The paper package contains nearly all of its original powder, having never been opened; however, as noted in the second photo, the corner edge wear has resulted in some minor leakage of the powder. Because of this, the package has been shrink-wrapped to preserve the remainder of the product.
The shrink wrapping makes the package very difficult to photograph; additionally, some minor leakage of the powder under the shrink wrap also obscures viewing. The first two photos are of the actual package currently offered for sale--with shrink wrap on and minor leakage of powder under the shrink-wrap. The remaining photos clearly show the details of the Zoulou packaging using an undamaged, unshrink-wrapped package that has already been sold, no longer available for purchase. These photos are offered purely for the convenience of the viewer so that the details of the Zoulou package can be readily seen without the encumbrance of the shrink wrap blocking package details; these photos do not represent the condition of the package currently being offered for sale. The first two photos represent the condition of the actual Zoulou package currently offered for sale, with the pricing reflecting condition.
The manufacturers of the Zoulou powder claimed that healing properties were associated with the powder.
A well-detailed, rarely-found example of turn-of-the-century use of graphics in advertising!
From approximately 1915 through the 1930's, Mrs. Vargas-Alphonso, influenced by the artistry of her father who also sculpted in wax, crafted a variety of wax dolls inspired by the black folk she saw on New Orleans's street corners while growing up. Sold exclusively at the time through Harriet's, of 318 Rue Royale in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the completely hand-made, one-of-a-kind dolls are seldom found on today's market due to their inherently fragile nature, making them highly sought after in the Black Memorabilia Collectible arena.
The female figure is known as the Praline Seller as her business was to sell freshly made Pralines, a candy confection composed of Louisiana cane sugar and pecans. Her straw, woven basket contains four Praline cookies or flatbreads.
The male figure is known as the grapevine and/or alligator seller. The grapevines are tied in a large bundle on his back which he also supports using the rope in his right hand, while leading a young alligator along in his left.
Vargas wax figures are distinctly characterized by their interesting but highly exaggerated facial features.
The Praline Seller wears a vividly colorful array of different pattern fabrics which work to comprise her eye-catching costume. Atop her head, she wears a large, green and red polka dot bandanna that allows a bit of her wildly-curly, dark hair to peek through, with a solid yellow bandanna tied around her neck. Her her red, cream and blue patterned blouse and skirt are partially protected by a rather sedate, cream-colored apron. All of her clothing is constructed of actual cloth fabric that was coated with a fine layer of clear wax to stiffen it. She carries her basket of pralines on her right arm, while holding a piece of paper in her right hand. A written price list, perhaps? In her left hand she carries a reed duster to keep the flies off of her confections!
The Grapevine/Alligator also wears fabric clothing coated in wax. His pink, white and blue patterned bandanna is tied around his neck and worn over a red, blue and yellow plaid shirt and blue denim pants. He is missing his hat-- perhaps, the alligator ate it?! He holds onto the gator's rope in his left hand while trying to balance the huge mound of grapevine on his back via a rope end clutched in his right hand.
The figures' wax bodies are internally supported by wire frames through which the figures are securely attached to the wooden base. The bottom of each base retains its original stamp which reads, "Genuine VARGAS New Orleans, LA".
These wonderful figures are in near mint condition for their 75+ years of age. The Praline Seller perhaps has lost a couple of her pralines from her basket over the years, an insignificant detail, or perhaps her basket was never meant to be filled to indicate that she had already successfully made some sales! The Grapevine/Alligator is missing his hat as noted earlier, as well as two of his fingers on his left hand, a common injury as they are so very, very thin and inherently fragile. The young Alligator is missing the tip of his tail and the tip of the top of his mouth, again, two very thin pieces of wax which were vulnerable to easily breaking off.
Please note that the Vargas figures are priced $795.00 EACH.
