In very fine condition, with faint, superficial scratches expected of a 70+ year old metal toy, this wonderful Tuxedoed Dancing Black Man is in working condition! He is stamped "Made in USA" on his back and was made by Buffalo Toy Works. It is operated via a small metal lever at the base that can be jiggled (thus, the name "Jigger" Toy) up and down and back and forth to make Dancing Sambo wave his arms and jiggle his legs!
Measures approximately 6.5 inches high. Maker unknown. Displays wonderfully!
Please note that any white spots appearing in photos are from the camera flash and are not imperfections!
In 1912, in a stroke of advertising genius, Mayo's Tobacco Company packaged their cut plug tobacco in round tins with a lithographed character. Each held 1 pound of tobacco. It was opened by removing the head!
These "Roly-Polys" were a unique shape that distinguished them from the rectangular and lunch box-shaped tins that surrounded them on store shelves. There were a number of different characters that were available, and smokers were encouraged to collect the entire set. The six original tins were the Satisfied Customer, the Storekeeper, the Singing Waiter, the Dutchman, Scotland Yard....and Mammy!
Mayo called this packaging a "Brownie" tin...apparently the company suggested that the tins be used as brownie containers after the tobacco was used, and designed them accordingly. They were never a plentiful tin, and today, are becoming increasingly more and more difficult to find.
The Mayo tobacco tins were distinguished by little packages of Mayo Cut Plug tobacco shown somewhere on the character. Notice that the Mammy tin has a tiny tobacco tin tucked into her front pocket.
Mammy's dimensions are 7"x7". She is in very, very good condition, as evidenced by the photos. The body of the tin has very minor loss to the litho-- only a speck missing here and there with very minor and subtle surface scratching (see photos). The body has some light tobacco smoke soiling, and has the appropriate wear at the contact point. The tin has no dents, repaint or corrosion.
The base of the tin is labeled "made in factory # 42, in the 2nd District of Virginia".
**Please note that it was extremely difficult to photograph the curved surface of this tin without picking up light reflection. Any white spots appearing in photos are the result of light reflection during photography and are not indicative of damage to the tin. The depth of color is much better viewed "in person" as opposed to what I was able to capture in a photo.**
A must-have addition to any SERIOUS Black Americana collection! A note on the rarity of this item....this is the first Mayo Cut Plug tin of this quality that I have had the pleasure of offering for sale in my 15 years of specializing in Black Americana! This tin displays beautifully!!
Overall condition is fine with minor age-related imperfections as follows: old green paint to the surface of the yellow platform, missing sections of wood holders of the pink flower and the boy, a missing foot, and minor edge wear to paint. None of the imperfections interfere with the ability of the toy to function or the toy's overall charming visual appeal. This exceptional toy has never been repaired or repainted; it remains in all-original condition!
"Little Jasper" is very RARELY found, and the opportunity to acquire him should not be overlooked!
This colorful paper broadside measures approximately 10.5 inches wide x 15.25 inches, and framed, measures 17 inches wide x 22 inches long. The poster or broadside is in excellent condition with the exception of a small, 1.5 inch long crease line above the top of the gray side of the model under the word "hair'. Otherwise wonderful!!
This piece has been matted and framed for some time and most recently hung on a wall in a Florida restaurant. To deter pilferage, the frame was actually screwed into the wall and as such, has evidence of minor puttying and repainting restoration where the two little screw holes were in the frame. The new owner may wish to continue restoration or simply leave the frame as is!
This poster is rarely found in the antiques market today, and due to its striking imagery and coloring, is destined to become a most delightful and decorative room focal point!!
The pipe remains in wonderful condition. It appears to have had some very limited use based upon the slightly darkened condition of the interior bowl.
The pipe is French made and bears the following on either side of the pipe stem, "Bon Fumeur" (Good Smoking) and "Tabaco" (Tobacco). The pipe stem also retains an orange colored, Dutch paper label which reads, "Holland Goedewaagen's" advertising that this pipe was exported for sale in The Netherlands.
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 Cotton Seller.
Vargas wax figures are distinctly characterized by their interesting but highly exaggerated facial features. The Cotton Seller wears a straw-colored hat, a blue patterned bandanna around his neck, dark pants, and a red and yellow checked shirt- all constructed of actual cloth fabric that was coated with a fine layer of clear wax to stiffen them. He carries a large sack of freshly picked cotton on his back via a rope cord wrapped around his neck while balancing yet another sack of cotton at his feet. His 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 is stamped "Genuine VARGAS New Orleans, LA".
This wonderful figure is in mint condition for his 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 Cotton Seller is most delightful- a snapshot into 1920's New Orleans cultural history!
Please see the other Vargas figure that is currently available and priced separately--type "Vargas" in the search box to quickly locate them. A photo of the other Vargas figure 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.
The numbered piece of paper pinned to the bag of cotton seen in some of the photos was an inventory marker used by the original owner. It has since been removed from the figure.
