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."
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.
This figure, known as the Cotton Seller with Child, is most particularly hard to find and thus is quite highly sought after as it features a very young, female black child standing in a basket of newly-picked cotton. The Vargas family seldom included children or infants in their depictions of the numerous trades of black New Orleans folk, making any characterization featuring a child or an infant more than significantly rare.
Vargas wax figures are distinctly characterized by their interesting but highly exaggerated facial features. This female, Mama, Cotton Seller wears a red and white kerchief on her head, a red and white checked scarf around her neck, and a yellow and white checked shirt and skirt with an apron that matches her head scarf - all constructed of actual cloth fabric that was coated with a fine layer of clear wax to stiffen them. At her feet is a very large, wax-constructed basket made to simulate wicker that is filled with cotton and within which her young female child stands. The Cotton Seller's wax body is internally supported by a wire frame through which the figure is securely attached to the wooden base. The bottom of the base is stamped "Genuine VARGAS New Orleans, LA".
This wonderful figure is in amazing condition for her 75+ years of age with no apparent or visible imperfections other than some missing fingers, a condition which is quite common among found Vargas figures.
The Cotton Seller's young, female child also has some missing fingers, and additionally, her neck shows a contiguous crack all the way around. Because her structure is also supported by internal wiring, her head remains securely attached to her body. Please note that the child is merely placed inside the cotton basket and was never securely glued into it. The wax cotton basket, which was originally glued to the wooden base, has become loosened from it; however, when placed on the base, it will easily remain in place for display.
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 piece has two tiny holes in its bowl suggesting that this was once screwed or fastened into another piece. Logic suggests that perhaps this may have been an advertising display item of some sort.
Remnants of red paint are easily visible on the back of the black boy's hat as well as on his lips, and the giant shoe also displays remnants of black paint. When one looks quite closely, one can see that the entire figure was at one time painted. Some light superficial rusting to the bowl is evident here and there.
Certainly a mystery piece as to purpose, this fascinating Black Memorabilia collectible remains quite intriguing and does reinforce a stereotypical occupation associated with black folk during the unfortunate Jim Crow era.
Both dolls are in near perfect condition with the exception of a tiny teardrop mark under brother's left eye and a tiny hole next to sister's left side of face on her hairline. Detailing is very sweet with nicely embroidered facial features and color-coordinated, machine-stitched clothing. Hair is authentic looking made of fuzzy wool yarn-- brother's hair is curly and nubby--- sister's is done in a head full of bow-tied pigtails! Bodies are machine-stitched, brown cotton that are each stuffed with cotton batting.
A pair of cuties!!!
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!
One plate depicts the sale of Uncle Tom while the other plate depicts the death of little Eva. The text on each plate is in German: "Evas Todt" or in English, "The Death of Eva", and "Slavel Tom Von LeGree Gekauft" or in English, "The Slave Tom Purchased by (Simon} LeGree".
Produced for use by children as subtle educational tools, the plates measure 7 5/8 inches in diameter and are decorated with black transfer, printed, Uncle Tom vignettes.
The condition of both plates is quite superb with subtle crazing lightly evident on the backs of plates only. Also on the backs of each plate are tiny, factory-flaw imperfections where glazing failed to bind to the earthenware (represented in close-up photo). The "Sale of Uncle Tom" plate has three such imperfections on its back side along with a tiny area of bleeding of transfer color under the glaze (see close-up photo). The "Death of Eva" plate displays more evident crazing on the back as compared to the "Sale of Tom" plate along with three factory-flaw imperfections, as described above. The "Eva" plate also appears to have three, extremely fine, light, scratch lines running across the front of the plate that are most readily noticeable only in close-up photos; when one runs a finger along the lines, the imperfections are so fine that they cannot be felt and certainly represent no threat to structural integrity.
The plates were produced by the Schramberg Pottery of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, founded in 1820 by stoneware expert, Isidor Faist. The plate featuring the sale of Uncle Tom is impressed "Schramberg" while the other plate has no marking. It is evident, however, that both plates were manufactured by the Schramberg factory.
