Unmarked, the toy was likely produced in post WWII Germany. It is in wonderful, barely-used condition with just the tiniest degree of scratching wherever metal rubs metal during toy movement. To operate the toy, one simply squeezes the metal lever on the back, which causes the woman to hit the poor monkey on the head with a mallet!
A RARE toy with crisp color and which displays wonderfully!
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!
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.
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!
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.
The sides of the rattle shackle are constructed of lateral “pockets” each containing one small, iron orb that would “rattle” when the wearer would move about.
Because this particular type of rattle shackle does not have iron loops or openings to “thread” iron chain through, it would have been attached to the ankle or wrist of a very young “house slave” who worked strictly inside the plantation house and thus was under very close supervision by the plantation owner and/or family members.
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 very small size!
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.
This particular estate document is extraordinarily unique and atypical in comparison to other estate documents of this period as it lists 15 SLAVES among the articles of property, and it actually labels these individuals as SLAVES as opposed to the much more common and typical practice of listing "Slaves" as "Negroes". The slaves are listed on the back side of the document with all other inventory listed on the front side.
Each slave is listed by first name with the corresponding current market value written to the left of the name, with the total market value of the 15 slaves named at $8600-- quite a hefty sum when one considers that the remainder of the estate (furniture, livestock, transportation and work vehicles, tools, etc) is valued in total at $980.75. Also listed in the inventory was 13,000 pounds of seed cotton, indicating that Lewis Mattair owned a sizable cotton plantation, clearly farmed by the slaves.
Lewis Mattair is noted in the 1860 Federal Census as a resident of Suwanee County, Florida; the 1860 Federal Census- Slave Schedules references Lewis Mattair owning 28 male and female slaves, ranging in age from 4 to 58. Lewis Mattair is listed in the 1865 Florida Tax records, but his name does not appear in any archived state or federal records after that year. Thus, it is presumed that this document dates from or just prior to 1865, the year that the Civil War ended.
The Middle Passage Museum was the dream of Jim and Mary Anne Petty of Mississippi as well as that of an anonymous Georgian benefactor who had together compiled a collection of slave artifacts numbering over 15,000 pieces and who had hoped to find a permanent site in Mobile, Alabama, for their museum. While they formed a non-profit organization to raise funds for their hoped-for museum, their dream was never realized.
In a 2003 statement, Jim Petty remarked, "The importance of the exhibit of these artifacts is to understand the harshness of what slavery and segregation was all about. The items in the exhibit remind us of the terrible heinousness of slavery. Viewing the collection can be very emotional, but it is a tool through which we can understand, honor and respect a great culture. We want to realize that out of slavery, a great culture emerged, and carried on, and continued to strive for a better life regardless of the adverse conditions that were placed upon them."
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.
Marked "Pat Applied For" on its base, this darling match holder features two small black boys playing around a rather large cotton bale (the bale is labeled "COTTON").
Well-executed detail! A lovely piece seldom found in today's collectible market!
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.
Plastic Aunt Jemima Cookie jars were a box-top coupon offer from the Quaker Oats Company through 1951. The faces came in two colors, brown and black, with the BROWN face much harder to find as fewer were made. The black face was first offered in 1948, with the brown face offered the following year in 1949.
Measuring 12 inches tall and 7 inches wide at the widest point of her skirt, Aunt Jemima is in quite wonderful condition with just very minimal and subtle paint loss, most prominently to her white apron (see photos).
Some slight superficial rubbing to the finish here and there as expected in a nearly 70 year old collectible. Marked on the base " F & F Mold & Die Works, Dayton Ohio Made in the USA".
Quite difficult to find in this near-excellent condition! Please view our other Aunt Jemima offerings!
While mourning jewelry in general is not at all prolific on the antiques market today, coming upon a Mourning Brooch immortalizing a Black American is truly a RARE find!
This brass brooch is in fine original condition and celebrates the memory of a smiling black woman clutching a bouquet of flowers. This brooch is further enhanced with a delicate twisted braid around its circumference.
The photograph is gray/black toned and is in fine condition!
A truly RARE piece of Black Americana!
Constructed of hand-cut, ¼ inch wide, black painted wood, this darling little black girl has hand-painted eyes and smiling lips, and is dressed in a hand and machine stitched, cloth-stuffed, one piece, black, tan and green dress! She has a hole in each ear, a metal hanging loop atop her head and one metal hook on each shoe for hanging keys or potholders!
She is in fine condition given her 70+ years of age and has great “patina”. Some minor paint loss, a few teeny holes in her outfit, but very visually appealing Black Americana Folk Art, none the less!
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.
Measuring 33 inches tall and 12 inches deep at its maximum depth, the bell hop carries a black tray topped off with a hefty aluminum ashtray. The ashtray is large enough to serve as a receptacle for a smaller potted plant, updating the use of this wonderful sculpture to a modern-day purpose!
The bellhop is quite sturdy as it is constructed of 3/4 inch thick wood, and it is well-balanced, as it is mounted upon a 12 inch diameter wooden base of equal thickness. Condition is wonderful with a great aged patina. At some point long ago, the bell hop lost the front half of his foot, but this loss was cleverly repaired so that it is not readily evident. Also cleverly repaired some many, many years ago, is the bellhop's wrist which appears to have been either broken off or cracked, but which has been nicely repaired and repainted.
This vintage piece of Black Americana is in wonderful condition absent a very tiny break at the tip of the base (see photo); it is not easily evident that the very extreme edge of the right base is missing a tiny piece.
The frame easily dissassembles into 3 parts for safe shipping and/or storage (see photo).