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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 #365277 (stock #B212)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
A representative sampling of pages from this hard-to-find, 1938, hard cover, Little Black Sambo book published by McLoughlin Brothers, Inc., of Springfield, Massachusetts, has been photographed for one’s viewing pleasure!

In utterly excellent condition with the only flaws noted being very subtle wear to spine edges and book cover tips, this version of Little Black Sambo is highly collectible as any item produced by its publisher, McLoughlin Brothers, is aggressively sought due to the company’s reputation for use of extraordinarily vivid graphics.

Thirty pages long with 14 vividly colored illustrations and 4 completed in black and white by Hildegard Lupprian. A must have edition for the collector of Little Black Sambo books!

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1930 item #1224716 (stock #BA888)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Offered is an incredibly RARE game, circa 1900-1920s, Spear Works, Germany, dexterity game very obtusely entitled "THE WHITE EYED COON".

The game features a VERY brightly colored lithograph target in near mint, virtually unused condition, depicting "THE WHITE EYED COON" dressed as a clown with a nose mimicking that of a RHINOCEROS HORN! The rhinoceros horn nose serves as one of the game hooks.

The target is affixed to the box base interior and additionally retains its two original metal hooks placed on either side of the gent's large, polka dot, bow tie.

This brightly lithographed game retains 5 original, colored, pressed-cardboard throwing rings. The game directions, which are attached to the inside of the original cardboard cover, do not specify the number of rings originally included in the game.

Measuring 8 3/4 inches tall x 6 1/4 inches wide x 1 inch deep, the game cover as well as the target piece display absolutely wonderfully!

As evident in the photos, the box and box cover show expected wear given their 90-100+ years of age. The box cover shows evidence of exposure to dampness and or water, some small areas of missing paper and edge wear. The box base EXTERIOR shows edge wear, some creasing and some very small areas of missing paper. As stated earlier, the target, itself, looks as though it was never played with. Just fabulous!

The game does not retain a copyright year, but the Spear Works of Germany operated prolifically from the 1890s through the 1930's, and during this time period, it was recognized as the most well known, international manufacturer of games and children's activity kits.

The box cover is labeled "Spear's Games", "Manufactured at The Spear Works in Germany. Designed in England".

An EXTRAORDINARILY RARE find!!!

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1950 item #728200 (stock #BA679)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Measuring 19 inches long by 3.5 inches wide, this untouched, all-original, double-sided, porcelain-enameled, 1930-40s, metal sign is an extraordinarily RARE piece of Black American history-- an artifact of the "Jim Crow" era when segregation of the African American race was unfortunately, most commonplace.

This sign was found in storage inside of an old Austin, Texas, gas station and likely designated the COLORED ONLY entrance to a local public building or room within.

This historic sign is enameled on both sides with the word "COLORED" and a downward pointing arrow. Colors are blue with cream background.

The sign is in all-original condition with several chips to the porcelain enamel as well as subtle edge wear. It likely was posted on the interior of a building as its overall condition is really quite fine and does not evidence any characteristics one would expect of a sign that was subject to the ravages of Mother Nature. Or...perhaps the sign was simply never used-- a mystery never to be solved!

An utterly phenomenal, extremely RARE, one-of-a-kind, museum-worthy piece of Black American history that is quite likely the only one of its kind extant today!

Please take a moment to view the second "Jim Crow" Segregationist Era sign I currently have the pleasure of offering.

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1950 item #739636 (stock #BA687)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Measuring 20 inches in length by 4 inches high, this rare, Jim Crow-era, segregationist sign once hung in the one and only movie theatre of Doerun, Georgia, a small south Georgia town. Folks would view movies on a white sheet that was tacked to one wall. The white folk sat in folding chairs on the first floor while the African-Americans were directed to seating via this sign in the upstairs balcony.

This 1940s sign is white-washed on both sides with lettering and art work completed in red paint. Made of metal with 2 holes on either end for hanging. It has seen its share of vandalism with numerous deliberately inflicted scratches to the paint as seen in photos.

Once part of the Middle Passage Museum inventory, the sign has been de-accessioned. The Middle Passage Museum was the dream of Jim and Mary Anne Petty of Mississippi as well as that of an anonymous Georgian benefactor who had together compiled a collection of slave artifacts numbering over 15,000 pieces and who had hoped to find a permanent site in Mobile, Alabama, for their museum. While they formed a non-profit organization to raise funds for their hoped-for museum, their dream was never realized.

