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!
The front side 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 very minor wear specs here and there visible along the black tray rim. The tray underside shows a bit more wear along the tray rim and around the tray base edge.
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 that is becoming very difficult to find and is equally appropriate for one’s Advertising, Black Memorabilia, or Tip Tray collection!
Quite multi-purpose in nature, his legs hold spools of thread, and under his red vest, he hides a pincushion (his chest) along with 2 felt strips for needle and pin storage (his arms)! Four decorative plastic rings can be used to hold safety pins! He also sports a ring on the top of his hat to allow one to hang him on the wall.
Condition is quite fine! No rips, stains or tears with just some subtle fading to his green felt bowtie and black face and legs--all age-related. He has two, insignificant moth holes on the BACK of his red vest.
Handy to keep by the sewing machine, but also just a delightful, vintage, Black Memorabilia whimsy to decorate your sewing room!
This offering features two lovely die cuts- one, a well-to-do Victorian era husband and wife out for a stroll, and the second, a colorfully dressed musical trio playing banjo, concertina (small accordion) and tambourine. The musical trio remains connected- adding to its value- and uncut, number 7568.
The products for which these die cuts were meant to endorse is unknown. The litho features a very glossy finish, and the die cuts feature an embossed, glossy finish which compliments the beautiful detailing and intense coloring of each piece. Either would look fabulous framed- individually or as a grouping! Think gift!
Approximate measurements are as follows:
The Older Couple: 6" tall x 4.25" wide
The Musical Trio: 5" tall x 4.50" wide.
Priced each at $45.
Please note that any white specks that seem prominent in the closeup photos are the result of light bouncing off the surfaces of the aged die cuts. These pieces are approximately 140 years old, and while in very good condition given their age, tiny surface imperfections may be evident here and there.
The photo of the verso of the older couple reveal no restorations or repairs. The Trio of Musicians remain very loosely adhered to a piece of black construction paper so the verso cannot be viewed. (I leave removal to the buyer.) Inspection of the front side suggests no repair or restoration to this piece.
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.
One plate depicts the sale of slave, 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.
Her composition face is in impeccable condition with sharp, well-drawn painted facial features. Her face is further accented by 3 darling curls peaking out from under her brightly colored cloth bandanna!
Her body is machine-stitched cotton fabric stuffed with sawdust. On the back of her right thigh, her place of origin is stamped: "POLAND". Her little flowered skirt is also machine stitched and is the only piece of clothing that may be removed.
Condition is superb with the exception of a hand-stitched repair to the seam line of her left foot where the foot is joined to the leg. Does not detract.
Prominent facial features- eyes and brows, nose, cheekbones, lips and teeth -and tight curly hair rise from the surface of the bowl. The bowl is rather heavy for its diminutive size and has no markings. Measures 4 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches high. Condition is excellent with some tarnishing that may be cleaned if desired; our preference was to offer this 140+ year old piece in as found condition.
A rare, outstanding and highly collectible offering to add to one's advanced Black Americana collection! I have only come upon 2 of these bowls in my 40+ years in the field.
This vintage, 120 year old+ piece of Black Americana is in wonderful condition absent two very tiny edge breaks- one at the extreme edge of the right tip of the base, and the other in the very minor loss to the tips of the right thumb and index finger. Neither of these points of extremely insignificant loss are at all readily evident and do little to distract from the truly incredible rarity of this piece.
The frame easily comes apart into 3 pieces for safe shipping and/or storage.
An extraordinary opportunity to acquire an extremely RARE and highly coveted piece of turn-of-the-19th-to-20th-century Black Americana!
In fabulous condition with 100+ 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 collection!
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.
While the precise age of this late 18th to early 19th century old shackle is unknown, this type of ankle shackle has been documented to have been in use as far back as the 1780's by English slave traders, and was likely in continued use up until the 1860 onset of America's Civil War. In 2015, the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, England, acquired a set of ankle shackles identical to the set offered here. In referring to the museum's acquisition, the museum's Head, Dr Richard Benjamin, stated the following:
“A similar pair of shackles was purchased in Liverpool by the campaigner Thomas Clarkson as evidence against the transatlantic slave trade. They were presented in front of Privy Council in 1788 as part of its enquiry into the transatlantic slave trade. An engraving of the shackles with a detailed description also appeared in Clarkson’s antislavery pamphlet."