GOLD DUST Trolley Signs are a very rare find in today’s market as they were made of cardboard, a material much less likely to withstand the test of time as opposed to tin advertising signs which were much sturdier!
This Gold Dust trolley sign features the Gold Dust Twins busily scrubbing a bathtub in a gleaming blue-green tiled bathroom! On a stool to the left, sits a large, opened box of Gold Dust Washing Powder. The advertisement proclaims in yellow-outlined, navy blue lettering: “Kept Clean with Gold Dust”.
The Gold Dust sign is marked, “Copyright 1921 The N.K. Fairbanks Company.” in the lower left hand corner. In the lower right hand corner, the following appears: “G.D.115 10-21. 64”.
The condition of this trolley sign is truly quite fine. Colors are very strong and consistent throughout; please ignore the various glass reflections seen in some of the photos- they were unavoidable and do appear to make the colors appear faded—which is inaccurate! The sign is free of rips or tears although it does have two surface abrasions at the lower left near the Twins where a top layer of paper is missing- looks as though this occurred long ago when some tape was removed. Some light dirt marks are also seen near the lower twin and between the letters G & O in the word “GOLD”. They are unobtrusive and do not detract from the wonderful image this sign conveys.
An unusual opportunity to acquire a very RARE piece of Black Americana !!
Please take a moment to view the circa 1910-1920 GOLD DUST Scouring Powder can filled with original contents-never opened- that I also have available for purchase as of this writing.
Measuring 8 inches high, this delightful, hard-to-find, Black Memorabilia collectible is in very fine condition with expected wear to the areas where one would pick up the sprinkler to use it- Mammy's shoulder and arm area.
There are no chips or cracks, and Mammy's face, in particular, is in very fine condition with absolutely vivid coloring!
Mammy is lacking the cork which would plug the water-filling hole at her base, but retains three, unblocked water sprinkling holes at the back of her head.
A very sweet piece of rare Black Americana!
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!
This sample size tin is in very fine condition with minimal surface wear as is evidenced by the photos. The yellow coloring is uniform--any white marks seen in photos are light reflection, not wear or damage.
This product was created by the Madam C J Walker Company of Indianapolis, Indiana, for the purpose of "brightening sallow or dark skin".
It is unknown whether the contents remain as the tin cover is tightly affixed and is immovable.
Madam C.J. Walker built a fortune in the early 1900s marketing hair care and beauty products to African-American women. Born in Sarah Breedlove 1867 Louisiana of parents who were former slaves, she moved her company to Indianapolis in 1910. When she died in 1919, Madam Walker was considered the wealthiest black woman in America. Her daughter, Lelia, succeeded her as president of the C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company.
"The Golliwogg's Bicycle Club", published in 1896 by Longmans, Green & Co, London & New York, was illustrated by Florence K. Upton, with story written by her mother, Bertha. This book was the 2nd Golliwogg adventure in a series of thirteen Golliwogg adventures by Upton, with the last published in 1909-- all of which are incredibly difficult to find today.
This hard cover book, measuring 8.75 inches high x 11.5 inches long, is a total of 63 pages in length. The book is lavishly illustrated with 30 full-color illustrations and tells the story of Golly's world travels. Golly and his friends, suffering from boredom, create their very own bicycles out of tree-wood and then partake of marvelous adventures in Paris, Japan, Turkey and Africa!
The Golliwog, itself, was based on a Black minstrel doll that Florence Kate Upton, born in 1873 of English parents, had played with as a small child in New York. Upton's Golliwog character was first introduced to the world in her 1895 book entitled The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls. Like the rag doll that inspired it, the Golliwog in her book was a less-than-handsome creature with very dark, jet black skin, large white-rimmed eyes, red clown lips, and wild, frizzy hair. Golliwogs are typically male and are generally dressed in a jacket, trousers, bow tie, and stand-up collar in a combination of red, white, blue, black, and occasionally yellow colors.
The book is in very fine but not perfect condition-- not surprising given the book's 114 years of age! Wear to hard-board-cover edges. Binding remains strong, but thread stitching securing pages to binding has weakened with the two, center-most pages separated from the others. Evidence of tape repair on these loosened pages present. Book is complete, with no missing pages.
Truly a fabulous find! The first time I have EVER had the pleasure of offering this wonderfully-rare children's book in my 26 years of dealing in Black Memorabilia!!
This fabulous toy is labeled on each side of the orange wagon as follows: "HAPPY HAM FARM PRODUCTS, Newton & Thompson MFG CO, Brandon, Vermont".
The wagon is being "driven" by a hand-painted black figure who moves forward and back again as the wagon is pulled along on its wooden wheels.
In wonderful, all-original condition--no repaint or replaced wooden pieces. One little staple holding the rear axle in place appears to have been replaced as well as the little metal rod which acts as the axle holding the black boy in proper position.
A fabulously RARE piece to embellish one's Black Memorabilia or Vintage Pull Toy collection.