Constructed of tin with a cardboard lithographed image and a glass cover, this game has a mirrored back. The puzzle is in all-original condition with the graphic remaining in bright color and free of scratches and abrasions. The glass front is somewhat cloudy, although as one can see in photos, the image is readily visualized. The mirrored back shows significant loss of silvering due to its 110+ years of age. (Please disregard any light or shiny spots in photos which are due to flash reflection off of the glass.)
A delightful piece of early, pocket-toy, Black Memorabilia!
A stunning and very visually striking piece, it is labeled on back, "Fredericksburg Art Pottery USA", a pottery once located in Fredericksburg, Ohio, manufacturing between 1939-49. The back has 2 original hanging holes for placement on a wall.
Truly in wonderful, vintage condition with no cracks, chips, repairs or repaint! A fabulous addition to one's Black Americana collection!
Please note that the natural outdoor lighting used to photograph this piece has amplified the white paint flecking --the teeny white spots really show up more in these photos than on the actual piece in an indoor setting--- photo number one gives an accurate depiction of appearance.
Measuring 3 3/8" tall x 3.75" wide, this highly collectible, 1 pound size, Black Americana tin scores an 8 out of 10 condition rating. The tin features two very strong images on front and back and retains both its original cover and bail handle. The tin evidences various areas of slight paint loss and surface wear. There are no dents or cracks, the cover has a few subtle dings (indentations) on its top, and light tarnishing is evident on the tin base and interior along with faint superficial rust. Overall great condition with wear to this tin quite commensurate with its 100+ years of age.
This tin also was produced in a 3 pound size intended for commercial use. Both sizes are equally scarce and sought after! A wonderful addition to an advanced Black Memorabilia collection!
An interesting historical side-note: a member of this same Hoyt family, John, was among the first eighteen settlers of the area which came to be known as Amesbury, Massachusetts back in 1654!
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!
Very few of these pieces survive due to the high level of use they encountered. This piece has obviously not seen much if any use as the paint remains absolutely perfect! A single, very minor, very tight age crack is present at the outer edge of the handle bottom. Two superficial craze lines noted: one at the base of the right-side tulip, the second noted at the "R" in "SPOONREST". No other imperfections.
This fine and very hard-to-find piece of Black Memorabilia is an essential addition for the advanced collector! Fabulous detailing!!
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.
Remaining in its original frame with original wooden and paper backing, this watercolor retains its framer's identifying sticker which reads, "Staton's Art Shop 5409 Germantown Ave." Perhaps this Germantown address indicates Philadelphia area origin? In the interests of proper conservation, the new owner should re-frame this lovely piece with appropriate acid-free materials.
Please ignore any white streaks seen in photos; these are the result of light reflection off of the glass.
A lovely watercolor- nicely executed!
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!
Measuring 8.5" wide x 6.6" long, the original frame is unusually embellished in the lower left hand corner with a very detailed, three-dimensional image of a wicker baby carriage fashioned from an unidentifiable medium. The carriage is missing part of the handle, part of one carriage wheel, and a teeny bit has also been lost on the upper part of that same wheel, but these missing pieces do little to take away from this embellishment's unique character. This is a unique and interesting piece, indeed!
The lithograph measures 5.5" wide x 3.5" long and is signed "Wall" in the grass under the toddler's left foot. The copyright date, 1906, and the publisher, The Ullman Mfg. Co. of New York, appear in the lower right corner. The original backside paper liner is missing.
A brief history of the Negro League:
African Americans first began to play baseball in the late 1800s on military teams, college teams, and company teams, eventually finding their way to the established professional baseball teams of white players. However, racism and “Jim Crow” laws would force African Americans from these teams by 1900, with black players left to form their own teams.
In 1920, an organized league structure was formed under the guidance of Andrew “Rube” Foster, a former player, manager, and owner for the Chicago American Giants. In a meeting held at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City, Mo., Foster and several other Midwestern team owners joined to form the Negro National League. Soon, rival leagues formed in Eastern and Southern states, which brought black baseball to major urban centers and to rural countrysides in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. The Leagues maintained a high level of professional skill and inspired economic development in many black communities.
In 1945, when Major League Baseball’s Brooklyn Dodgers recruited Jackie Robinson from the Kansas City Monarchs, Robinson became the first African American in the modern era to play on a Major League roster. While this historic event was a key moment in baseball and civil rights history, it marked the decline of the Negro Leagues. The best black players began to be recruited for the Major Leagues with their black fans following them, and the last Negro Leagues teams folded in the early 1960s.
It has been noted that their creation was encouraged through President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Depression era program, the Work Projects Administration (WPA), in existence from 1935-1943. The WPA was designed to provide jobs across the country during the Great Depression. While most jobs were in construction and infrastructure, the most well-known project arm of the WPA, known as Federal Project Number One, employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in arts, drama, media, and literacy projects. The five projects assigned to this consortium were: the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP), the Historical Records Survey (HRS), the Federal Theatre Project (FTP), the Federal Music Project (FMP), and the Federal Art Project (FAP). The creation of these dolls fell under the WPA Federal Art Project, with the goal of representing the various aspects of the culture, work and lives of the Southern black community of this time period.
The female doll depicts a black mammy out for a stroll with black umbrella in hand. This sweet gentlewoman wears a red and white polka dot kerchief on her head covering most of her gray hair and has embroidered facial features – characteristic of these WPA dolls. Also characteristic of this type of doll is a small square of asphalt shingle glued to the feet to serve as a stand. This doll has (not uncommonly) lost her asphalt shingle long ago, but a bit of the original shingle is still attached to the soles of both shoes. Clothing, with the exception of her neutral-striped knit-fabric sweater, is machine-sewn cotton with careful detailing right down to the red hankie poking out of her apron pocket. She also wears gold hoop earrings! Her body, which is well-stuffed to be anatomically correct, is black cotton fabric stuffed with cotton batting.