In a 2003 statement, Jim Petty remarked, "The importance of the exhibit of these artifacts is to understand the harshness of what slavery and segregation was all about. The items in the exhibit remind us of the terrible heinousness of slavery. Viewing the collection can be very emotional, but it is a tool through which we can understand, honor and respect a great culture. We want to realize that out of slavery, a great culture emerged, and carried on, and continued to strive for a better life regardless of the adverse conditions that were placed upon them."

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1940 item #1044220 (stock #B269)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Published in 1938, by Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston & New York, this seldom-found, children's book tells of the misadventures of little Epaminondas, who despite his Mammy's attempts to instruct him otherwise, has much difficulty successfully navigating the day without getting into some sort of trouble. Poor Epaminondas cannot do anything right!

Measuring 6.75 inches wide x 8 inches long, the book is illustrated in both black silhouette and colored, line drawings. 16 pages long. Great condition-- tight binding, no tips or missing pages, clean. Cloth-bound hard covers.

A delightful addition to one's Black Memorabilia collector!!

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Pre 1940 item #1029062 (stock #BA786)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Measuring 12 inches wide x 8 inches high, this untouched, all-original, double-sided, porcelain, circa 1930s sign is an extraordinarily RARE piece of Black American history-- an artifact of the "Jim Crow" era when segregation of the African American race was unfortunately, most commonplace. The origin of this sign is unknown.

This historically significant sign features a white background with deep blue lettering. It remains in all-original condition with very few flaws: faint, superficial scratches and minute pitting to the porcelain here and there, with most on or near sign edges. The sign is equipped with two metal eyelets at the top which would facilitate hanging so that the double-sided lettering, "COLORED REST ROOM", could be viewed from two opposing directions.

A RARE, one-of-a-kind, museum-worthy piece of Black American history!

Please take a moment to view the other "Jim Crow" Segregationist Era signs that I currently have the pleasure of offering.

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1940 item #384297 (stock #BA494)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Measuring 4 ¼ inches high with a 3 /14 inch diameter, this UNUSED, 1 pound can of circa EARLY 1930’s, Old BLACK JOE Axle Grease is in very fine condition! There is some wear to the paint along the edge of the lid cover and at the top and bottom side surfaces, but virtually no rusting! The only noted rusting was to the base of the can and this is very superficial and can be buffed away. The can is quite structurally sound with no leaking as demonstrated by the photos taken on unprotected, white, antique bed linens!

Old Black Joe Axle Grease was manufactured by the John Hancock Oil Company of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota- the Twin Cities. The can was made by the St. Louis Can Company and is so labeled (see photos). Note the exaggerated facial features of OLD BLACK JOE---an unfortunate, but very typical depiction of African Americans during this time period.

A wonderful and scarce find Black Memorabilia collectible in near excellent condition!

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1940 item #404268 (stock #BA512)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Measuring 9 inches high, this delightful example of Folk Art styling, is one 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.

This doll depicts the black washerwoman. She holds an authentic-looking wood and tin washboard in her left arm. This gentlewoman wears a red kerchief on her head covering all hair and 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. This doll still retains her original shingle stand but it has come loose from the left shoe. Clothing, with the exception of her navy-colored knit-fabric sweater, is machine-sewn cotton with careful detailing right down to the red hankie poking out of her apron pocket. Her body, which is well-stuffed to be anatomically correct, is black cotton fabric stuffed with cotton batting.

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

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1930 item #427979 (stock #BA523)
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 Ole Charley who, severely bent over with age, was once a well known figure in the Vieux Carre.

Vargas wax figures are distinctly characterized by their interesting but highly exaggerated facial features. Ole Charley wears a yellow hat with blue band, a red patterned neck scarf, a yellow flowered shirt and blue jeans- all constructed of actual cloth fabric that was coated with a fine layer of clear wax to stiffen them. He supports all of his weight with an actual stick cane! His 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 very fine condition for his 75+ years of age with the following imperfections: missing left-hand fingers with present left thumb (an unfortunate, but extremely common consequence of time), a chip out of his yellow hat (which actually looks appropriate to the character!!) and a re-molded right hand- a repair made long ago. There is a spot of old glue on the base which suggests that something might be missing- a small stool perhaps? Regardless of his imperfections, his brilliantly executed face and his incredibly realistic pose is most delightful- a snapshot of New Orleans history!

