Quite multi-purpose in nature, his legs hold spools of thread, and under his red vest, he hides a pincushion (his chest) along with 2 felt strips for needle and pin storage (his arms)! Four decorative plastic rings can be used to hold safety pins! He also sports a ring on the top of his hat to allow one to hang him on the wall.
Condition is quite fine! No rips, stains or tears with just some subtle fading to his green felt bowtie and black face and legs--all age-related. He has two, insignificant moth holes on the BACK of his red vest.
Handy to keep by the sewing machine, but also just a delightful, vintage, Black Memorabilia whimsy to decorate your sewing room!
The litho was executed by John Karst with his signature appearing in the lower left hand corner. Highly detailed, the litho reproduces a bustling New Orleans' dock scene featuring numerous slaves at work.
This litho was professionally re-framed using museum-quality, acid-free materials in 2004. The frame is a classic styled, black painted, beaded, hardwood accented with a dark rose, acid-free mat.
A fascinating glimpse into life on the docks of the Mississippi River at New Orleans!
Please note that any white spots or streaking appearing in photos are the result of light reflection and are not damage to the litho.
From 1901-1924, Bruckner produced this original, 12" Topsy Turvy doll for Horsman's Babyland Rag Doll line that features Caucasian, "Betty", on one end and African American, "Topsy", on the other. The inspiration for this doll is based on the character of Topsy in Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic 1852 novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin".
The Bruckner Topsy Turvy doll was advertised in a 1907 Babyland Rag Doll catalog as follows:
"TOPSY-TURVY---What is this?
Looks like just a pretty miss.
But turn her over and you'll find,
She is quite another kind.
First she's White and then she's Black,
Turn her over and turn her back.
Topsy that side--Betty this--
Yet complete, each little Miss."
The detail on this hard to find classic doll is lovely. Both heads indeed have the pressed, molded mask faces with lithographed features. Topsy's face is in mint condition! Betty's face is also in excellent condition with no superficial rubs to the flesh-toned coating of her mask; her lithographed facial features remain just beautiful!! (Such rubs are not unexpected as these particular doll masks are, unfortunately, very prone to rubbing. To find one of these 100+ year old dolls without such rubbing is quite rare!)
Grinning Topsy has red bows tied to her black mohair braided pigtails which are tucked into her red headscarf. Her red blouse, which matches her head scarf, is trimmed with cream banding around the sleeve and neck edges. The cream scarf she wears around her shoulders tucks into her very full, red/cream checked, gingham skirt. Topsy’s cream banding is lightly soiled and there is also some subtle fading to her red head scarf, most notably in the back. Flip her over, and....
Betty's more subtle Anglo face and her hair are lithographed. She wears the same red/cream checked gingham fabric of which both her dress and ruffled bonnet are constructed. Over her very full gingham dress, Betty should also wear a sheer, ruffled, white pinafore, however, it has been lost over time. Betty’s cream banding around each sleeve is also lightly soiled as are her hands.
Both dolls have the typical "mitten" hands of the stuffed rag dolls of this era. There are no other difficulties to report other than some tiny, stray (original) glue spots here and there. No rips, tears, or odors, and she has been stored in a smoke-free home. The 1901 Patent Bruckner Topsy Turvy doll typically carries a $650+ dollar price tag, but deductions to price have been levied to account for the minor imperfections that are noted in this doll.
The photos show it all- these two girls are a charming pair! A very difficult to find doll in such wonderful condition!
Also offered for sale is a COMPLETE 1901 Patent Bruckner Topsy Turvy doll with absolutely no soiling or fading. To view, simply type Bruckner into the SEARCH box on our homepage.
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.
The little black doll retains its original cloth diaper and swaddling blanket with arm holes. The blanket shows spotted soiling. The baby doll features a nicely hand-painted face with the bisque in excellent condition with the exception of the right foot. The top front of the right foot appears to have been chipped during production as it retains the original paint that is applied over the white bisque during the manufacturing process. The doll is marked on its upper back: "made in Japan".
The 2 piece peanut shell is quite lightweight and appears to be made of layers of heat-pressed paper that was fashioned into a peanut via a mold. The two peanut shells retain the original hinges. A 1 inch long piece of the interior paper liner has separated from the peanut shell, but the separated piece remains (see photo). These delicate peanut shells are in fine condition overall!
Perhaps originally intended as an ornament, the peanut shell still retains a hanging string at its top edge. A rarely found piece of Black Memorabilia!
These iron, plantation-made, 19th century shackles were once used on a Georgia plantation in Jones County, Georgia. They remain all-original and untouched with fourteen hefty chain links, measuring a total of 19.75 inches in length. The key is original to the shackle set. It slides easily into the lock, but I am hesitant to force turn it to unlock the mechanism. I will leave that determination to the next owner.
An utterly horrible, tangible testament to the malevolence of slavery.
The anonymous Middle Passage Museum benefactor from Georgia kept this particular shackle set aside from those items he had planned to donate to the Middle Passage Museum due to the skilled form and construction the shackles demonstrate. His collecting sojourn began many years ago--in the early 1950's-- before the collecting field of Black Americana ever became mainstream or even socially or politically acceptable.
