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!
GOLD DUST Trolley Signs are a very rare find in today’s market as they were made of cardboard, a material much less likely to withstand the test of time as opposed to tin advertising signs which were much sturdier!
This Gold Dust trolley sign features the Gold Dust Twins dressed in ruffled, red skirts emblazoned with the words “GOLD DUST”, busily scrubbing the front porch and the kitchen in a vigorous attempt at “Spring Cleaning”. The colors featured in this trolley sign are just stunning—greens, pale peachy-colored orange, pale blue, and yellows with white apple blossoms and red tulips flowering in profusion!! To the left of the Gold Dust Twin scrubbing the front porch, sits a large box of Gold Dust Washing Powder. The advertisement proclaims in black-outlined, peachy-orange lettering: “For Spring House Cleaning”.
The condition of this trolley sign is truly quite fine. Colors are very strong and consistent throughout; please ignore the various glass reflections seen in some of the photos- they were unavoidable and do appear to make the colors appear a bit faded—which is inaccurate! The sign is free of rips or tears although it does have two, early, fold-creases – one running from top to bottom of the sign along the left side of the pail and between the “O” and “L” in “GOLD” and the other vertical crease on the very right edge of the sign, running through the stove in the kitchen to the “T” in “DUST”. The creases are very unobtrusive and do not detract from the wonderful, colorful imagery this sign conveys.
An unusual opportunity to acquire a very RARE piece of Black Americana!!
Mammy's wonderful, smiling face is all hand-stitched while her clothes are machine sewn. Her blouse is striped cotton, as are Mammy's head, arms, skirt, apron, and cap. Her head, arms, and upper torso have been 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. Mammy's white cotton apron and cap have been professionally cleaned, removing nearly all traces of old stains, dirt, and dust.
A fabulous piece of vintage Black Americana, and a seldom seen form of the Black Mammy Doll!
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.
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 commonly found among 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 still 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 positioned on the base, it will easily remain in place for display.
Vargas figures are becoming increasingly more difficult to find!
Type "Vargas" into the SEARCH box to see the other Vargas figure currently available: 1920 New Orleans Vargas Wax Black Doll Female Vegetable Seller
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!
The neck opening, arm openings and the hem of her cream and red flowered dress are all hand-stitched. Her head and torso, cut from a piece of wood, are completely hand-painted, and the facial details and head scarf details were executed with a very fine-tipped paintbrush and were very nicely done! Mammy's dress contains a ball of old cotton string which is allowed exit through a small circular hole cut into her mouth.
Paint condition is very good with only slight edge wear and a couple of very subtle, tiny surface scratches. There are no rips, tears or wear to Mammy's dress, but some small staining splotches on the left side edges of her dress in front and in back are evident. A small eyelet was screwed into the top of Mammy's head with a string attached to allow for hanging and easy access.
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.
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!
Labeled #298, "Native Cane Grinders in Sunny Florida", the scene depicts 7 young Black men either chewing on a sugar cane stalk or holding a sugar cane cutting implement.
Printed on the back of the card is a brief history of sugar cane cultivation from its origins in 500 AD China to its introduction in the US in 1675 by the Jesuits. The harvesting process is also discussed.
Coloring is quite brilliant, and the condition is very fine with appropriate age-related crazing and some tiny, circular, firing imperfections on Mammy's polka dotted scarf as noted in photos. Please note that white marks are flash reflections, not imperfections. Makers mark is noted on the back--- an "E" inside of a crown.
A delightful piece of Black Memorabilia that displays wonderfully on a wall or shelf!
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.
While some photos may appear a bit blurry, this is a function of photography and not condition. All postcards are crisp and clear! The six comical cartoon postcards are much more brightly and vividly colored than the photos depict. The four photo postcards also feature titles describing their subjects.
A delightful grouping that would be much-appreciated framed!
Entitled A New Story of Little Black Sambo, this tale picks up the story of the original Little Black Sambo tale with Little Sambo's mother, Black Mumbo, exclaiming that Sambo, after almost losing his best Sunday clothes to the tigers, would- from now on- only be allowed to wear his every day clothes. Now very unhappily dressed in only a grass skirt, a pouting and naughty Sambo decides to run off into the jungle once again without permission, and climbs a tree to gather coconuts. Two hungry tigers soon arrive threatening to eat Little Black Sambo, trapping him up in the tree for the entire day! Eventually, Sambo's friend, Tusker the Elephant arrives, successfully chasing off the tigers, saving Sambo. Tusker carries Sambo back home, where his worried parents await him. Relieved that Sambo is finally safely home, Black Mumbo decides not to punish him too harshly by spanking him with a hairbrush for running off without permission and all alone. The conclusion of the tale then moves forward one month, one week and one day before Little Black Sambo is finally allowed to wear his fine clothes once again!
Although no author is attributed, it is thought by some that this continuation tale of Little Black Sambo was co-authored by Clara Bell Thurston and Earnest Vetsch, who illustrated Whitman Publisher's earliest and first known edition of this story version in 1926.
The hallmark of this version of A New Story of Little Black Sambo is the utterly fabulous illustrations that make this edition stand out. The vibrant colors used, the stunning detail applied, make each of the 12 full color plates simply gorgeous works of art!<> This softcover book is constructed of very sturdy, heavy, high quality stock which likely accounts for its very good condition. No fading of color, writing or missing pages. Binding is tight with all three original staples present although the cover pages have separated at the bottom to just above the lowest staple. Some page edges are subtly worn with minor creasing, and age-related, light soiling is present.
This very rarely found continuation of the original Little Black Sambo story is a must have addition for the collector of Little Black Sambo books! Given the extraordinary quality of the illustrations, this is a book that one will want to display- under protective cover, of course!
To see all of the Little Black Sambo items currently available for sale, simply type “Sambo” into the search box on our website homepage.
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.
Recently acquired from a private collection, the framed diecut is without glass (which can be easily and inexpensively added).
The embossed-surface diecut is in near excellent condition, the only noted issue being a crease in the bigger girl's left leg (see close-up photo). An unusual find, with vivid, colorful imagery!
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!!
Featured in a crisp and highly detailed, cranberry colored etching are a mammy (with a monkey face) pondering the bizarre activity of a young black boy (also with a monkey face) who is relieving himself via hole in a presumed maple tree that has been tapped to collect sap!
This cream colored, ceramic ashtray is in absolutely perfect condition; it clearly was never used for its intended purpose! Edged in finely applied gold paint, the plate edge is further embellished with a refined, ruffle and corded design. Very attractive! There are no markings on the plate.