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!
Both dolls retain their 3 original pigtails, all tied off with tiny pieces of string. Their hand-painted lips and eyes remain in excellent condition as is the dark brown paint which covers the bisque bodies which were originally white when manufactured (the white bisque coloring is visible at the joints).
Both dolls have jointed arms and legs which allow them to assume different positions. The string holding the larger doll's legs in place has stretched over these many years resulting in looser leg joints. (This can be repaired if so desired by the new owner.)
The larger doll is dressed in a hand-made outfit consisting of an ivory, yarn-knitted petticoat under a yellow crocheted dress while the smaller doll remains au naturalle! A darling, teeny tiny pair that display quite nicely!
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 folder was mailed, but remains in fine condition given its age. Some edge wear evident at corners. While some photos may appear a bit blurry, this is a function of photography and not condition. All postcards are crisp and clear!
The Real Photo postcard folder features the lyrics and music of "Dixieland" and 18 full color scenes of the industries common in the South during this period: cotton picking and production, tapping pine trees for turpentine production, watermelon farming, and sugarcaning. Of cultural and historical interest are the numerous scenes of African-American life including less-flattering stereotypical scenes. Some very politically incorrect and derogatory captioning including use of "dialect".
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.
While mourning jewelry in general is not at all prolific on the antiques market today, coming upon a Mourning Brooch immortalizing a Black American is truly a RARE find!
This brass brooch is in fine original condition and celebrates the memory of a smiling black woman clutching a bouquet of flowers. This brooch is further enhanced with a delicate twisted braid around its circumference.
The photograph is gray/black toned and is in fine condition!
A truly RARE piece of Black Americana!
Constructed with care and skill, Mammy's floral dress, white apron and white under-pantaloons were neatly machine stitched. Her facial features--- eye brows, eyes, nose, and lips --- are hand-stitched with embroidery thread. She has yarn-constructed black curls peeking out from under her red and white polka dot head scarf. Her arms, torso and head are stuffed with cotton or cloth scraps with the torso securely tucked over the top of the clothespin and into the pantaloons. Her black-painted clothespin legs are hidden under her long skirt.
A very sweet little doll in wonderful all-original condition-- no repairs, rips, stains or odor. Displays quite nicely!!
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!
Cardboard candy boxes with black themes remain EXTREMELY RARE finds in today's market!!!
The piece is in very fine condition with expected edge and corner wear. The top left seam of the cover has split but otherwise, the box remains intact with no missing pieces.
D. L. Clark Company History:
David L. Clark (1864-1939) was born in Ireland and came to America when he was eight years old. He entered the candy business working for a small manufacturer in New York. After three years as a salesman, he bought a wagon, horses and merchandise, and went into business for himself.
The D. L. Clark Company was founded in 1886 when Clark started manufacturing candy in two back rooms of a small house in Pittsburgh's North Side. He began selling his candy in the streets of Pittsburgh. During his lifetime, his company became a leading candy manufacturer.
By 1920, the D. L. Clark Company was making about 150 different types of candy, including several five-cent bars, specialty items and bulk candy. Clark was also manufacturing chewing gum in a building across the street from his candy factory. In 1921, they incorporated Clark Brothers Chewing Gum Company as a separate business.
By 1931, the candy bar business was so expansive that Clark decided to sell the gum company, and it was renamed the Clark Gum Company.
The D. L. Clark Company remained in the hands of the Clark family until it was sold in 1955 to the Beatrice Food Company who operated the company until 1983 when in turn, it was sold to the Pittsburgh Food and Beverage Company. In 1995, the Pittsburgh Food and Beverage was thrown into bankruptcy. The company was shut down for several months and its assets divested. Restructured as Clark Bar America, the company operated until May of 1999, when it was purchased by New England Confectionery Company (NECCO), the oldest candy manufacturer in the United States.
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!!!