The white haired and bearded male country gentleman doll is similarly attired in machine-sewn cotton britches with a patch at the knee and suspenders along with a tan cotton striped shirt and red kerchief around his neck. His hat is constructed of cranberry-colored felt. Under his right arm, he holds a nicely crafted chicken that has sustained a tiny bit of fabric loss to its face. His left arm once held a wooden walking stick which is long gone, but alternatively, he now uses his free hand to hold the arm of his lovely lady! His asphalt shingle is also missing with remnants evident of it present on the soles of his shoes.
Two very special dolls that represent a snapshot of history, capturing the lives of poor southern black folk of the Depression era.
The dolls are priced at $245.00 each. AS these two dolls were originally purchased out of a lovely and quite comprehensive doll collection as a PAIR, if desired, they may also be purchased as a PAIR at a very special discounted price of $395.
This particular tin does not retain its original, US Internal Revenue paper tax stamp, so there is no way to precisely date it. As such, we will place its age as at the first half of the 1940's- the final production years of this style tin.
The image of an African woman with the racist title of “Nigger Hair” imposed over her shoulders was used by The American Tobacco Company of Wisconsin to promote its product; the lithographed tin was manufactured by the B. Leidersdorf Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Interestingly, it must be noted that after World War II, the product name "Nigger Hair" was changed to "Bigger Hair", although the exact same image of an African Woman continued to be used. The company simply added the words “Fiji Islander” to the left of her face in a very, very weak attempt to broaden the product’s appeal by moving further away from the earlier, severely derogatory moniker. At that time, the material out of which the tobacco container was constructed was changed from tin to heavy cardboard.
Measuring 7 inches high x 5 ¾ inches wide, the condition of the tin is a wonderful 8 out of 10--- sporting a beautiful lithograph on both sides with extremely minor, superficial scratches and rubs, along with tiny areas of paint loss. These areas of minor paint loss exist on the back side where the metal bale handle made contact with the tin and slightly scraped it, and on the front side, where several teeny areas of paint loss are present that are very difficult to see unless bright light is deliberately shown upon the tin surface as has been done in both closeup photos. When viewed in natural lighting, the tiny areas of paint loss on the front side are not readily visible unless one deliberately looks for them (see first photo).
The rim of the tin has two, tight 1/8" long splits- very difficult to see and photograph and which are not visible with the tin cover in place. The lid, base, bale handle junction points, and interior of the tin show minor evidence of light, superficial rust. Otherwise, the tin is solid. The original mustard-orange color of the tin remains consistent over the entire tin as does the clear, brilliant black lithography.
Any imperfections are quite reasonable and expected given the age of this piece-- approximately 80 years of age!! Please note that any "white" areas in photos are flash or lighting reflections and are not imperfections to the tin.
Truly an extraordinarily RARE piece of Black Memorabilia seldom found in this wonderful condition complete with bail handle and lid (Soft tissue paper has been wrapped around the bail handle to prevent any further scratching to the tin exterior.)
The character of Rastus was based on an actual person- a black waiter from Chicago- who was paid $5 for the use of his image by Colonel Mapes, the General Manager of the Nabisco Company, the owner of Cream of Wheat. The company began using the waiter’s image in the early 1900’s, replacing the original woodcut of a black chef that appeared on the packaging from 1894 until that time. Interestingly from a social and historical perspective, the depiction of the ever-pleasant, always-smiling Rastus was both a subtle yet positive departure from the extremely derogatory advertising much more typical of the era- advertising that nearly always featured blacks with wildly contorted and exaggerated features most often in very undignified poses and predicaments.
This beautiful, rarely-found puzzle, which is in excellent condition, is attractively framed in a hardwood molding colored in walnut, ebony and gold. The puzzle frame is original to the puzzle, and it is contemporary to the production date of the puzzle as it still retains its original wood panel backing, a framing technique not typically found after 1910. The puzzle pieces, themselves, are very finely and delicately cut, and are of a much smaller size than what is typically found in puzzles dating from the 1920’s and beyond.
A phenomenal piece that would be a centerpiece to any serious Black Americana, Advertising, or Cream of Wheat collection!
PLEASE NOTE: Any discoloration, white spots, or other unnatural variances in color are due to the unavoidable light reflections caused by the glass in the framing. The presence of the glass made photography quite a challenge!
A note to collectors: vintage Black Memorabilia puzzles from the pre-WWII era are a VERY rare find. Many were given out as "premiums" for utilizing a given product, and did not stand the test of time. Happy collecting!
This Mammy nipple doll is more unusual and less seldom found because she holds a tiny, fabric-constructed, white baby in her left arm. Typically when found, the Mammy nipple doll has empty arms.
Mammy’s sweet little face has been hand-painted, and she has been nicely dressed in a red dress accented with blue and white flowers along with a linen apron and red and black head scarf. The little baby wears a linen gown edged with lace, and the baby's face is also hand-painted.
Condition of this wonderful miniature Mammy is very good with expected age-related yellowing to her linen apron.
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.
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 of "Dixieland" and 18 full color scenes featuring stereotypical and actual depictions of African-American southern life. Some politically incorrect and derogatory captioning. Scenes depicting the cotton and tobacco industries are also featured.
The sides of the rattle shackle are constructed of lateral “pockets” each containing one small, iron orb that would “rattle” when the wearer would move about.
Because this particular type of rattle shackle does not have iron loops or openings to “thread” iron chain through, it would have been attached to the ankle or wrist of a very young “house slave” who worked strictly inside the plantation house and thus was under very close supervision by the plantation owner and/or family members.
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 very small size!
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.