The graphics on the cover of this box feature a smiling, happy, young African-American boy (the company's trademark) who is peering through a rip in the paper, unknowingly about to be pounced down upon by a very ugly and venomous-looking spider!
The box is in amazingly near-perfect condition despite its 100+ years of age with very insignificant soiling present as well as rubs and abrasions to box edges, all of which are more than perfectly reasonable given the age of the piece.
A very seldom-seen advertising piece featuring a Black Americana theme! The first that I have had from this company! is in excellent, all-original, perfect condition!
This wonderful Depression Era piece features a whimsical 10 inch long cutout figure of a little wooden black girl with hand-painted smiling mouth and eyes! She is dressed in a hand-stitched cotton costume that has been stuffed with scrap fabric.
Her feet feature two brass-finish hooks, presumably to either hang keys or pot holders from. Her ears each have a punched out hole--whether this is functional or purely decorative remains a mystery. A small brass hoop threaded through a piece of fabric which was then tacked to the back of the girl's head facilitates hanging on a wall. Overall condition is fine with age-related soiling to the dress and minor paint wear typical of a 70 year-old-piece.
One of my favorite hand-made pieces with true folk art appeal!
The needlework measures approximately 15 by 14 inches and is in good condition overall, given its 120+ years of age! The central design is superb with no problems, but the two upper corners show evidence of some unraveling, particularly the upper right, which has a small hole. This little hole could be repaired, or if the piece was framed, it could be visually eliminated; however, it truly does little to detract from the central focal point of the children on the seesaw, when viewed in its entirety. The piece does show subtle evidence of typical, age-related discoloration.
An utterly wonderful and scarce example of 19th century Black Americana themed Needlework!
The character of Rastus was based on an actual person- a black waiter from Chicago- who was paid $5 for the use of his image by Colonel Mapes, the General Manager of the Nabisco Company, the owner of Cream of Wheat. The company began using the waiter’s image in the early 1900’s, replacing the original woodcut of a black chef that appeared on the packaging from 1894 until that time. Interestingly from a social and historical perspective, the depiction of the ever-pleasant, always-smiling Rastus was both a subtle yet positive departure from the extremely derogatory advertising much more typical of the era- advertising that nearly always featured blacks with wildly contorted and exaggerated features most often in very undignified poses and predicaments.
This beautiful, scarcely-found puzzle, which is in excellent condition, is attractively framed in a hardwood molding colored in walnut, ebony and gold. The puzzle frame is original to the puzzle, and it is contemporary to the production date of the puzzle as it still retains its original wood panel backing, a framing technique not typically found after 1910. The puzzle pieces, themselves, are very finely and delicately cut, and are of a much smaller size than what is typically found in puzzles dating from the 1920’s and beyond.
A phenomenal piece that would be a centerpiece to any serious Black Americana, Advertising, or Cream of Wheat 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!
A wonderful and rarely found piece of Black Americana!
Little Jasper was created by George Pal, a cartoonist who worked for Paramount Studios and who created the Puppetoons, a popular cartoon series played in movie theaters of the era prior to the screening of the feature film.
Push or pull him along, and he twirls around while the two present wooden flowers spin along with him! (One wooden flower top is, unfortunately, missing--the only imperfection to this fabulous toy!)
Overall condition is rated as excellent, barely-used condition! There is very insignificant edge wear to paint here and there, but the four wheels don't show even the tiniest trace of wear from use, suggesting that this toy quite likely sat either in a display cabinet or was packed away for its entire existence! Even the original, paper manufacturing sticker remains intact and in pristine condition!
"Little Jasper" is very RARELY found, and the opportunity to acquire him should not be overlooked!
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!
The walking stick is constructed of a single piece of wood. The staff is painted with black stripes, and at the very top, the stripes switch to polka dots to simulate the man's shirt. A handle has also been carved out which apparently represents the man's arm, painted with the same polka dots.
The head carving features distinctive full lips and a strong, protruding chin. A mustache and goatee are painted in black under the nose and bottom lip. The hair is also simply painted in black with a crude nose drawn in. The eyes are also hand-done and feature pupils and numerous full eyelashes. The left eye is slightly faded while the right eye is quite distinct.
The carver/artisan is unknown as is the walking stick's origin. A unique Folk Art Black Americana piece!
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.
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.
Her cute face is completely hand-stitched and is accented by original celluloid hoop earrings. She wears a flowered bandanna, a cream colored flowered shawl, and an off white apron over her green and black mini-checked dress. She even has a cream colored petticoat underneath all! Her machine-stitched clothes are odor free and are nicely constructed, although her apron does have tiny age holes!
Although her bottle frame is covered by a black stocking, the stocking has risen up revealing her sand-filled milk bottle with red lettering from R.W. Tripp's Dairy, established 1889. The milk bottle lettering is in great shape and even features a graphic of a school boy and girl! Among milk bottle collectors, this particular milk bottle is quite rarely found and quite highly sought after, adding further collectible value to this sweet doll!
This great, early bottle doll is one of 3 currently offered bottle dolls --- all priced separately.
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.
This never-used tote bears the original paper tag which states, "Handmade by African Cripple; Ematupeni / Zimele Cripple Care Centers; Durban, England".
The artistry of the wool felt, hand-appliqued cut-outs featuring a mother and her three children is further enhanced by colorful bead work which was carefully placed for symmetry in design and form! A gorgeous piece of vintage African Artwork!
Measuring 14 long x 14 wide x 2 deep, the bag retains a "brand-new" appearance with no fading, rips, stains, or other blemishes.
Please see the companion "tea cozy" offered for sale and priced separately.
In lovely condition with age crackling to the backside of the seashell, this stunning piece appears to have never been used for its original purpose as a hanging wall planter. The black paint is in impeccable condition and any white dots that appear in photos are the result of light reflection off of teeny glaze imperfections and are NOT chips, rubs or scratches to the surface. The gold stippling to the seashell is perfect!
The piece has a hole in the back to facilitate wall-mounting or it may be easily displayed on a shelf.
A very seldom found piece of vintage Black Memorabilia that is truly stunning in appearance!
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!
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!
Unmarked, this toy is in very good condition with tiny superficial surface scratches wherever metal rubs metal during toy movement. To operate the toy, one simply squeezes the metal lever on the back, which causes the clown to hit poor Golly on the head with a mallet!
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, 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.
The child’s head nods up and down in a "yes" motion by pivoting on a tiny metal bar inserted through her neck (see photos).
Condition is mint, and the piece is signed on the bottom of her right foot: “Hand Painted Lenwile China Ardalt Japan 6530 B”.
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 equally-difficult-to-find companion piece also available - the Black Boy Child Clown Nodder by Ardalt, Japan!!!