Measuring 1.5 inches long x 1 inch wide, this sharpener depicts a derogatory caricature of a Black Man. The glaring eyes are painted a stark white with teeny black pupils, while the red painted lips surround the pencil sharpener blade which takes the place of the man's teeth. Curly molded hair and eyebrows are painted black, while the face is painted brown- inside and out.
The pencil sharpener is stamped GERMANY on the back inside.
Condition is very good with approximately 75% (a conservative estimate) of the original paint remaining. There is no repaint! The paint is worn in expected areas, with the majority of paint wear seen on the sides of the face and bottom of the chin where one would grasp the sharpener. Facial feature paint is strong.
Germany apparently made a good steel blade as the sharpener still works!
She has a muslin, machine-stitched body which is stuffed with sawdust. Her feet are black cotton. Upper arms are also stuffed muslin with composition forearms.
Her curly-haired head is molded composition; eyes, nostrils, and lips are handpainted-- note the BLUE EYES!!
She wears a muslin slip under a Victorian styled, machine-stitched, tiered ruffled dress. Her clothing has been professionally laundered but does remain darkened with age in some areas- the photos make these dark areas appear more prominent than they are when viewed by the naked eye.
Condition: Difficult to photograph due to camera glare off the composition, her head remains in pristine, all original condition- no repaint- with just a couple of very teeny white flecks here and there! The breastplate has an old glue repair which appears to be quite solid. The repair is not visible unless the doll is undressed. Superficial wear to each thumb is evident as is seen in photos. No cracking or peeling to composition. She was very well cared for over the years!
A very lovely and rare Black doll!
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!
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!
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.
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.
The book tells the infamous story of ten little African-American boys who are gradually eliminated in number via one circumstance after another--most utterly horrid-- choking to death, chopping himself in half, being crushed by a bear, being swallowed by a red herring, etc, ending with the last boy sadly living all alone, a circumstance he happily remedies by getting married.
Originally published in 1868 under the Title of “The Ten Little Indians,” this poem was used during minstrel shows, which oftentimes were traveling acts, performed by white actors in blackface following the Civil War. The following year, the poem was adapted to this overtly horrid, racist rendition, replacing the word Indians with “Nigger” in both minstrel shows, printed sheet music, and children’s nursery rhyme books. This version married the stereotypes of violence and ignorance within the African-American population with the intent of "villain-izing" freed, black males while simultaneously allowing violent acts to befall the black characters portrayed in the rhyme.
This 113 year old book remains in all-original, very good condition with no alterations or repairs. Original binding and stitching remain quite tight and intact. Illustrated by R. J. (James) Williams, the interior illustrations remain very brightly colored. Pages present varying degrees of very light soiling, light foxing, and yellowing of linen, commensurate with age. Some pages also show subtle water staining that has not impacted cloth integrity. No tears or rips to fabric.
This book is in truly remarkable condition for its age and in consideration of its all-cloth construction. This title is very RARELY found in today's market and is an absolute cornerstone piece in any serious Black Memorabilia collection!
To view other versions of this book presently available for separate purchase, please type the words "ten little" into the SEARCH box on our home page.
All are marked "JAPAN", measure approximately 3 inches in height, have great color and are in excellent condition! Please see photos for detail shots!
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.
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.
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 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.
The work is entitled, "Coffee With the Spirit World" and is done in acrylics on watercolor paper. It comes mounted on acid-free foam core which can continue to be used when the piece is framed.
Of this piece of artwork, Sister Raya says, “When peoples get up in the morning they slog on coffee and stumble round full of stress and worry, but they don’t be knowin that’s the time when the spirit folk be slippin round they heads. They be friendly folk and like you to say good morning to them. People go too fast today, slow down when you be drinkin yo coffee and say good mornin!”
The vibrant blues, yellows and reds make this art work tremendously visually appealing and thought-provoking!
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!
Constructed of cardboard with black printing, this circa 1930-40's sign reads: " Coleman's Hotel Colored. Special Attention to Tourists. Ashland Virginia".
The sign remains in all-original condition inclusive of minor discoloration as noted in photos and small chips to the upper right and lower left corners. Print source is noted: "Herald-Progress Print, Ashland, VA".
This is NOT a reproduction, but rather a fortunate preservation. It is quite amazing that this sign has survived the many years being constructed out of cardboard. It was clearly stored away in such a manner that preserved its original condition.
Travel for African Americans during the Jim Crow period was difficult and complicated, with limited options for eating, sleeping, even procuring gasoline for the car. As a result, black-owned hotels and motels placed signs such as this one prominently in their windows. There were even special travel-guides to help African Americans plan their trips, hopefully, without incident. Victor Green's "Green Guide" provided state by state lists of colored hotels, motels and other travel-related businesses that catered to African-Americans.
Quite possibly the ONLY sign remaining extant from this particular, racially segregated establishment. An historically significant piece!
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!
In utterly excellent condition with the only flaws noted being subtle wear to the paper dust jacket and a past owner's name and address, this version of the Little Black Sambo story is highly collectible as any item produced by its publisher, Platt & Munk, is aggressively sought-after due to the company’s reputation for use of extraordinarily vivid graphics.
This mini book is sixty-two pages long with 29 vividly colored illustrations designed and executed by the author, Frank Ver Beck.
A must have edition for the collector of Little Black Sambo books!
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!!!
Mammy or Aunt Jemima is wearing a white dress and head scarf with red trim. Her dark brown skin is flawless (any white spots or marks seen in photos are the result of light reflection and do not represent flaws of any kind.)
While she is unmarked, there is a very small black "X" on the bottom of the backside of her dress.
An incredibly hard to find piece! These very functional pieces were, more often than not, actually used in the home on ironing day, and thus were subject to damage or breakage and ended up in pieces at the local landfill! This wonderful Black American collectible was acquired from the original owner where it rested safely on a display shelf all these many years!