These signs were found in March of 1971, inside the abandoned and decaying basement of the former Philadelphia Enameling Works factory at the corner of 13th and Vine Streets in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The gentleman from whom these signs were purchased, bought these segregation signs along with hundreds of others signs of all types found in the basement of this former factory (see last photo) and has very kindly written a letter of provenance which has been photographed here and which will be included with these signs upon their sale.
These historic signs are enameled on both sides, and on the front sides are written, "COLORED MEN" and "COLORED WOMEN". The signs feature black lettering on a white background.
The signs are in all-original condition with some very minor discoloration and very unobtrusive edge discoloration pinpoints and some enameling loss here and there as seen in photos.
Extremely RARE, UNUSED, one-of-a-kind, museum-worthy pieces of Black American history that are quite likely the only ones of their kind extant today! Condition is amazing!
Also currently offered for separate sale at $895.00 and originating from this same collection is a pair of signs labeled "COLORED" and "WHITE". (See last photo) Please take a moment to view these signs by simply by typing the word "segregation" into the SEARCH box on our homepage.
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.
Measuring 21.5 inches long, this delightful and appealing cloth Golli is unmarked and is thought, by his original and quite elderly owner, to have been made in the mid 1940's! (She speculates that he could even be a bit older than that, but she remembers not acquiring him until after the end of WWII.)
His nose and mouth are hand-stitched and he has round, cloth covered button eyes- the pupils were hand-colored using black ink! His nicely coiffed, black hair appears to have been styled from soft, "stuffed animal-type" fur! Rather interesting and ingenious! He has a machine-stitched, cotton batting stuffed, black sock cloth body. His colorful wardrobe is also machine stitched- green wool mourning coat, gold vest, and red and white polka-dotted cotton pants and matching bow tie!
He is in wonderful condition with the exception of some tiny moth holes to the back of his mourning coat (see photos) as well as another tiny moth hole to the back of his right arm and back right pants leg. The polka dot clothing shows the slightest hint of fading. His dark black fur hair also shows some age-related color change to brown at the roots. Hmm...then again...perhaps he's simply overdue for another hair coloring appointment at the Salon!
A very sweet addition to one's Black Memorabilia or Golliwogg collection!
This darling, all-glass piece remains in superb condition-no damage of any kind! It retains its wonderful, original satin string around the neck as well as the paper label that reads, “ Le Golliwogg, Vigny, Paris France” and features a lithograph of the Golli’s 2 black hands, positioned in such a way as to suggest that he his holding onto his big round belly!
The Golliwogg’s head is the perfume stopper (which lifts easily out of the bottle), and the facial painting/enameling remains as clear and crisp as the day it was applied! His black furry hair retains most of its original dark tones infused with shades of dark gray! The Golly’s glass collar is painted/enameled white with black lollipops and his feet are accented in black. The original paper label is completely intact.
The base of the clear glass bottle is etched but a challenge to read except under magnification or if the bottle is held up to a light bulb at a given angle. The etching reads, “FRANCE”. This bottle no longer contains perfume.
Along with photos of the Golliwog perfume is also a photo of an original 1920’s magazine advertisement for Vigny Perfumes including “Le Golliwogg”. The magazine advertisement is not available for sale and is only presented to serve as an historical reference.
A very, very special piece of Black Memorabilia that has appeal to Black Americana, perfume bottle, and Golliwog collectors alike!
Also pictured here and available for sale separately--- coming from the same estate--- is a 2.25 inch, Vigny, France, Golliwogg Perfume in Clear Glass dating post-WWI and priced at $375.00, as well as a second, 2.25 inch clear glass, 1920's, Golliwogg Perfume bottle complete with paper base label as well as a partial, original box and priced at $425.00. The clear glass perfume was the second version of the Vigny “Le Golliwogg” perfume produced from the 1920’s into the 1930’s. Type "Vigny" in the SEARCH box on our homepage to see all French Golliwogg Perfume bottles!
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!
Ready to be framed, the puzzle has retained all of the brilliance of its original colors and also sports the artist signature of Fern Bisel Peat in the upper right hand corner. Slight and subtle edge wear to some puzzle pieces as noted in photo. A nice addition to one’s Little Black Sambo collection!
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.