This is a partial document missing its beginning and end pages, therefore, the name of the deceased slave owner and the date of the document is not known. HOWEVER, the document remains EXTRAORDINARILY RARE AND UNUSUAL as it proceeds to, first, categorize the 40 slaves using the word SLAVES instead of Negroes, and secondly, proceeds to list the male slaves BY NAME, ALONG WITH NAMES OF THEIR WIVES AND THEIR CHILDREN, with monetary value listed in the right column of the document!!!! In two instances, the number of years married is also listed! Children are labeled "Girl, "Boy", or "Infant". Total value of these 40 slaves was calculated at $24,200.00
Such documents listing ENTIRE SLAVE FAMILIES BY NAME is simply not found, as slaves were viewed as property, not individuals with rights and privileges who had wives and children, the whole of which, constituted a family. It would indeed be a phenomenal piece of history to be able to identify the plantation and/or deceased slave owner as such an estate listing speaks to an uncommon, albeit, rare and unique perspective of slave ownership. Such a listing makes this particular document all the more heart-wrenching, and it certainly begs the very sad question of whether or not these slave families were allowed to remain united and intact once the final estate disposition was conducted.
The document measures approximately 8 1/2 inches wide x 14 1/8 inches long, is double-sided and is in good condition, with fold lines evident along with some age-related foxing at top and bottom fold lines. 1 3/4 tear along the fold line of the top fold at right edge. The ink color is sepia toned (likely as a result of some fading over time) on a pale blue, vertically-ruled, heavy paper. This phenomenal piece of cultural ephemera is ready for appropriate archival preservation/framing.
The listing of slaves is on the back side of the document with the front side listing farm animals, equipment and supplies along with values- "The following property set apart for the use and benefit of the farm".
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."
Marked "Copyright 1924", in the lower left hand corner, this extremely hard-to-find advertising piece measures 10.5 inches wide x 13.5 inches high. Colorful and visually interesting, the heavy cardboard diecut depicts an engaging Uncle Wabash serenely strumming his banjo on his front porch! Guess the message to the consumer was, "Eat one of Uncle Wabash's cupcakes to experience your own little slice of heaven and serenity!"
Condition of this charming piece of Black Historical ephemera is quite good given its 80+ years of age!! Old water staining to bottom of the diecut does little to detract from the piece. Crease line to one cupcake edge. Appropriate age foxing to back.
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.
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’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!
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.
The banks may be purchased as a pair for $425.00, or they may be separately purchased as follows: Mammy with Spoon $295.00 and Black Man Darkey Sharecropper $225.
The Mammy with a Spoon measures 5 7/8 inches high and was produced between 1905 and 1930. She retains much of her original paint and exudes a warm, rich patina commensurate with a well-loved antique of approximately 100 years of age. She wears a blue dress, black shoes, a silver apron and a red kerchief that still retains some of its white polka dots. Mammy holds a gold-colored spoon in her right hand while placing her left hand firmly on her hip. Mammy means business!
The Black Man Darkey Sharecropper measures 5 1/2 inches high and was manufactured from 1901 to 1930. He retains most of his original paint showing less paint wear than Mammy and also exudes a very warm, rich patina. He wears black pants with red suspenders and a gold hat and gold shirt with red collar. He wears black shoes; however, his left black shoe is worn through at the toes, resulting in all five toes peeking out! He stands casually with his hands in his pocket. His back screw, while an old one, is a replacement.
Mammy and the Darkey Sharecropper were clearly manufactured as companion pieces given their similar size and stance. Both stand freely and would make wonderful additions to the well-curated, antique, Black Americana collection.
Measuring 7.50 inches long x 3.25 inches wide, this Belgian cigarette or cigar, heavy paper/cardboard box features a fabulous litho of a very dapper Black Gentleman smoking one of the "JOHN" cigarettes. Its small size offers many options for display including framing for shelf or wall enjoyment.
A truly scarce find in phenomenal condition!
