The sides of the rattle shackle are constructed of lateral “pockets” each containing one small, iron orb that would “rattle” when the wearer would move about.
Because this particular type of rattle shackle does not have iron loops or openings to “thread” iron chain through, it would have been attached to the ankle or wrist of a very young “house slave” who worked strictly inside the plantation house and thus was under very close supervision by the plantation owner and/or family members.
All original and untouched, an utterly horrible, tangible testament to the malevolence of slavery. A VERY RARE form of rattle shackle, even more particularly so due to its very small size!
Also currently offered for sale and priced separately are three slave shackle sets de-accessioned from the Middle Passage Museum. They are a set of 19th century, hand-made, Georgia, Jone's County plantation, Adult Slave Shackles with KEY-- a very atypical find, a set of very small Child Shackles out of an Americus, Georgia, plantation, and an ultra-rare set of Slave Ship Shackles from a New Orleans, Louisiana, former slave trader estate! Please type the word "shackles" in the search box on our home page to find these sets of shackles.
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!
Measuring 4 inches long, both spoons are in excellent condition with some age-related tarnishing evident. I have chosen to leave any desired silver-polishing to the new owner, not wishing to alter the spoon's wonderful, vintage appearance!
The spoon featuring Johnny Griffin commemorates a trip to Atlanta, Georgia, and is so marked inside the spoon's bowl. Johnny is placed on top of a corn stalk; written below the corn stalk are the words, "SUNNY SOUTH". On the back side, the spoon is marked "STERLING", features the maker's mark "CH&H" and is engraved with the scripted initials, "CH".
The black gent adorned spoon is a souvenir from St. Augustine, Florida, and features a nicely detailed, labeled etching of that city's "Old City Gate" inside the spoon's bowl. It is marked on back "STERLING" and retains the maker's mark "A".
The souvenir spoons are offered at $175.00 each or may be purchased as a pair for $295.00. A wonderful addition to one's Black Americana collection!
For Johnny Griffin collectors, simply type the words "Johnny Griffin" into our homepage search box to see all of the Johnny Griffin collectibles currently offered. 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".
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!!
Interesting and extremely eye-catching graphics on both box and tins! Displays just wonderfully!
The cardboard box has some expected wear as seen in photos with small rips and abrasions, but it retains its structural integrity- still able to support the weight of twelve metal polish tins! The majority of the tins are in very, very nice condition as well with expected, slight superficial scratches here and there. Three of the twelve tins have a bit more surface wear to their lids than the others and are pictured as a trio for the buyer’s perusal---still very appealing.
A very difficult to find vintage country store display piece!
The detailing of each of the plastic Black Native Girls is quite fine featuring straw baskets atop their heads filled with plastic fruit, fuzzy black fabric hair, hand-painted facial features, movable jointed arms, and brass-colored hoop earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Each wears a sateen head covering, a lace shirt and silk cumberbunds. They are identical with the exception of fruit and cumberbund color!
The pen bodies are wooden and differ only in color of the wood. Neither pen works and it is unknown whether the ink has dried or can be coaxed back to life!
The pens are unmarked and are surmised to have never been used due to their very fine, all-original condition!
The two pens are sold as a pair for $38.00.
The doll clad in all black depicts the rarely-found, black country preacher out for an afternoon stroll with his wooden walking stick in one hand and the Holy Bible clutched in the other. The preacher wears a machine-stitched suit thoughtfully detailed with white shirt cuffs poking out of his sleeves and the white reverend's collar at his neck. His left shoe reveals a hole with a sock-covered toe poking through! The preacher's stove pipe style hat is placed snugly on his head covering most of his gray hair although his full gray facial beard features prominently. His embroidered facial features, characteristic of these dolls, are further accented with "steel-rimmed" style eye glasses. The 1.5 square inch bible actually has real pages! Also characteristic of this type of doll is a small square of asphalt shingle glued to the feet to serve as a stand. The doll's body is well-stuffed with cotton batting.
The gray-hair and bearded, chicken-toting black country gent doll is also attired in machine-stitched clothing and additionally shares a cotton-bating stuffed body, embroidered facial features, and an asphalt shingle tile stand. He wears cotton britches detailed with double knee patches and suspenders along with a blue and cream striped cotton shirt and a red and white polka dot kerchief around his neck. His hat is constructed of black-colored felt. This country gent holds a finely crafted and detailed brown chicken under his right arm, while his left hand clutches a wooden walking stick.