These hand-forged, wrought iron ankle shackles remain in all-original and untouched condition, measuring approximately 11.75 inches in length. The cuff sizes vary slightly ranging from approximate lengths of 3.75 to 4 inches and approximate widths from 2.75 to 3 inches, a set likely used on a female slave. The shackles can be described as consisting of a wrought iron bolt with a pair of loops slid onto it via holes in both ends of each loop. One end of the iron bar is fixed closed by a triangular-shaped flange large enough to prevent the loops from being removed from the bar. The other end of the bar ends in a circular "eye" that is secured closed by a hand-wrought circular "lock washer" inserted at the time the shackles were applied.
An utterly gruesome, tangible testament to the malevolence and horrors of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.
Made in post World War II, US Zone Germany, this tin toy measures 3.5" square, with the boxing figures measuring 2.25" tall. The toy retains its original box which measures 4" square, and features a start/stop lever on one side with the (original) key windup on another. Both the toy and the box are labeled "MADE IN US ZONE GERMANY".
The toy still works! The boxers rock back and forth as they attempt to jab one another. The toy is designed to have the right arm on each boxer punch while the immobile left arm is molded into the body.
Condition is a 9/10 as can be seen in all photos. This toy appears to have seen minimal use as the condition of the paint is impeccable, with just a few teeny rubs to the toy base and the black boxer's legs here and there. The box shows minor wear on all edges as noted in photos. All box parts are present with the box cover flap remaining attached to the box by only about 1 inch in the center, and one box flap is completely detached but intact.
A tip for the new owner: to easily remove the toy from the box, open the BOTTOM flap instead of the top flap and simply slide the toy out of the box onto the palm of your hand.
Mammy's wonderful, smiling face is hand-stitched and her clothes are machine sewn. Her blouse is seersucker, and her head, arms, skirt, apron, and cap are cotton. Her head, arms, and upper torso are 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, and Mammy, herself, is free of holes and tears. Her once-red skirt has now faded to pink. Her white cotton apron and cap have been cleaned removing nearly all traces of old stains, dirt, and dust. Photo number 2 shows her outfit BEFORE cleaning; all other photos reflect her appearance after cleaning.
A fabulous piece of vintage Black Americana, and a seldom seen form of the Black Mammy Doll!
(Also currently available is Fern Bisel Peat's companion Little Black Sambo storybook!)
This puzzle rendition of Little Black Sambo depicts Sambo strutting out into the jungle dressed in his newly acquired outfit complete with shade umbrella- all of which is soon to attract the attention of those nasty tigers! This scene has been taken directly from the 1931 copyright, softcover, large folio, Little Black Sambo book illustrated by Fern Bisel Peat and published by The Harter Publishing Company, Educational Publishers, Cleveland Ohio. It is likely that both the puzzle and the book were released to the public at the same time. They were intended for use in the school setting, grades K-2, as well as in the home. The aforementioned large folio Little Black Sambo Book is also available for purchase on this website (type Sambo into the SEARCH box).
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 wonderful addition to one’s Little Black Sambo collection by this highly sought-after, renowned American children's illustrator!
Fern Bisel Peat, 1893-1971, was born in in Erie, Pennsylvania, and went to public schools in Elyria. She attended Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, graduating with a degree in fine arts. Marrying Frank Peat in 1917 and settling in northern Ohio, Fern soon began painting children’s murals in both public and private venues.
As her work grew in popularity in the 1920's, she was asked to design children's wallpaper for a Cleveland company, designing a set of Mother Goose wall panels that sold widely. She soon was approached by the Saalfield Publishing Company where she went on to illustrate over 60 children's books!
From 1933 to 1955 she was editor and chief illustrator for Children’s Play Mate magazine, published in Cleveland, and nearly all of the covers during that time period feature her illustrations.
As the major breadwinner for the Bisel Peat family, Fern found every way possible to market her work to publishers, advertising firms and toy makers during the lean years of the American Depression and World War II. As a result, her distinctive children's illustrations can not only be found within children's books of the era, but also on holiday decorations, paper fans, playing cards, rag dolls, tin toys…not to mention coloring books, puzzles, paper doll books, and greeting cards!
To see all of the Little Black Sambo items currently available for sale, simply type “Sambo” into the search box on our website homepage.
The golly's clothing is machine stitched; his red mouth and white eyeballs are constructed of felt. His body is tightly stuffed with cotton batting allowing him to be displayed either in a sitting position or standing with the support of a doll stand.
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.
A very sweet piece!
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 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!