In fabulous condition with 90+ years of all original surface patina, this phenomenal piece is very highly detailed and displays wonderfully! It authentically depicts the highly fashionable Art Nouveau styling which was so wildly popular at the turn of the 20th century. This brass ashtray promotes the English settlement of the CONGO on the African continent, and thus, the words "CONGO" are impressed across the native's chest. The earliest version of this ashtray was crafted in BRONZE did not feature the Congo label across the native's chest.
A must-have piece for the sophisticated Black Americana collector!
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.
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.
Mammy sports hand-stitched facial features, and all original, machine-stitched clothing. Mammy’s hands and arms are made of fabric-coated pipe cleaners allowing for flexibility and movement. Her corn cob body has been neatly encased in muslin. Mammy's costume is complete and quite brightly colored and even features a tiny apron pocket in which a teeny hankie is tucked!
Mammy has been well cared for over the years- no fading to clothing, no rips, tears or other blemishes! A most interesting and very seldom found Mammy doll in utterly excellent condition!
Fabulous colored illustrations as represented by photos adorn this 19 page book! Ten to eleven darling little poems and/or short stories are written in "dialect", reflective of the Caucasian cultural mores of the period.
Interior pages are in fine condition--they are tightly bound together with the 3 original staples and remain brilliantly colored; front and back covers have loosened from these interior pages, and the covers have been taped along the exterior spine in a failed attempt to keep them attached to the tightly bound interior pages. The covers have edge wear, small edge creases, and surface scuffing with minor surface paper loss here and there (see photos). Additionally, the front cover has a small remnant of an old paper sticker in the upper right quadrant.
A charming addition to one's Black Americana collection!!
This piece is very much reminiscent of Johnny Griffin items with the exception of the intact, broad-rimmed hat on this piece versus the torn rim typically seen on all "named" Johnny Griffin pieces.
This circa 1920-30's novelty piece is constructed in solid brass, is hefty in weight, and was likely used as an ash tray given its tobacco leaf design/theme. The "Johnny Griffin-like" head of the young African-American boy that serves as the centerpiece of this wonderful piece, was molded separately and screwed into place. The screw is concealed under an original brass cap, done purely for esthetics.
The piece is in all original condition with the delightful, warm, rich, golden patina of old brass- not a reproduction- no replaced parts- and measures 7 inches long x 4 1/2 inches wide. It does not retain any markings, and country of origin is unknown, although likely of European origin.
A very seldom found Tobacciana piece of Black Memorabilia, that indeed pairs well with Johnny Griffin items!
To view all of the Johnny Griffin items currently available for sale, simply type “Johnny Griffin” into the search box on our web home page.
The bisque was likely made in Japan and then shipped to the USA for assembly as a Southern States souvenir piece. In wonderful condition with just the tiniest bit of wear to the paint here and there--appears to have never been used as a pincushion.
Constructed of tin with a cardboard lithographed image and a glass cover, this game has a mirrored back. The puzzle is in all-original condition with the Dandy graphic remaining free of scratches and abrasions. The mirrored back shows evidence of 2 tiny areas of subtle, minor chipping along the perimeter edge, and the glass front has a small surface chip at the base of the Dandy's shirt. (Please disregard any light or shiny spots in photos which are due to flash reflection off of the glass.)
An interesting image and a delightful piece of early Black Memorabilia!
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 child’s head nods back and forth by pivoting on a tiny metal bar inserted through her neck .
Condition is mint, and the piece is signed on the bottom of her right foot: “Hand Painted Lenwile China Ardalt Japan 6529”.
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 matching Ardalt Black Nodder pieces also available (pictured here as well) - the Black Girl Child Nodder and the Black Boy Clown Nodder!!
The trademark for Sharpoint is a cleverly-designed, eye-catching, broadly smiling image of an African American gent. If one looks closely, one can clearly see the words "Sharpoint Cobblers Nails" printed within the black space of the gent's mouth! A very "sharp" advertising strategy!
Sharpoint Wire Cobbler's Nails were manufactured by the Charles F. Baker Co, Boston, Massachusetts. The smaller box retains its end flap which features both the manufacturing and patent information, with the patent number corresponding to a 1933 USA Patent date. Each box amazingly still retains the original cobbler's nails!
The boxes are in very good condition considering their age and the fact that they held tiny, sharp nails for over 80 years! As stated earlier, the smaller box does retain the end flap which features manufacturing info. The larger box is missing this flap. The cover litho on each box remains very crisp and clear. Typical, age-related edge wear is noted. Please peruse all photos for condition details. The boxes have been shrink-wrapped to protect the integrity of the cardboard, and they do contain the nails.
These VERY, VERY RARELY FOUND SALESMAN SAMPLE size boxes WITH ORIGINAL NAILS are offered at $125 each, or the two boxes can be purchased as a pair for $198.00 firm.
These signs were found in March of 1971, inside the abandoned and decaying basement of the former Philadelphia Enameling Works factory at the corner of 13th and Vine Streets in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The gentleman from whom these signs were purchased, bought these segregation signs along with hundreds of others signs of all types found in the basement of this former factory (see last photo) and has very kindly written a letter of provenance which has been photographed here and which will be included with these signs upon their sale.
These historic signs are enameled on both sides, and on the front sides are written, "COLORED MEN" and "COLORED WOMEN". The signs feature black lettering on a white background.
The signs are in all-original condition with some very minor discoloration and very unobtrusive edge discoloration pinpoints and some enameling loss here and there as seen in photos.
Extremely RARE, UNUSED, one-of-a-kind, museum-worthy pieces of Black American history that are quite likely the only ones of their kind extant today! Condition is amazing!
Also currently offered for separate sale at $895.00 and originating from this same collection is a pair of signs labeled "COLORED" and "WHITE". (See last photo) Please take a moment to view these signs by simply by typing the word "segregation" into the SEARCH box on our homepage.
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.
ENTIRELY hand-stitched, this gent is dressed in fancy striped pants, straw shoes and hat, green belt, and in a navy blue and white polka dot shirt with a tiny breast pocket that holds a teeny pack of CAMEL cigarettes, labeled with a "C"! His outfit is topped off with a red tie that is held in place by a bean tie tack!
His face is hand-stitched with careful attention noted to the creation of his molded, 3-D nose. The weather must be warm as he wearily wipes his hot neck with a red and tan checked handkerchief!
A delightful African-American Southern character doll!
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.
Completed in silk thread on early, thick, pressed paper canvas, the diminutive, 1 5/8 x 2 3/4 inch piece of needlework remains stitched onto the original, 1 ¾ x 8 inch long, deep red satin banding. Standing on deep red ground, the black boy wears pale green and black striped clothing.
This wonderful, early piece of Black Americana needlework remains in excellent, original condition. At some point in time, a previous owner matted and framed the piece to allow for both ease of display and protection; however, to meet archival requirements, the piece requires a replacement of its current cardboard backing, and spacer bars separating the needlework from the glass should be added. Framed measurements are 4.5 inches wide x 11 inches long.
A phenomenally rare piece for the advanced Black Memorabilia collector!
It is difficult to photograph glass without reflection- please note that any aberrations are reflections only.
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.