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All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Pre 1930 item #877441 (stock #BA747)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Measuring approximately 5.5 inches high, this highly sought after Black Vargas wax figure which is mounted on its original wooden platform, is one of a series of fascinating "street character wax dolls" conceived of and crafted by Mrs. Conception Vargas Alfonso, daughter of the world-renowned, turn-of-the-century-New Orleans, Spanish sculptor, Francisco Vargas.

From approximately 1915 through the 1930's, Mrs. Vargas-Alphonso, influenced by the artistry of her father who also sculpted in wax, crafted a variety of wax dolls inspired by the black folk she saw on New Orleans's street corners while growing up. Sold exclusively at the time through Harriet's, of 318 Rue Royale in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the completely hand-made, one-of-a-kind dolls are seldom found on today's market due to their inherently fragile nature, making them highly sought after in the Black Memorabilia Collectible arena.

This particular figure is known as the Seated Praline Seller as her business was to sell freshly made Pralines, a candy confection composed of Louisiana cane sugar and pecans. Her basket contains Praline candy as well as Praline cookies or flatbreads.

Vargas wax figures are distinctly characterized by their interesting but highly exaggerated facial features. The Seated Praline Seller wears a vividly colorful array of different pattern fabrics which work to comprise her eye-catching costume. Atop her head, she wears a large, orange and yellow polka dot bandanna that allows a bit of her wildly-curly, white (now yellowed) hair to peek through. A blue and yellow striped bandanna is tied around her neck, and her red patterned blouse and green patterned skirt are partially protected by a rather sedate, cream-colored apron. All of her clothing is constructed of actual cloth fabric that was coated with a fine layer of clear wax to stiffen them.

Clearly this Praline Seller is quite an elderly woman, as instead of being placed in a standing pose as was typical of Vargas figures, she is carefully seated upon a large bail of cotton. She carries a straw basket containing her delicious confections on her right arm while beckoning to her potential buyers with her left hand. Her wax body is internally supported by a wire frame through which the figure is securely attached to the wooden base. The bottom of the base retains its original paper sticker which reads, "HARRIET'S, 318 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA". Harriet's Gift Shoppe was the exclusive retail outlet for the sale of Vargas figures to the public.

This wonderful figure is in mint condition for her 75+ years of age with no apparent or visible imperfections. Amazingly, all fingers and both thumbs remain perfectly intact! (The fingers are so very, very thin and fragile that they are quite easily broken.)

The Seated Praline Seller is most delightful- a snapshot into 1920's New Orleans cultural history!

Please see the other Vargas figures that are currently available and priced separately--type "Vargas" in the search box to quickly locate them. A photo of the 2 other Vargas figures currently available for purchase has been included, for the buyer's viewing convenience, in this listing.

Please note- any white or light spots noted in photos are a result of sun light glare and are not reflective or discoloration or fading.

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1930 item #421495 (stock #BA28)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Measuring 6 inches high, this highly sought after Black wax figure which is mounted on its original wooden platform, is one of a series of fascinating "street character wax dolls" conceived of and crafted by Mrs. Conception Vargas Alfonso, daughter of the world-renowned, turn-of-the-century-New Orleans, Spanish sculptor, Francisco Vargas.

From approximately 1915 through the 1930's, Mrs. Vargas-Alphonso, influenced by the artistry of her father who also sculpted in wax, crafted a variety of wax dolls inspired by the black folk she saw on New Orleans's street corners while growing up. Sold exclusively at the time through Harriet's, of 318 Rue Royale in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the completely hand-made, one-of-a-kind dolls are seldom found on today's market due to their inherently fragile nature, making them highly sought after in the Black Memorabilia Collectible arena.

This particular figure is known as the Praline Woman as her business was to sell freshly made Pralines, a candy confection composed of Louisiana cane sugar and pecans.

Vargas wax figures are distinctly characterized by their interesting but highly exaggerated facial features. The Praline woman wears a red bandanna, a yellow flowered neck scarf, a white apron, and a red and white flowered dress- all constructed of actual cloth fabric that was coated with a fine layer of clear wax to stiffen them. She carries a wax basket, lined with a wax-starched towel, that is partially filled with individually made pralines! Her wax body is internally supported by a wire frame through which the figure is securely attached to the wooden base.

