Given away by the Merrick Thread Company as a free advertising premium to encourage the purchase of its product, this mirror depicts a rather confident black boy hanging from a single strand of Merrick thread while dangling above the open jaws of a hungry alligator! At the base of the mirror the caption reads, "Fooled Dis Time Cully Dis Cotton Aint Gwine To Break".
A delightful Black Americana Advertising piece!
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 also in excellent condition with no superficial rubs to the flesh-toned coating of her mask; her lithographed facial features remain just beautiful!! (Such rubs are not unexpected as these particular doll masks are, unfortunately, very prone to rubbing. To find one of these 100+ year old dolls without such rubbing is quite rare!)
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. Topsy’s cream banding is lightly soiled and there is also some subtle fading to her red head scarf, most notably in the back. 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 should also wear a sheer, ruffled, white pinafore, however, it has been lost over time. Betty’s cream banding around each sleeve is also lightly soiled as are her hands.
Both dolls have the typical "mitten" hands of the stuffed rag dolls of this era. There are no other difficulties to report other than some tiny, stray (original) glue spots here and there. No rips, tears, or odors, and she has been stored in a smoke-free home. The 1901 Patent Bruckner Topsy Turvy doll typically carries a $650+ dollar price tag, but deductions to price have been levied to account for the minor imperfections that are noted in this doll.
The photos show it all- these two girls are a charming pair! A very difficult to find doll in such wonderful condition!
Also offered for sale is a COMPLETE 1901 Patent Bruckner Topsy Turvy doll with absolutely no soiling or fading. To view, simply type Bruckner into the SEARCH box on our homepage.
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!
Mammy’s sweet little face has been carefully hand-stitched, and she has been nicely dressed in a red and green plaid dress with linen apron and red flowered head scarf. She holds a bunch of sticks in her right arm- presumably to add to a fire.
Condition of this wonderful miniature Mammy is excellent! Oftentimes, the nipple dries up and deteriorates, so finding a nipple doll in such fine condition is truly a treat!
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 piece was actually created to serve as an ashtray! It depicts a delightful image of a young black boy in a wide-brimmed straw hat!
In wonderful condition, this piece is stamped "LL" on back.
An uncommon piece of Black Americana that should not be overlooked!
A much-beloved children's classic written in the early 1900's by Englishwoman, Helen Bannerman, for her two young daughters while they lived in India, Sambo, in the original tale, was an Indian boy and not an African-American child. He was converted over time to this race, however, by subsequent story tellers and illustrators. This age-old tale tells of Little Black Sambo and his frightening tiger encounter, which fortunately, has a happy ending!
Condition is 8 out of 10. This book has seen careful but frequent use with moderate wear to book cover edges as well as the red cloth spine cover. While the binding remains quite tight, surface soiling to covers and some interior pages is evident. The inside front cover reveals a penned inscription from an aunt to her nephew at Christmas, 1932.
This book retains outstanding, bold and brilliant coloring of all illustrations--- just fabulous---given its 89+ years of age!
There are small tears at the bottom of the following pages very near the bound side of the pages ranging from 1/2 to 1.5 inches long; some tears have old tape repairs: pages 9, 18, 19,20, 28, 33, 47, 49, 58.
A unique copy!
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.
This rarely found copy was written and illustrated by the renowned author of a number of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy stories of the period, Johnny Gruelle. The book was published in both the United States and Great Britain in 1926, by the P.F. Volland Company of Joliet, Illinois.
This copy has superficial scratches to the front and back covers, wear on book cover edges, inside cover has a small black marker smear, inside front & back covers have minor soiling here and there(see photos). The binding is super-tight and all pages remain very clean and present.
The book is eleven chapters in length, approximately 88 unnumbered pages. Book is filled with a variety of wonderful black-ink and full-color illustrations as represented in photos. PLEASE NOTE: in the photos, the printing seems somewhat 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--- it currently lists in Black Memorabilia books at $200-250!
This wonderful piece is unmarked but is documented in numerous guides as the Black Chef cookie jar made in the 1940's by the National Silver Company. It likely once had a "NASCO" foil label on its base which dried up and fell off over the course of the jar's lifetime.
Fabulous cobalt blue accenting makes this cookie jar quite striking in its appearance. A great display piece!
As stated, the cookie jar remains in all original condition-- a rarity for a cookie jar of this vintage! Please take the time to view all photos as they represent condition quite nicely. Glaze crazing typical to the age of this 60+ year old piece is evident as well as small surface flakes present here and there along lid cover edge- a very common site for flakes/chips on any lidded ceramic piece given that the lid was continually taken on and off during use and thus easily subject to damage. A single superficial hairline occurring during firing can be seen on the interior base; it does not go through to the exterior.
It is quite rare to find a vintage cookie jar in such fine overall condition! Reproductions abound on today's market, but authentic pieces such as this are quite scarce and are truly collecting treasures when discovered!
A wonderful and rarely found piece of Black Americana!
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.
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.
In excellent condition with the exception of some minor wear to the gilt rim and scripted banner, the cup or mug features two gentleman sharing a tub bath- one Caucasian and one African-American. The African-American gent is surrounded by musical notes indicating that he is doing quite a bit of whistling, while the Caucasian gent covers his ears in annoyance. The scripted banner above their heads reads, "Whistling Rufus." "There's music in the air."
The mug is signed in the lower right corner of the tub, "Copyright Sid Smith". The base bears the black crown and banner stamp of Allertons, England as well as the printed, red-inked number "2089".
The little black doll retains its original cloth diaper and swaddling blanket with arm holes. The blanket shows spotted soiling. The baby doll features a nicely hand-painted face with the bisque in excellent condition with the exception of the right foot. The top front of the right foot appears to have been chipped during production as it retains the original paint that is applied over the white bisque during the manufacturing process. The doll is marked on its upper back: "made in Japan".
The 2 piece peanut shell is quite lightweight and appears to be made of layers of heat-pressed paper that was fashioned into a peanut via a mold. The two peanut shells retain the original hinges. A 1 inch long piece of the interior paper liner has separated from the peanut shell, but the separated piece remains (see photo). These delicate peanut shells are in fine condition overall!
Perhaps originally intended as an ornament, the peanut shell still retains a hanging string at its top edge. A rarely found piece of Black Memorabilia!
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.
Mammy's paper memo pad is original to the piece; however, she is missing her original pencil which would slip into the hole in her right hand and down into the broom top to form the broom handle! A present day pencil may be used as a replacement.
Condition is quite good with some tiny, age-related, surface and edge flecks as seen in photos. No repaint, cracks, repairs, no breaks! No maker's mark.