Two very special dolls that represent a snapshot of history, capturing the lives of poor southern black folk of the Depression era.
The dolls are priced at $255.00 each.
This circa 1920-30's Johnny Griffin item is constructed in solid brass and is known as a document clip used to hold together important papers. It remains functional for such use today or may be simply used as an attractive desk paperweight!
It is in all original condition with delightful patina- not a reproduction- no replaced parts- and measures 4 1/8 inches long x 2 3/8 inches wide. It does not retain any marking other than a mold number 5241.
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.
This is a partial document missing its beginning and end pages, therefore, the name of the deceased slave owner and the date of the document is not known. HOWEVER, the document remains EXTRAORDINARILY RARE AND UNUSUAL as it proceeds to, first, categorize the 40 slaves using the word SLAVES instead of Negroes, and secondly, proceeds to list the male slaves BY NAME, ALONG WITH NAMES OF THEIR WIVES AND THEIR CHILDREN, with monetary value listed in the right column of the document!!!! In two instances, the number of years married is also listed! Children are labeled "Girl, "Boy", or "Infant". Total value of these 40 slaves was calculated at $24,200.00
Such documents listing ENTIRE SLAVE FAMILIES BY NAME is simply not found, as slaves were viewed as property, not individuals with rights and privileges who had wives and children, the whole of which, constituted a family. It would indeed be a phenomenal piece of history to be able to identify the plantation and/or deceased slave owner as such an estate listing speaks to an uncommon, albeit, rare and unique perspective of slave ownership. Such a listing makes this particular document all the more heart-wrenching, and it certainly begs the very sad question of whether or not these slave families were allowed to remain united and intact once the final estate disposition was conducted.
The document measures approximately 8 1/2 inches wide x 14 1/8 inches long, is double-sided and is in good condition, with fold lines evident along with some age-related foxing at top and bottom fold lines. 1 3/4 tear along the fold line of the top fold at right edge. The ink color is sepia toned (likely as a result of some fading over time) on a pale blue, vertically-ruled, heavy paper. This phenomenal piece of cultural ephemera is ready for appropriate archival preservation/framing.
The listing of slaves is on the back side of the document with the front side listing farm animals, equipment and supplies along with values- "The following property set apart for the use and benefit of the farm".
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."
Mammy's head and body are actually constructed of a single wooden clothespin that was then inserted into her cotton-batting-padded skirt. Her face is hand-painted, she has a tuft of white cotton batting hair peeking out from her kerchief, and her apron is stamped in black ink "Souvenir of New Orleans".
A very sweet piece to add to one's sewing or doll collection!
One plate depicts the sale of Uncle Tom while the other plate depicts the death of little Eva. The text on each plate is in German: "Evas Todt" or in English, "The Death of Eva", and "Slavel Tom Von LeGree Gekauft" or in English, "The Slave Tom Purchased by (Simon} LeGree".
Produced for use by children as subtle educational tools, the plates measure 7 5/8 inches in diameter and are decorated with black transfer, printed, Uncle Tom vignettes.
The condition of both plates is quite superb with subtle crazing lightly evident on the backs of plates only. Also on the backs of each plate are tiny, factory-flaw imperfections where glazing failed to bind to the earthenware (represented in close-up photo). The "Sale of Uncle Tom" plate has three such imperfections on its back side along with a tiny area of bleeding of transfer color under the glaze (see close-up photo). The "Death of Eva" plate displays more evident crazing on the back as compared to the "Sale of Tom" plate along with three factory-flaw imperfections, as described above. The "Eva" plate also appears to have three, extremely fine, light, scratch lines running across the front of the plate that are most readily noticeable only in close-up photos; when one runs a finger along the lines, the imperfections are so fine that they cannot be felt and certainly represent no threat to structural integrity.
The plates were produced by the Schramberg Pottery of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, founded in 1820 by stoneware expert, Isidor Faist. The plate featuring the sale of Uncle Tom is impressed "Schramberg" while the other plate has no marking. It is evident, however, that both plates were manufactured by the Schramberg factory.
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!
This fabulous advertising piece is made of papier mache’, is painted black, and sports cream-colored lettering on both sides of the hat.
The firm of Julius Kessler Dist. Co., Inc., in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, originated in 1888 and created an American blended whiskey known for its silky smoothness!
The condition of this fab piece is very, very good given its 115++ years of age, with some areas of paint loss and wear (mostly to the top of the hat which is the surface that actually serves as the base for this piece). No structural weakness or damage to the papier mache- a very solid piece that displays beautifully!!