This wonderful figure is in near excellent condition for her 75+ years of age with the only imperfection being missing fingers and thumbs- an unfortunate, but extremely common consequence even among very well-preserved figures such a this one. (The fingers are so very, very thin and fragile that they are quite easily broken.) There is a spot of old glue on the handle of the basket which causes me to wonder whether or not the Praline woman did not originally hold the basket in her right hand versus on her right arm. Regardless, she is most delightful- a snapshot of New Orleans history, with her brightly colored clothing, exuding a most intriguing presence!

Please see the other Vargas figures that are currently available and priced separately--type "Vargas" in the search box to quickly locate them.

Please note- photos were taken outside in natural sunlight. Any white or light spots on the figure are a result of sun glare and are not reflective or discoloration or fading.

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1900 item #1150684 (stock #BA829)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
A powerful piece of Black Americana, this original and seldom-found, 1897, photo lithograph entitled “Alligator Bait” is a stark reminder of the historic prejudice and racism suffered by Americans of African heritage.

Measuring 11 inches by 25 inches wide, the piece is signed in the lower right corner, "Copyright by McCrary & Branson 189_ Knoxville, Tenn.", with the numeral 7 gone due to missing bits of the paper edge. Research has documented the copyright date of 1897.

The condition is very fine and all-original including the wooden frame and wooden backing. The glass is a replacement. There is some minor water damage here and there along the lower edge as documented in photos which does not impact the image. Some minor paper edge loss is noted in photos.

Indeed, an extraordinarily powerful and historic piece!

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Pre 1940 item #1068515 (stock #BA796 BA797)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Measuring 9 inches high, these delightful examples of Folk Art styling, represent two of a series of Black cloth character dolls made in Alabama in the 1930’s by unknown craftsmen/women. It has been speculated that their creation was encouraged through FDR’s Depression era program, the Work Projects Administration (WPA), in existence from 1936-1940.

Offered are two of these fabulous WPA craft Black Character dolls.

One doll depicts the black fisherman. He holds a bait pail and bunch of sticks tied together with string that has been flung under his right shoulder. In his left hand, he carries a wooden fishing pole from which a silver-colored, metal fish dangles (the fishing bowl has a bit of scotch tape wrapped around it, leading one to believe that there is some weakness to the pole that required stability provided through the tape). This is an older gentleman who wears a straw hat with gray hair (peeking through the top as well as undersides of the straw hat) and who has embroidered facial features –most characteristic of these dolls. Also characteristic of this type of doll is a small square of asphalt shingle glued to the feet to serve as a stand. Clothing is machine-sewn cotton with careful detailing right down to the patches on his knees and the red hanker chief tied around his neck. His body is black cotton stuffed with cotton batting.

The second doll, who is posed in the photos lovingly draping her right hand through the crook in the Fisherman’s arm while holding a plaid valise in her left, is dressed quite stylishly in flowered skirt with white bloomers showing, a wine-colored jacket with darling round, matching buttons, and a phenomenal black felt hat adorned with ruby red ribbon accented with pink and white flowers. Quite the stylish Grande Dame!

A pair of very special dolls that takes a snapshot of history in capturing the life of the poor southern black of the Depression era.

Dolls are priced separately at $245.00 each.

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1930 item #950232 (stock #BA768)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Measuring 10 1/2 inches high x 6 inches in diameter, this very visually appealing, very difficult to find, bright orange, 4 pound size, VINTAGE “MAMMY’S FAVORITE BRAND COFFEE” TIN is in near-excellent condition!

Some superficial scratches and rubs to the lithograph most notably on the back side of the tin above Mammy’s head. Structural integrity of the tin is quite sound with no holes, piercings, breaks, or dents, and only scarce, superficial rusting to base. See photos. (Please disregard any variation in surface color that may appear in some photos. Color is vivid and uniform throughout. Any color variation seen in photos is due to outdoor lighting conditions and light reflections, and not tin discoloration.)

This wonderful tin dates to the early 1920’s features a vivid graphic of "Mammy Serving Coffee". Processed and packaged by the C. D. Kenny Company of Baltimore, Maryland, this fabulous tin no longer retains its bail handle but does have its original cover!