Measuring 18 inches tall, Mammy 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. Her hair has been styled in six pigtails adorned with bows.
Mammy's red, machine-stitched dress is also vintage 1930-40's fabric and features the classic Grecian Key design in white.
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 Art crafts-person who is now deceased.
Please take a moment to view her little brother by typing the words "Maine Doll" into the SEARCH box.
Constructed of tin with a cardboard lithographed image and a glass cover, this game is backed with its original mirror. The puzzle is in all-original condition with the lithographed graphic remaining free of scratches and abrasions. The glass is rippled but is not damaged as it remains smooth to the touch. A "defective" piece of glass was likely just simply chosen for use. The mirror shows some tiny bits of loss to silvering as noted in photos. (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!
Great condition with some corner wear, but please note that all pages have completely separated from the center seam so are no longer in "booklet" form. No missing pages though!
A difficult item to find in today's market!
The String Holder is stamped "JAPAN" and “Theo Hinode” on the inside of the base (The Hinode Company is the Japanese Ceramic Company.). Mammy has a hole in the center of her chest area, just above her folded hands, to accommodate the string which would be pulled from the ball of string placed inside her body from the back of the piece. This wonderful piece even comes complete with vintage hanging string---Mammy has two holes at the back of her head to accommodate this! The entire piece is glazed with the exception of Mammy's red kerchief which is cold-painted (meaning that the paint was applied after firing). As such, this area of paint would be the most vulnerable to wear, and Mammy does have some “bald areas” where the paint has come off her kerchief. Please take a moment to view all photos to ascertain condition and appeal of this fabulous and functional, vintage string holder!
A lovely and colorful piece that can be displayed on a shelf or hanging from the wall!
The child’s head nods up and down in a "yes" motion by pivoting on a tiny metal bar inserted through his neck (see photos).
Condition is mint, and the piece is signed on the bottom of his right foot: “Hand Painted Lenwile China Ardalt Japan 6530 A”.
Black nodders are quite difficult to come by and have become an interesting sub-collecting category in the field of Black Americana! Not to be missed!
Please see the companion pieces also available (pictured here as well) - the Black Girl Child Nodder and the Bending Over Black Girl by Ardalt, Japan!!!
Featuring a delightful, cartoon-like caricature of a black man, this board is in very good condition with minor edge wear, slight age-discoloration and a teeny missing piece of the front rim of the hat.
An interesting, seldom-found piece of Black Memorabilia!
Please disregard reflections in photos that are due to the presence of protective plastic wrap.
The puppet, itself, is 14 inches tall and is colorfully dressed in blue and white checked pants, red shoes, orange and whit polka dot shirt, straw hat and red patterned neck scarf.
The puppet's face is composition and bears evidence of some age-related crackling as noted in photos. He has a tiny piece if composition missing on the left side of his neck partially covered by his neck scarf, so it is very difficult to notice. He bears a manufacturer stamp on the bottom of his right foot, but it is partial and unreadable. His hands which hold colorful pink straw maracas are a heavy molded plastic.
The puppet is free of stains, dirt and odor. He retains his original black strings and wooden airplane controller!
Fabulous colored illustrations as represented by photos adorn this 19 page book! Ten to eleven darling little poems and/or short stories are written in "dialect", reflective of the Caucasian cultural mores of the period.
Interior pages are in fine condition--they are tightly bound together with the 3 original staples and remain brilliantly colored; front and back covers have loosened from these interior pages, and the covers have been taped along the exterior spine in a failed attempt to keep them attached to the tightly bound interior pages. The covers have edge wear, small edge creases, and surface scuffing with minor surface paper loss here and there (see photos). Additionally, the front cover has a small remnant of an old paper sticker in the upper right quadrant.
A charming addition to one's Black Americana collection!!
Given away by the Merrick Thread Company as a free advertising premium to encourage the purchase of its product, this mirror depicts a rather confident black boy hanging from a single strand of Merrick thread while dangling above the open jaws of a hungry alligator! At the base of the mirror the caption reads, "Fooled Dis Time Cully Dis Cotton Aint Gwine To Break".
A delightful Black Americana Advertising piece!
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.
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.
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 with very subtle age-related edge tears that do not interfere with image. Would look just wonderful framed!!