Measures 12”L x 9.5”W x 6”H. An eye-catching, visually appealing, early display advertisement!!
Measuring approximately 10 inches long x 8 inches wide, this extraordinary and historical document is handwritten and was executed on April 29, 1861, just 12 days after Virginia chose to secede from the Union on April 17, 1861.
The document is in excellent condition save the fold marks; this document clearly has been stored in this folded state for the past 153 years. It is suitable and ready for archival preservation- appropriate acid-free backing and matting materials with framing. In the upper left hand corner, the local stationery store's embossed imprint is visible and reads: “S & P Lawrence Superfine”.
The text of the document is as follows:
“Know all men by these presents, that A A Cowdery, of the city of Norfolk, for and in consideration of the faithful services of my negro man George Danley, do hereby emancipate and set free the said negro man George Danley and absolve him from all claim to my service; and for the consideration aforesaid hereby warrant unto him his freedom against the claim of myself and of all persons whomsoever to witness my hand and seal at the city of Norfolk, this 29th day of April 1861.”
A A Cowdery (SEAL)
“City of Norfolk, to wit
Simon S. Stubbs (sp?) a Notary Public in the city aforesaid in the state of Virginia hereby certify, that A.A. Cowdery, whose name is signed to the writing above (?) bearing (?) date on the 29th day of April 1861, has acknowledged the same before me in the city aforesaid. Given under my hand this 29th day of April 1861.”
Simon. S. Stubbs
Truly an extraordinarily rare piece of historical ephemera documenting a tiny light shining within a very dark period in American history. If only the circumstances and "story" surrounding the execution of this document were known today!
Some relevant family history that was very kindly provided by extant Cowdery-Taylor family ancestors:
Alexander Augustus Cowdery was born May 11, 1817, in Norfolk, Virginia, the son of Jonathan Cowdery of Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and Elizabeth Reddick of White Haven, England. Jonathan Cowdery was a career physician surgeon in the United States Navy, serving until his death in 1852.
Alexander Augustus Cowdery was uncle to Walter Herron Taylor, who served as Lieutenant Colonel in the Confederate Army as Aide-de-Camp and then Adjutant-General under General Robert E. Lee, becoming one of Lee's most trusted aides and an intimate friend. Taylor later authored two works documenting his wartime experiences: "Four Years With General Lee" and "General Lee, His Campaigns in Virginia, 1861-1865".
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 and music of "Dixieland" and 18 full color scenes of the industries common in the South during this period: cotton picking and production, tapping pine trees for turpentine production, watermelon farming, and sugarcaning. Of cultural and historical interest are the numerous scenes of African-American life including less-flattering stereotypical scenes. Some very politically incorrect and derogatory captioning including use of "dialect".
This darling, all-glass piece remains in superb condition-no damage of any kind! It retains its wonderful, original paper label that reads, “ Le Golliwogg, Vigny, Paris France” and features lithos of the Golli’s 2 black hands, positioned in such a way as to suggest that he his holding onto his big round belly!
The Golliwog’s head is the perfume stopper (which lifts easily out of the bottle), and the facial enameling/painting remains as clear and crisp as the day it was applied! Even his black furry hair retains its original dark tones! The Golly’s glass collar is enameled/painted white with black polka dots and his feet are accented in black. The original paper label is completely intact with 2 teeny tears along crease lines which are hard to see without magnification.
The base of the clear glass bottle is impressed, “Bottle Made in France”. This bottle contains visible "remnants" of the original perfume, and it continues to reveal the sweet scent!
Along with photos of the Golliwog perfume is also a photo of an original 1920’s magazine advertisement for Vigny Perfumes including “Le Golliwogg”. The magazine advertisement is not available for sale and is only presented to serve as an historical reference.
A very, very special piece of Black Memorabilia that has appeal to Black Americana, perfume bottle, and Golliwog collectors alike!
Also pictured here and available for sale separately--- coming from the same estate--- is a 2.50 inch, Vigny, France, Golliwog Perfume in Satin Camphor Glass dating post WWI and priced at $425.00. The satin camphor glass bottle was the VERY FIRST version of the Vigny "Le Golliwogg" perfume. Additionally available at $425.00 is a 2.25 inch clear glass Vigny Golliwogg perfume along with original, partial box. The "Golly" brand continued to be sold through the 1920-30's. Type "Vigny" in the SEARCH box on our homepage to see all French Golliwogg Perfumes! bottles!
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.