The smaller print featuring a little baby sitting in a pie, measures 7.25 inches wide x 9.50 inches long. It is complete with original black wooden frame, glass, and paper backing. Copyright by Morris & Benden NY is noted without a date. The phrase, "If you could lub like I lub pie - oh me, oh my - oh me, oh my!" is printed at the bottom. Very nice condition and ready to hang!
The larger print featuring a teeny black baby tucked between pillows in a very large fluffy bed bears a penciled inscription on the paper backing indicating that the piece was given as a gift in 1925! Measuring 7 6/8 inches wide x 10.50 inches long, this print retains its original black wooden frame and paper backing but requires replacement glass, an inexpensive investment for this small frame. These two sweet prints would look lovely hanging together given their common sweet black baby theme and with their coordinating black frames!
Mr. Layton was a skilled pitcher with a strong bat who had a four-year career in the Negro Leagues, playing for the Indianapolis Clowns, the New York Black Yankees and the Raleigh Tigers. One of his teammates was a promising infielder by the name of Hank Aaron, who signed with the Boston Braves in 1952, and eventually became a Hall of Famer. Layton received an invitation in 1951 to try out for the Brooklyn Dodgers, but by then his shoulder was troubling him so he declined, hoping it would heal and another opportunity would present, which unfortunately never came. As of 2016, Mr. Layton, at the age of 87, was enjoying retirement as an associate pastor in a North Carolina ministry.
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 female is clothed in a green felt dress and head piece that are decorated with tiny blue and white beads. She wears double strand white beaded bracelets and anklets and also wears a double stranded white beaded necklace with a large red bead center. Underneath her dress in back a tiny head peeks out- a little plastic baby that she is carrying!
The male is clothed in a brown and red polka dotted skirt with 2 fur pouches, and a fur headdress. He is swathed in longer strings of beads that encircle his waist and also run diagonally across his chest. He, too, wears a double stranded beaded anklet and necklace. Larger Red beads hang from the sides of his dress as well as from the 2nd fur pouch that hangs behind him.
The arms and legs are movable at hip and shoulder joints of each doll. The Male has the following in raised lettering on his back: P. M. and J. H. B. The remainder of the marking is obscured by beading and clothing. No other markings are visible.
A visually striking pair!
This circa 1920-30's Johnny Griffin item is constructed in solid brass and is known as a document clip used to hold together important papers. 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 4 1/8 inches long x 2 3/8 inches wide. It does not retain any marking other than a mold number 5241.
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.
Detailing in construction sets this mammy doll apart! Her creation was very carefully executed through a combination of hand and machine stitching. Mammy was lovingly dressed in clothing made from old, red, black, and white-patterned handkerchiefs, while both her body and her interesting pair of black pantaloons were constructed of old, black stockings. Detailing was clearly important to the creator--an additional and elegant surprise is the cream-colored, cotton petticoat edged with lace!
Mammy's face is hand-embroidered, and she wears brass-colored, plain, hoop earrings. Her body is machine-stitched together and is stuffed with cotton batting.
Mammy is in near perfect condition with the exception of minor wear (not holes) to her stocking-constructed left foot as well as the underside of her right, stocking-constructed hand. (This wear to the fabric may well be the very reason the stockings were used to construct Mammy as they may have been discarded from personal use. Please refer to photos to view wear.)
Mammy is simply full of charm with lovely and creative detailing! A quite difficult-to-find-in-this condition, 80+-year-old, cloth mammy doll!
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!
The graphic showing an African American woman picking cotton with her little girl at her side retains its vivid coloring and is in near mint condition with only one tiny speck of paint loss at the base of the little girl’s apron. Very minor wear is visible along the front edge of the tray rim as well as along the base edge as seen in photos. Overall condition is quite exceptional!
The front of the tray bears the advertisement, “ The Source of Cottolene- ‘Nature’s Gift From the Sunny South’”, and obviously refers to the cotton plant as the source of Cottolene Lard or shortening which was manufactured by the N.K. Fairbanks Company.
In extraordinarily microscopic-size lettering on the bottom front of the tray at the base of the cotton-picking scene can be read (with a super-magnifying glass), the name of the manufacturer of this metal tip tray: " Passaic Metal Ware Co. Litho. Passaic NJ".
The tray underside depicts a can of Cottolene lard which provides the backdrop for the Fairbanks Company product advertising. It advertising reads, “ ‘Way Down South in the Land of Cotton’ If you could see cotton growing in the fields in all its purity, could observe the skill and care used in extracting and refining the oil, you would appreciate while COTTOLENE- the perfect shortening- is so much purer and more healthful than lard could ever be. COTTOLENE is pure and wholesome as the finest olive oil; makes food palatable, digestible, healthful. COTTOLENE shortens your food- lengthens your life.” Wow, quite a testimony!!
A wonderful crossover piece equally appropriate for one’s Advertising, Black Memorabilia, or Tip Tray collection!
This toy company exclusively produced toys in the clown image and were fairly quickly in and out of business during the depression era 1930s; thus, very few of this particular toy were produced!