Manufactured by FOSTA Products, this highly sought after piece of Black Memorabilia is in lovely, all-original condition with very light, superficial surface wear as seen in photos; this wear is reflective of less-than-typical use. A bonus--the original recipe cards remain inside! Fabulous color and condition contribute to the wonderful visual appeal of this delightful and essential, vintage piece of early 50’s Black Americana!
Please see the YELLOW Aunt Jemima Fosta Recipe Box available as separate purchase.
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 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.
The CZAR Baking Powder card is SOLD. It was printed by the Empire Lithography Company, Pearl Street, New York, and is so marked at the bottom of the front side. This card is brilliantly colored with a phenomenal graphic of a Mammy and her son admiring an utterly huge loaf of bread which presumably owes its immense size to CZAR Baking Powder. The reverse side carries a testimony by a Yale College professor attesting to the wonder of the CZAR product which is manufactured by Steele and Emery Company of New Haven, Connecticut. The card measures 3 inches x 4.75 inches.
The MISFIT Clothing Company card is copyrighted 1898 by J.H. Bufford Company in the lower right front corner. In the upper left corner, the card is entitled "In the Land of Cotton" and features a wonderfully detailed scene of African-American families working the cotton fields with a large cotton gin looming in the background. The card measures 2.75 inches x 4.50 inches. The reverse side is an advertisement for Misfit Clothing sold by the J. Bamott & Company of Washington Street, Boston.
The Welcome Soap advertising card also measures 2.75 inches x 4.50 inches and is entitled "Photography Under a Cloud". It features a fabulous litho of 5 African-American boys with exaggerated facial features who are attempting to take a photograph using an early camera. The litho is marked in the lower right corner "Bufford, Boston". The reverse side further advertises WELCOME SOAP and features two shaking hands.
All three 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. The back sides of the Czar card and the MISFIT CLOTHING card have glue stains.
These rare trade cards would be stunning matted and 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.
In 1912, in a stroke of advertising genius, Mayo's Tobacco Company packaged their cut plug tobacco in round tins with a lithographed character. Each held 1 pound of tobacco. It was opened by removing the head!
These "Roly-Polys" were a unique shape that distinguished them from the rectangular and lunch box-shaped tins that surrounded them on store shelves. There were a number of different characters that were available, and smokers were encouraged to collect the entire set. The six original tins were the Satisfied Customer, the Storekeeper, the Singing Waiter, the Dutchman, Scotland Yard....and Mammy!
Mayo called this packaging a "Brownie" tin...apparently the company suggested that the tins be used as brownie containers after the tobacco was used, and designed them accordingly. They were never a plentiful tin, and today, are becoming increasingly more and more difficult to find.
The Mayo tobacco tins were distinguished by little packages of Mayo Cut Plug tobacco shown somewhere on the character. Notice that the Mammy tin has a tiny tobacco tin tucked into her front pocket.
Mammy's dimensions are 7"x7". She is in good condition, as evidenced by the photos which clearly detail the flaws she has acquired over her 100+ years of existence. The body of the tin has minor paint loss to the litho as seen in photos, minor and subtle surface scratching (see photos), and small areas of denting to the top of mammy's head (see photo) and to her base near the cigarette pack protruding from her pocket (see photo). The body has some light soiling and has the appropriate wear at contact points. The tin has no repaint but does have some light, interior rusting to the interior of the base as well as a couple of tiny size holes which can be seen in the 12th photo (tiny holes show up as white spots in the photo). The base was held up to the bright, outdoor light to illuminate the holes- which actually make them appear more prominent than they actually are!
The base of the tin is labeled "made in factory # 42, in the 2nd District of Virginia".
**The depth of color is better viewed "in person" as opposed to what I was able to capture in a photo.**
A must-have addition to any SERIOUS Black Americana collection! A note on the rarity of this item....this is only the second Mayo Cut Plug tin that I have had the pleasure of offering for sale in my 20+ years specializing in Black Americana! The tin displays beautifully!!
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.