In just wonderful condition with the front side displaying fabulously, this very difficult to find early coffee pail is an especially lovely and visually appealing piece of vintage Black Americana advertising!!!

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Pre 1940 item #793266 (stock #BA239)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD to The Smithsonian Institution
This vintage 1938 Patent date, African-American Pappy Marionette made by the Hazelle Puppet Company is in wonderful, never-used condition!

Rarely found in this pristine condition, the head, hands and shoes are constructed of tenite, which was an early hard plastic. This African-American male pappy is 14 inches long and is all-original, even retaining his original strings and wooden "airplane" marionette controls. The latest patent date on the "airplane" label indicates that this puppet was produced in 1938. His smiling face is wonderful--and his life-like wool hair add to his character!

The Hazelle Company was a puppet-making company located in Kansas City, Missouri. The company began making hand puppets and marionettes in 1932, and it continued operations for the next 43 years. The founder, Hazelle Rollins, passed away in 1984, nine years after the company closed its doors.

A unique opportunity to acquire a superb, vintage, Black Memorabilia Marionette! Please see the companion Hazelle Little Black Girl and Boy Hand Puppets as well as the other 3 African-American themed Marionettes also offered! Photos of the 4 Hazelle Marionette puppets currently offered for purchase are featured here.

Please note that any white spots seen in the photos of the marionette are the result of photo flash glare, not a condition problem.

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1940 item #1265850 (stock #BA909)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
These racially derogatory, circa early 1930's, BLACK FACE, cardboard advertising boxes are labeled "Nigger Head Tees". Once containing eight golf tees, the tees unfortunately, have long ago been used and lost. The boxes are extraordinarily rare, and this offering is the first I have ever had in my many years of specializing in Black Americana.

Measuring 2 inches high x 3/4 inches deep x 1.5 inches wide, these cardboard boxes remain in extraordinary condition given their age and potentially fragile paper construction medium! Other than surface wear and age discoloration as seen in photos, the boxes, amazingly, remain in phenomenal condition. Photos depict all sides of the boxes.

The boxes are marked "Distributed by "Philbot Brokfrage Co. Inc, 31-35 Drumm Street San Francisco". Additional labeling indicates that the boxes originally sold for 10 cents with Patent Pending.

An extremely RARE piece of Black Americana made more collectible given their racially derogatory title. They are offered at $125 each or $198 firm for the pair.

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1940 item #476203 (stock #CONBRF01)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Offered is a fabulous, one-of-a-kind group of 15, hand-carved and hand-painted, circa 1920-1930's, wooden miniatures of Black Folk as they would have appeared during the Harlem Renaissance!

Hand-executed by Robert A. Myers of 73 E. Hazeltine Avenue, Kenmore, New York, the figures vary in height from 2.25 to 2.75 inches. The colors are absolutely brilliant and the detailing exquisite with the tiniest of details painted with superb precision, control and great artistry.

"HAND MADE, R. A. Myers, 72 E. Hazeltine Ave., Kenmore, NY" is clearly stamped on the soles of approximately 5 of the figures--yet there is no question that all were executed by the same hand, and it is likely that all figures at one time bore this stamp.

Little is known of Robert A. Myers other than the fact that the street address stamped on the soles of the figures' feet was a private residence, and Robert A. Myers was indeed listed as residing at this address in a 1930 Kenmore (a suburb of Buffalo) telephone directory.

The fabulous figures have been safely stored over these many years in a felt-lined, hardwood, hinged box which undoubtedly has contributed to their most excellent condition!

Truly a RARITY! These wonderful folk art figures would make an outstanding addition to the museum quality Black Memorabilia collection! Not to be missed--these are one-of-a-kind!

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1940 item #364612 (stock #BA439)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Measuring 3 1/4 inches high, this Japan-made, quite nicely detailed and hand-painted, pot metal figure depicts the traditional RED CAP Railroad Porter with his arms quite full of luggage along with a set of golf clubs slung over his shoulder!

In excellent condition with virtually no evidence of paint loss, this sweet little figure-- as an added bonus to its delightful appeal—features a detachable suitcase, as one of the porter’s hands is actually a tiny hook!