Please see the other two Vargas figures that are currently available. One is depicted in the group photo and all are priced separately. Please note that the Vegetable Seller (with basket) has been sold.

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 1940 item #404216 (stock #BA510)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Measuring 9 inches high, this delightful example of Folk Art styling, is one 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.

This doll depicts the black stick or kindling gatherer. He holds a bunch of sticks tied together with string that has been flung over his right shoulder. In his left hand, he holds a wooden walking stick. This is an older gentleman who wears a straw hat, gray beard and hair and 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. This gent has lost his shingle stand but the remnants are still visible glued to the bottom of his leather shoes. Clothing is machine-sewn cotton with careful detailing right down to the patch on his left knee and the red hanker chief poking out of his right pocket. His body is brown cotton stuffed with cotton batting.

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

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1930 item #853296 (stock #BA742)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
In the mid-1800's, an unknown artist painted the face of a young Black boy in warm, soft colors, and unbeknown to the artist, forever immortalized the young boy's image! Since that time a variety of items were been produced in the image of the "Young Black boy with the Torn Hat" or "Johnny Griffin".

This circa 1920-30's Johnny Griffin item is constructed in solid brass and was designed for use as a pipe rack although it could hold spoons or even neckties.

It is in all original condition with delightful patina- not a reproduction- no replaced parts- and measures 13 inches long x 6 1/2 inches high and 1 1/2 inches deep. It does not retain any marking other than a mold number 1592.

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.

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1900 item #364941 (stock #BA446)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
This fabulous later 19th century/early 20th century, wool, needlepoint sampler measures 19" wide by 17" long and contains many truly fascinating images that add to the mystery of the sampler’s origin: an American flag and a Royal crown, a Canadian maple leaf, numerous varieties of lovely flowers, two black children on a see-saw, a black girl with her hands on her hips, a center hall style colonial era home, a woman carrying a bag with her hand extended out to a little dog, "Jumbo" the elephant from the circus; a yellow Labrador Retriever, several cats, a rooster, horse, and winged bug, a doe and stag, a bird on a branch, 2 little children -- a girl and boy -- with their backs to us, the initial “S” repeated twice, what appears to be a Celtic design, and a cross with wreath.

One cannot help but wonder whether or not this sampler was completed by black female who was illustrating her life history which included involvement in the UNDERGROUND RAILROAD! The references to BOTH Canada (the maple leaf and the crown) and the US (the American Flag) along with the black images are rather curious, making this a very plausible theory! The sampler certainly depicts happy images of life within an affluent (Irish?) household. Hmmm…could this well-executed sampler have possibly been completed by an ex-slave?????

This magnificent sampler is in very good condition for its 100+ years of age. There is some running of the red wool yarns, most probably the result of a previous owner’s attempt to clean the piece. This likely can be removed professionally, although I do not feel it is a significant detraction and question the necessity of attempting to do so. The edges are a bit frayed, but there are no dirt stains, holes, tears, or repairs, and except for isolated areas, the needlepoint stitching remains in wonderful condition!

This colorful and mysterious sampler would be a thought-provoking addition to one’s Black Americana collection!

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1930 item #1224362 (stock #BA882)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
If found in mint condition, this incredibly rare game, THE PICCANINNY BOWLING GAME, copyright 1928 and designed by the Spear's Game Company, Germany, retails at $525!

This particular specimen, unfortunately, was not stored with care, and it suffered exposure to dampness at some time during its 85 years. It is, thus, being offered at significant discount.

Measuring 10 3/4 inches tall x 7 1/4 inches wide, the game retains its cover with three of four sides present, the directions card, ALL FIVE original wooden throwing balls, and the game target board which features the five "piccaninnies".

The box bottom is missing as is some of the purple paper that decorated the sides of the target board and which also once framed the front cover. Remnants of this paper remain on two sides of the box cover.

The target board, despite its exposure to dampness, remains completely intact including the original metal guide pins that are located at the bottom of each piccaninny's open mouth and which would have helped to "guide" the target ball into the piccaninny's mouth during play. The target paper litho is somewhat loosened at the edges here and there, and foxing is present. The cover suffered the most exposure to dampness as is evident from viewing photos. There is foxing and some surface paper loss is evident as seen in photos.