Also currently offered for sale and priced separately is a set of 19th century, hand-made, extraordinarily small, child slave shackles from a plantation in Americus, Georgia. This set, as well, has been de-accessioned from the personal collection of the museum's Georgia benefactor. Additionally offered are a fabulous, 19th century set of Louisiana Slave Ship shackles, and an ultra-rare, 19th century, slave rattle shackle out of the Charleston, South Carolina area -- all very atypical and extraordinary finds! Please type the word "shackles" in the search box on our home page to find these sets of shackles.
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."
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 dressed in ruffled, red skirts emblazoned with the words “GOLD DUST”, busily scrubbing the front porch and the kitchen in a vigorous attempt at “Spring Cleaning”. The colors featured in this trolley sign are just stunning—greens, pale peachy-colored orange, pale blue, and yellows with white apple blossoms and red tulips flowering in profusion!! To the left of the Gold Dust Twin scrubbing the front porch, sits a large box of Gold Dust Washing Powder. The advertisement proclaims in black-outlined, peachy-orange lettering: “For Spring House Cleaning”.
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 a bit faded—which is inaccurate! The sign is free of rips or tears although it does have two, early, fold-creases – one running from top to bottom of the sign along the left side of the pail and between the “O” and “L” in “GOLD” and the other vertical crease on the very right edge of the sign, running through the stove in the kitchen to the “T” in “DUST”. The creases are very unobtrusive and do not detract from the wonderful, colorful imagery this sign conveys.
An unusual opportunity to acquire a very RARE piece of Black Americana!!
In very nice condition with minor scratches to paint here and there as seen in photos, this wind-up toy works, but can be a little fussy. Given its 100+ years of age, a bit of fussiness in the mechanism is not atypical or unexpected. Marked "TOMBO" Alabama Coon Jigger Trademark Strauss Mfg Co New York USA; US Patent May 24, 1910. The figure, itself, is 8.25 inches high.
This fabulous toy is a CLASSIC MUST-HAVE for the avid Black Memorabilia Toy collector!
The puppet, itself, is 14 inches tall and is colorfully dressed in blue and white checked pants, red shoes, orange and whit polka dot shirt, straw hat and red patterned neck scarf.
The puppet's face is composition and bears evidence of some age-related crackling as noted in photos. He has a tiny piece if composition missing on the left side of his neck partially covered by his neck scarf, so it is very difficult to notice. He bears a manufacturer stamp on the bottom of his right foot, but it is partial and unreadable. His hands which hold colorful pink straw maracas are a heavy molded plastic.
The puppet is free of stains, dirt and odor. He retains his original black strings and wooden airplane controller!
Manufactured by FOSTA Products, this highly sought after piece of Black Memorabilia is in lovely, all-original condition with very light, superficial surface wear as seen in photos; this wear is reflective of less-than-typical use. A bonus--the original recipe cards remain inside! Fabulous color and condition contribute to the wonderful visual appeal of this delightful and essential, vintage piece of early 50’s Black Americana!
Please see the YELLOW Aunt Jemima Fosta Recipe Box available as separate purchase.
This pleasant diecut is in excellent condition and comes protected in an attractive, walnut-tone decorative frame!
A sweet piece!
Mammy’s sweet little face has been hand-painted, and she has been nicely dressed in a red and white polka dot dress with linen apron and red flowered head scarf. She holds a tiny, plastic, white baby in her left arm who wears a linen gown edged with lace.
Condition of this wonderful miniature Mammy is very good! With the exception of her nipple face which has contorted a bit due to the ravages of time, she is in delightful condition!
The overall condition of the doll is quite good. It remains in all original condition. The papier mache head is solid with no chips, cracks, or broken areas, and the hand-painted details are strong with little to no loss. The torso is solid and the arms are attached with no breaks. The legs have some damage to the wood. They have split near the top and have some small wood loss, thus, are held securely in place with a string that has been tied to them. The wooden center dowels are still present, however, and they can be repaired if so desired. The clothing is all original and is still in nice condition with no tears or holes, only some light fading and discoloration from age.
Painted dark green with white lettering and border, the sign reads, “ $50 REWARD For Arrest And 30 Day Imprisonment Of Anyone Stealing From These Premises PACIFIC RURAL PRESS SERVICE BUREAU”.
Purchased years ago in California. This sign has been used, and the superficial scratches to its surface attest to this! A spot of superficial rust here and there that can be removed with a nice coat of paste wax, if so desired!
Quite visually appealing and a guaranteed conversation piece!
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.
Labeled #298, "Native Cane Grinders in Sunny Florida", the scene depicts 7 young Black men either chewing on a sugar cane stalk or holding a sugar cane cutting implement.
Printed on the back of the card is a brief history of sugar cane cultivation from its origins in 500 AD China to its introduction in the US in 1675 by the Jesuits. The harvesting process is also discussed.