Once commonly found, the tiny Red Cap Railroad Porter figure is becoming quite scarce!

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1920 item #831540 (stock #BA730)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Please note: This item was photographed under glass, and thus some photos depict unavoidable light reflection which distorts both color and condition. Coloring of poster is rich and is uniform throughout with consistent color and tone. Please view all photos for true representation of fine condition.

Offered is a fabulous and very seldom found World War I recruitment poster that honors the service of the African-American male Army Calvary soldier.

Tastefully rendered, this 17" x 20" paper lithographed poster on cardboard depicts a World War I African-American Calvary soldier bidding farewell to his proud sweetheart/wife as his regiment marches forward off to war in the background.

This rarely found poster is entitled, "COLORED MAN IS NO SLACKER". It was published in 1918 by S.G. Renesch of Chicago (thus printed in lower left hand corner), and is one of only two WWI recruitment posters that were published for the purpose of encouraging the enlistment of male African-Americans. The theme of the two different posters was to offer participation in the first World War as an opportunity for African Americans to demonstrate their patriotism and serve their country. (The second recruitment poster was entitled "True Sons of Freedom" and invoked the memory of Abraham Lincoln and the staunch bravery of black troops to inspire African Americans to enlist.)

The poster remains in its original, black-painted, wooden frame with glass, with original nails holding the poster in place in the back.

The poster remains in very fine condition for its 90+ years of age, showing some subtle wrinkling of paper to the lower 1/5th of the poster, likely the result of subjection to dampness, although, please note, that NO water staining is present.

This poster is a credit to the service of the many African-American men who so faithfully served and died to protect the liberty of the United States of America.

A must-have addition to one's Black Memorabilia or Militaria collection!

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1940 item #678694 (stock #BA410)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
In wonderful condition, this hard-bound, 2nd printing of Elvira Garner's "EZEKIAL" retains its original dust jacket.

Printed in 1937, this delightful story of little Ezekial and his Florida family was both written and illustrated by Ms. Garner.

The book is tightly bound with some foxing at the front and back cover interior seams. The colors are much brighter and more vivid than they appear in my photos. No rips, tears, or repairs. Photos provide a representation of condition of interior pages, cover and dust cover. Excellent condition for its 70 years!

A very difficult to find Black Memorabilia children's story book!

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Pre 1950 item #950210 (stock #BA769)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Offered is a vintage, Occupied Japan, tin and celluloid, wind up toy depicting a dancing Black Man or Jigger with cane and hat.

This delightful toy dancer stands on the corner of 125th Street and Lenox Avenue, the Gateway to Harlem, New York City!

The toy is complete and is in excellent working condition. Wind him up and his arms go round and his feet tap frantically! Retains original key. The dancer's head and hat are celluloid. His red felt jacket is age-stained as seen in photos. The dancer's other clothes are in fine condition as are the tin and celluloid components.

The dancer measures 8 1/2" tall, with base 3" by 2 3/4" across. On the back of the platform, the toy is marked: MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN PATENT NO15139 DESIGN PATENT NO92497. Items marked "Occupied Japan" date from 1945-1952.

A delightful addition to one's Black Memorabilia collection!

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1910 item #1113616 (stock #BA808)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Measuring 13 inches tall, this fabulous, highly-detailed, circa 1900, folk art, cloth doll is reminiscent of William Shakespeare's era! Shall we call him Othello?

Dressed in a machine-stitched, worn-in-places (see photos), black velvet pants and shirt complete with red chain stitch accenting, the doll, Othello, also sports an original and very well-worn red velvet hat and a very frail, pair of original, black leather shoes.

Othello's face is interestingly expressive with hand-stitched black eyes and eye lashes, hand-sewn, red satin lips, and a three-dimensional nose! His hair is fashioned from wool yarn which has selectively faded in places resulting in a salt and pepper look of light tan and black.