The Spear Game Company designed the game, and it was manufactured in their facility in Bavaria, Germany. (This information was printed along the base of the game cover, although 50% of it is now no longer readable.) The Spear Works of Germany operated prolifically from the 1890s through the 1930's, and during this time period, it was recognized as the most well known, international manufacturer of games and children's activity kits. Publishing rights are noted on the direction page as J. W. Spear + Sons, New York City.

RARELY found!!

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Memorabilia : Pre 1940 item #264071 (stock #BA771)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Rarely found in today's collector's market and measuring just 4 inches wide x 4.5 high, this early cast iron still bank was produced in England in the 1930s by Chamberlain & Hill. Buyer beware: this is NOT a reproduction!!! Reproductions have the words "Made in England" impressed into the back of the hat as well as a paint distinction: only the "whites" of the eyes are painted white on a reproduction versus the painting of the entire eyelid area on legitimate, vintage cast iron banks (see my photos).

This silly caricature bank features a black man's head mounted on two little feet- no body! He wears a red hat labeled, "Save and Smile Money Box" impressed across the front rim. This two piece mold has a coin slot on the top of the back of the head. The bank would have to be unscrewed to be emptied.

This all original still bank is in very fine condition with most of its paint remaining intact- no repaint!! A must-have for the serious still bank or Black Memorabilia collector!!

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 #428395 (stock #BA517)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Measuring 25.5 inches wide x 22 inches high in its original oak frame (the artwork itself measures 19.5 inches x 16.5 inches), this extremely rare, museum-quality example of American Folk Art with Deep South Black Americana theme, features the unusual combination of stenciled (?) cotton, crewel stitch-work, and oil and watercolor painting to achieve its phenomenal look!

Cheerily entitled, “Down Where The Cotton Blossoms Grow”, the scene encapsulates a moment in time in the life of poor, southern, Black folk living as part of a tenant farming family in a wooden cabin at the edge of a expansive cotton field. A young, barefoot black boy and his graying mama are caught in a happy moment smiling and dancing next to a freshly-picked burlap bag of cotton.

This artwork has been completed on a tightly woven piece of tan cotton, with the outline of the basic design either pre-stenciled or hand-painted with black India ink. (Without removing the piece from its frame and examining it under the stronger power of a microscope, this is difficult to determine.)

The artist then used watercolors to paint in the broad areas of color prior to using embroidery cotton and silk thread to stitch the title, and to outline the trees, the landscape, the wooden cabin, the two black figures and their clothing, etc. The final touch was to paint in the cotton blossoms and aspects of the folk’s facial features with a white oil paint. The result is a larger scale, utterly charming Folk Art Black Americana scene!

The condition of the piece, which is framed under glass, is excellent with no staining, tears, or other damage to the cotton fabric. The original solid oak frame shows some scuffing and subtle traces of paint. The original wood backing remains as well as several original square head nails.

This piece is truly a unique example of traditional, late 19th century, American Folk Art! Coupled with its Black Americana theme, this artistic rendering is a rare and precious offering!

All Items : Archives : Collectibles : Nostalgia : Pre 1940 item #1057594 (stock #GMardi1)
Stonegate Antiques
SOLD
Genuine Czech GLASS Mardi Gras necklaces or “beads” were produced exclusively in 1920’s and 1930’s Czechoslovakia, for use during the Pre-Lenten or Carnival celebrations of New Orleans, Louisiana. With the pre-World War II, German invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1939, Czech production of the glass necklaces was halted and was never again resumed.

70+ years later, these gorgeous Czech Glass Mardi Gras beads are not only highly collectible but are becoming more increasingly scarce with each passing year. Use of color, shape, and form vary from one necklace to the next, with no two necklaces exactly alike.

Measuring 17" in length, this necklace is constructed of a series of rounded, pale minty-green, clear, and blue glass beads. Pretty color combination! Missing paper "Made in Czechoslovakia" label.

All Czech Mardi Gras necklaces were originally strung using a thin, cotton thread that has naturally aged and weakened over the past 70+ years, and thus, are easily prone to breakage. The new owner might wish to consider re-stringing these lovely beads as well as replacing the original, but functional, gold-toned U-clasp.