Both Bojangle and his colorful, yellow and green, metal base both measure 7 7/8 inches in length. The base has a metal rod that can be pulled upright that Bojangle is then inserted into to facilitate dancing. When the red button on the base is pushed, Bojangle dances!
Bojangle is nearly constructed entirely of wood with only his yellow hat and arms constructed from metal. Bojangle's condition is perfect as is his metal stand. One very teeny scratch on the base is present that must have resulted from handling over the years. The cardboard box is in fairly good condition with just some surface and edge wear. It is missing one end closure tab as well as the "tuck-in' piece of the primary bottom closure tab. Two end tabs and the primary top closure tab are separated from the box.
A very rare Black Americana toy in quite fabulous condition given its nearly 90 years of age!
The litho was executed by John Karst with his signature appearing in the lower left hand corner. Highly detailed, the litho reproduces a bustling New Orleans' dock scene featuring numerous slaves at work.
This litho was professionally re-framed using museum-quality, acid-free materials in 2004. The frame is a classic styled, black painted, beaded, hardwood accented with a dark rose, acid-free mat.
A fascinating glimpse into life on the docks of the Mississippi River at New Orleans!
Please note that any white spots or streaking appearing in photos are the result of light reflection and are not damage to the litho.
”Black Topsy” is dressed in a striking pink, green, orange, and black cotton, geometric-patterned dress- very Art Deco! Her mouth and nostrils are stitched in red thread and she has white pearl button eyes.
The Caucasian doll is dressed in a cotton lavender dress- also with a geometric, Art Deco pattern in black, green and yellow. Her blouse and bandanna are lavender sateen. Her entire face has been finely stitched. She has pink nostrils and mouth, black eyebrows, and her black stitched eyes have pretty lashes that highlight her silvery gray irises! She has the very palest of staining to her face above her nostrils, but it is barely noticeable, and there is some light fading to her sateen bandanna.
Condition and detailing of both sides of this Topsy Turvy is really quite extraordinary, setting her apart from other Topsy’s!! A wonderful addition to one’s doll or Black Memorabilia collection!
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 stories were written by Elizabeth Gordon and are whimsically illustrated in color by Clara Powers Wilson.
In fine condition with light wear to exterior boards. An early owners name appears inscribed on the title page. A small folio size measuring 5.25 inches x 6.75 inches.
Painted in 1934, the framed piece measures 20" x 26.5"; the watercolor, 13” x 19.5 “. Completed in various subtle tones of blue, gray, green, and brown. The watercolor was reframed in 1987 by the previous owner.
These signs have a very colorful, folk-art appeal and certainly are utterly unique! They very much fit into the American, Southern "Outsider Art" collecting genre, a genre which highlights the work of self-taught, rural area artists who create fabulous and highly expressive art using the media and materials that they have at hand and which reflects the world that they know and live in.
The signs are quite heavy as each is made from a solid wood board. The signs are nearly identical in size and measure approximately 25 1/2 inches wide x 14 5/8 high x 3/4ths of an inch thick. One of the signs has very, very slight warping, but the warpage is not readily evident as seen by pictures. Each sign has 2 holes from which to hang them, and the old rusted hanging wire which is seen in the photos has been replaced by new hanging wire.
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.
Four of the hand towels were made by the same individual, and are entirely hand-cross-stitched and hand-hemmed on a somewhat heavy-weight, cream-colored, cotton muslin. They measure approximately 36 inches square.
These four towels are as follows: "Monday"- featuring Mammy washing clothes in a wooden barrel, "Tuesday" featuring Mammy hanging clothes to dry on the clothesline, "Wednesday" featuring Mammy mending clothes, and "Thursday" featuring Mammy delivering a hand-picked, flower bouquet to a neighbor. Condition of all four towels is quite good with small, scattered, stain spots here and there- none in the area of the cross-stitching.
The fifth towel, "Friday", is made of a slightly lighter weight and whiter-colored, cotton muslin. It measures 28 x 29 inches, and again, it has a tiny stain spot here and there away from the cross-stitched area. The hems are machine stitched but the cross-stitching is hand-completed. This towel features a humorous scene of Mammy serving/making pancakes while a pitcher of milk or water unknowingly spills behind her!
These delightful towels would look charming folded and displayed on a kitchen wall rack or could even be framed - folded so that only the cross-stitched area is visible in the frame!
As each towel is priced separately, please email us stating which item you wish to purchase so that we can customize your order form.
This pleasant trio of Sapolio Soap diecuts is in excellent condition and comes protected in an attractive, walnut-toned, oak decorative frame!
Quite visually appealing!
Protected in an antique gold wooden frame with gold matting, this magazine sheet has retained all of the brilliance of its original color, making it a rather striking piece of wall art! Seldom located in such fine condition!
A striking piece that would be a colorful centerpiece to any Black Americana collection!
PLEASE NOTE: Any discoloration, white spots, or other unnatural variances in color are due to the unavoidable light reflections caused by the glass in the framing. The presence of the glass made photography quite a challenge!