The needlework measures approximately 15 by 14 inches and is in good condition overall, given its 120+ years of age! The central design is superb with no problems, but the two upper corners show evidence of some unraveling, particularly the upper right, which has a small hole. This little hole could be repaired, or if the piece was framed, it could be visually eliminated; however, it truly does little to detract from the central focal point of the children on the seesaw, when viewed in its entirety. The piece does show subtle evidence of typical, age-related discoloration.
An utterly wonderful and scarce example of 19th century Black Americana themed Needlework!
One litho appears to be the residence of a “R. Timmons” and the other of a “S. Macon”. The frames are a latter addition, likely circa 1930-40’s acquired by an individual interesting in preserving these colorful and historic pieces of Folk Art. They framing was done at a Greensboro, North Carolina gallery.
Both lithos are darling-- featuring pleasant, pastoral, Folk Artsy, 19th Century scenes! A great pair of mini, decorative and historic accent pieces!
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.
Detailing in construction sets this mammy doll apart! Her creation was very carefully executed through a combination of hand and machine stitching. Mammy was lovingly dressed in clothing made from old, red, black, and white-patterned handkerchiefs, while both her body and her interesting pair of black pantaloons were constructed of old, black stockings. Detailing was clearly important to the creator--an additional and elegant surprise is the cream-colored, cotton petticoat edged with lace!
Mammy's face is hand-embroidered, and she wears brass-colored, plain, hoop earrings. Her body is machine-stitched together and is stuffed with cotton batting.
Mammy is in near perfect condition with the exception of minor wear (not holes) to her stocking-constructed left foot as well as the underside of her right, stocking-constructed hand. (This wear to the fabric may well be the very reason the stockings were used to construct Mammy as they may have been discarded from personal use. Please refer to photos to view wear.)
Mammy is simply full of charm with lovely and creative detailing! A quite difficult-to-find-in-this condition, 80+-year-old, cloth mammy doll!
Each of these very scarcely found vials sport their original paper label noting color of pigment and the manufacturer. The vials have either contents or traces of contents remaining that lend color and interest to the grouping.
Pigment colors are as follows: Ultramarine Blue, Chrome Yellow, Solferino, Yellow Ochre, Magenta, Carmin..., Cadmium Yellow, and Brilliant Yellow. All vials measure approximately 2.25 inches tall and are in very good condition. The paper labels are darkened and somewhat worn from decades of exposure, yet they present very well, and all are completely readable but one.
An early and exceptional find which will surely delight the artist in your life!
Constructed of hand-cut, ¼ inch wide, black painted wood, this darling little black girl has hand-painted eyes and smiling lips, and is dressed in a hand and machine stitched, cloth-stuffed, one piece, black, tan and green dress! She has a hole in each ear, a metal hanging loop atop her head and one metal hook on each shoe for hanging keys or potholders!
She is in fine condition given her 70+ years of age and has great “patina”. Some minor paint loss, a few teeny holes in her outfit, but very visually appealing Black Americana Folk Art, none the less!
The Work Projects Administration was designed to provide jobs across the country during the Great Depression when hundreds of thousands were out of work. While most WPA 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 fabulous dolls fell under the WPA Federal Art Project, with the goal of representing and preserving the various aspects of the culture, work and lives of the Southern black community of this time period. All of the WPA black folk dolls produced for this project were placed on asphalt shingle stands, they all feature elderly folk, they all share black leather shoes, a cotton-batting stuffed body, and identical hand-stitched facial features, with subtle and unique variations in expression around the eyes due to the clever positioning of the eyebrows!
The gray-hair and bearded, chicken-toting black country gent on the left is attired in machine-stitched clothing wearing blue cotton britches with red suspenders along with a blue and cream striped cotton shirt and a red kerchief around his neck. His hat is constructed of navy blue-colored felt. This country gent holds a very finely-crafted and detailed brown chicken under his left arm, while his right hand clutches a wooden walking stick. Note the lustrous chicken feathers protruding under his arm when he is viewed from the back. He appears to be a bit disgruntled about something given those raised eyebrows!
The female doll depicts a lady out for a stroll with her 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. Her head is turned to her right as if to see who had just called out her name. This gentlewoman's 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. topping off her outfit are a pair of gold hoop earrings!
The gray-hair, bearded, chicken-toting black country gent doll on the right, is also attired in machine-stitched clothing wearing brown cotton britches with a patch on the left leg, and a bright red hankie protruding from the right pocket. His matching brown suspenders along with a red and cream striped cotton shirt and a red kerchief around his neck complete his outfit, while his brown felt hat tops it all off. This country gent also holds a very finely-crafted and detailed brown fabric chicken with lustrous feathers under his left arm, while his right hand clutches a wooden walking stick. This gent, however, is in much finer spirits than his male companion is, wearing a very pleasant expression on his face!
Three very special dolls, which today, are becoming very, very difficult to find, representing a snapshot of history, capturing the lives of poor southern black folk of the Depression era! All three in perfect condition and priced at $295.00 each.