nicely hand-painted face with the bisque in excellent condition with the exception of the right foot. The top front of the right foot appears to have been chipped during production as it retains the original paint that is applied over the white bisque during the manufacturing process. The doll is marked on its upper back: "made in Japan".
The 2 piece peanut shell is quite lightweight and appears to be made of layers of heat-pressed paper that was fashioned into a peanut via a mold. The two peanut shells retain the original hinges. A 1 inch long piece of the interior paper liner has separated from the peanut shell, but the separated piece remains (see photo). These delicate peanut shells are in fine condition overall!
Perhaps originally intended as an ornament, the peanut shell still retains a hanging string at its top edge. A rarely found piece of Black Memorabilia!
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!!!
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!!
Measuring 7" long x 4.5" high x 4" wide, this colorful toy features two African-American boxers who are activated by jiggling the paddle which causes the boxer's arms and legs to freely fly about.
The boxers have painted wooden bodies with lithographed tin arms and legs. They are attached to the wooden paddle by a thin metal wire.
The toy is complete and in all-original condition and has not been subjected to any repair or repaint. Wear to the painted faces is evident as noted in the extreme close-up photos provided. No manufacture marking evident.
This seldom-found toy displays very nicely and would be a delightful addition to a Black Americana toy collection.
The AYER'S Cathartic Pills card is copyrighted 1883 in the lower right front corner by the J.C. Ayer Company Company, Lowell, Massachusetts. This card is brilliantly colored with a phenomenal graphic of the Black "Country Doctor" holding a small child who clutches an Ayer's Pills advertisement in her hand. The reverse side carries a testimony to the wonder of the multitude of curative properties of Ayer's Pills. The card measures 2 5/8 inches x 4 3/4 inches.
The J.P. Coat's Company card is not copyrighted but is at the latest, a circa 1890's card, and features a smiling African-American boy seated on a spool of Coat's thread tickling a bright yellow shining sun. The card measures 3 inches x 4.50 inches. The reverse side is an advertisement for J.P. Coat's Fast Black Spool Cotton thread.
The Clarke's Spool Cotton Thread advertising card is SOLD. It measures 2.75 inches x 4 3/8 inches and features an African-American boy beating a drum which advertises Clarke's MILE-END Spool Cotton. The litho is marked on back "Donaldson Bros, Five Points, New York". The reverse side further advertises Clarke's Thread.
The fourth card is another J.P. Coat's Thread card depicting a humorous scene of an African-American couple attempting to move a very stubborn mule. The card measures 3 inches x 4.75 inches. It is copyrighted on the reverse 1881 by Auchincloss & Brothers, New York. The reverse side advertises the myriad of J.P. Coat's products.
The fifth card is another Clark's Mile-End Spool Cotton advertisement that features a humorous lithograph of a well-dressed African-American man being tripped by a young Caucasian boy holding Clark's super-strong thread, and measures 2.75 inches x 4.50 inches. The reverse side is a continuation of testimony and advertisement for the product.
All five trade cards are in very fine condition with nice color and some very subtle evidence of age staining as seen in photos. The cards have no rips, bends, or fading.
These seldom-found trade cards would look fabulous framed as a group!
As each is priced separately (see photos for pricing), please email us stating which item you wish to purchase so that we can customize your order form.
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!
Coloring is quite brilliant, and the condition is very fine with appropriate age-related crazing and some tiny, circular, firing imperfections on Mammy's polka dotted scarf as noted in photos. Please note that white marks are flash reflections, not imperfections. Makers mark is noted on the back--- an "E" inside of a crown.
A delightful piece of Black Memorabilia that displays wonderfully on a wall or shelf!
Mammy's wonderful, smiling face is hand-stitched and her clothes are machine sewn. Her blouse is seersucker, and her head, arms, skirt, apron, and cap are cotton. Her head, arms, and upper torso are stuffed with cotton batting. The natural bristle broom fills out both Mammy's torso and skirt & the wooden broom handle extends upward through her neck and head.
Mammy is in all original condition with no mends or repairs. The structural integrity of the broom remains quite sound, and Mammy, herself, is free of holes and tears. Her once-red skirt has now faded to pink. Her white cotton apron and cap have been cleaned removing nearly all traces of old stains, dirt, and dust. Photo number 2 shows her outfit BEFORE cleaning; all other photos reflect her appearance after cleaning.
A fabulous piece of vintage Black Americana, and a seldom seen form of the Black Mammy Doll!
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.
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!
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.