Othello's body is fashioned of firm, cotton-batting-stuffed, black sateen cotton that has been machine stitched. As indicated earlier, Othello's red velvet gathered hat or beret is quite delicate in condition with wear, fading and splitting of the cloth quite evident (see photos). His right leather shoe remains firmly tied in place despite the wear evident to it (see photos) and only one half of the left shoe exists (again, see photos). Othello's neck has also experienced some loosening over time from the vicinity of his shoulders making his head wobbly when not supported. This can be repaired-- or not -- if desired by the new owner.

Despite his flaws, Othello, given his approximate 111 years of age, remains a beautifully-fashioned and an historically-interesting example of a folk-art-inspired, black cloth doll fashioned over a century ago to appeal to upper class clientele of the turn of the twentieth century, given the very fine attention to detailing evident in both his crafting and creation.

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Pre 1900 item #1050847 (stock #G610)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
For those interested in collecting vintage school memorabilia, no such collection can be considered complete without the inclusion of the extremely RARE Silica Book Slate.

Bound just like a typical book, this slate was unique in that it was extremely lightweight and offered multiple surfaces on which to complete one's studies (a total of six writing surfaces including interior front and back covers and two interior pages!!). Due to the fragile nature of construction as well as the vigorous use all school slates experienced, not many of these rare slates survived.

Measuring 5 1/8 wide x 8 3/5 long (closed dimensions), the front and back boards are covered with fabric that is embossed with the name of the slate (Silica Book Slate Quartz Surface) and manufacturer info (New York Silicate Book Co).

The interior pages retain some writings that indicate that someone actually used this slate to record information as late as the 1970's!!

A simply wonderful gift for the educator!!

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Pre 1900 item #976131 (stock #M1053)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
For your consideration, is a delightful, 19th century, doctor's, druggist's and/or pharmacist's prescription scale.

This diminutive beauty in very nice original condition appears to be nickel plated brass and measures 3"L x 2"W x 1"H. It shows minor wear of the plating and has subtle surface blemishes commensurate with its age and use.

The scale is complete with the original folding spatula and balance beam which is marked "GRAINS". The mechanism operates smoothly and fits perfectly together! It was made by N.V. Randolph & Co., Richmond, VA.

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1930 item #706566 (stock #BA674)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Measuring 8 inches long by 5.5 inches high, this wonderful vintage 1920s, unmarked, cast iron doorstop features 3 charming black boys perched behind a fence eating luscious watermelon slices!

In all original condition with absolutely no repainting, this delightful piece retains its brilliant coloration. The piece has appropriate wear to paint as noted in photographs and also shows superficial rusting here and there, again, as noted in photos.

A fabulous and seldom-found display piece, most visually charming to the eye!

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1950 item #793107 (stock #BA694)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Circa 1940's vintage, this authentic, metal sign is an important historical artifact documenting America's Jim Crow era of African-American segregation.

In bright red and white paint, the sign advertises the "Booker T Colored Motel" of Humboldt, Tennessee. The motel name is clearly a reference to the honorable Booker T. Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) who was freed from slavery as a child at the end of the Civil war as a result of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution which officially abolished slavery. Booker T. Washington, an important educator and author, became a dominant figure in the African-American community advocating education as the pathway to a better life for African-Americans as well as the use of peaceful pathways to gain rights for the African-American community.

Measuring 24 inches wide x 15.5 inches high, the sign is in fine condition with minor and typical signs of age: some subtle crimping to the metal as well as some evidence of superficial rusting as noted in photos.

This important artifact displays easily and is quite visually appealing! A wonderful opportunity to acquire a piece of history!

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1950 item #930358 (stock #BA761)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Measuring 7 inches wide by 11 inches long by .25 inches thick, this wonderful wooden 1940's Mammy grocery memo board retains fourteen of its original multi-colored wooden pegs which, today, are very often found to be missing.

The graphic of Mammy remains in very fine condition as are the painted list of groceries. Some old splintering of the wood on sides and edges add to the board's all original vintage patina! This memo board was once sold as a Canadian souvenir piece as it still retains its original "St Stephen Canada Maple Leaf" decal.

The white, shiny spots that may appear in the photos are the result of camera flash glare only and are not imperfections to this piece. Wood color is richer than photos could capture.

These pieces are heavily reproduced in today's market; however, it is quite uncommon to find a genuinely vintage, Mammy Memo Board with so many original pegs in such fine, vintage condition!!!