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.
All seven of these colorful brushes have natural bristles, and range in height from 7.5 inches and 8 inches tall to the smaller, 4.5 inches tall, green and red-dressed little Mammy brushes.
The three black railroad porter brushes, the large red Mammy brush with cloth bow and the small red Mammy brush are all in near excellent condition with evidence of having been very lightly used as described:
Blue Porter with Cream colored pants: teeny, superficial "dings" to paint here and there with one teeny mark between the eyes.
Black and Cream Porter: teeny, superficial "dings" to paint here and there with one teeny mark near the mouth; paint wear to edges of cap.
Yellow Porter: paint wear primarily to right side of face and top of cap.
Large Red Mammy with Cloth Bow: paint in excellent condition with a couple tiny rubs here and there. Natural bristles have faint trace of original red painted dots to natural bristle skirt.
Small Red Mammy: paint in excellent condition; faint trace of original red dots on natural bristle skirt.
The following two brushes are also in very nice, barely used condition with minor imperfection as described below:
Large Red Mammy with hand-painted bow: brush has seen a little more use than the others(see photos)- very minor paint wear from use to Mammy's back. Black paint drip to collar area. Natural bristles dyed red.
Small Green Mammy: green cap and blouse, small, 4.5" tall --in very good condition with exception to paint striation on face that occurred during manufacture (close-up photo makes this appear more prominent than what is seen with the eye).
Please note that many of the white spots seen in the photos are light reflections and are NOT areas of missing paint. If one looks closely, the teeny areas of missing paint can be distinguished from the light reflections.
The taller brushes are all priced at $85 each. The smaller, 4.5", green and red-dressed mammy brushes are priced at $60 each.
Please take the time to peruse our second grouping a Mammy and Porter brushes, listed separately.
The records are in used condition with minor scuffing and/or scratching typical of used records of 80+ years of age. These records have not been recently played and are presented as historical artifacts, and as such, they are offered for sale without guarantee of "playing quality".
1) 1912 "I'se Gwine Back to Dixie" by the Haydn Quartet
2) 1923 "Two Black Crows Part 1 and Part 2" A Comedy Sketch by Moran and Mack
3) C1915 "No One Loves You Any Better Than Your Mammy" by Link-Nelson
As each is priced separately, please email us stating which item you wish to purchase so that we can customize your order form.
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.
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 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.
This circa 1940's (perhaps even earlier!) Mammy has a polished cotton half body firmly stuffed with cotton batting which is attached to a fabric-covered, cardboard platform that enables her to sit. Such a doll is often referred to as a platform or toaster doll as her voluminous skirt was designed to cover unsightly kitchen appliances - most commonly the toaster!
Most notable is this Mammy's exquisitely executed, hand-embroidered face, and her elaborate dangling beaded hoop earrings!
Mammy's clothing is machine stitched and is absent of holes, rips or repairs. While all her patterned clothing retains its original and uniform coloring, all of the purple cloth has faded- obviously a less stable dye used there. When one opens the folds of the cloth, one sees the rich, deep purple it once was!
An unusually well-detailed doll for its type!
This pleasant diecut is in excellent condition and comes protected in an attractive, walnut-tone decorative frame!
A sweet piece!
Vividly colored, this Black Memorabilia themed piece features a smiling black girl seated on a large straw basket while holding 2, smaller-sized, flower-filled straw baskets in each arm. The young girl is nicely attired in a ruffled blue and yellow dress and wears red sandals, white lacy gloves, and a rose-accented, straw bonnet!
The diecut is in excellent condition! A very unusual find!
As the backside paper label displays a 5 digit zip code, this product was produced in 1963 or later. I purchased this piece from a Texas collector of Black Memorabilia for my own personal collection in about 2007. The seller stated that at one time this product was readily and prolifically available in her area, up until the late 1960s - early 1970s.
The bottle is in very fine condition with age-related creasing to the front paper label as evidenced in the photos.
While newer in age than pieces I typically collect and/or sell, I found this piece to be culturally unique enough to be worthy to collect and then offer for sale. I have never seen another!!!!