Constructed of tin with tin back and a cardboard lithographed image and a glass cover, the puzzle is in all-original condition with some tiny crimps to the edges as noted in photos. (Please disregard any light or shiny spots in photos which are due to flash reflection off of the glass.)
An interesting image and a delightful piece of early Black Memorabilia!
The bisque was likely made in Japan and then shipped to the USA for assembly as a Southern States souvenir piece. In wonderful condition with just the tiniest bit of wear to the paint here and there--appears to have never been used as a pincushion.
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!
The trademark for Sharpoint is a cleverly-designed, eye-catching, broadly smiling image of an African American gent. If one looks closely, one can clearly see the words "Sharpoint Cobblers Nails" printed within the black space of the gent's mouth! A very "sharp" advertising strategy!
Sharpoint Wire Cobbler's Nails were manufactured by the Charles F. Baker Co, Boston, Massachusetts. The smaller box retains its end flap which features both the manufacturing and patent information, with the patent number corresponding to a 1933 USA Patent date. Each box amazingly still retains the original cobbler's nails!
The boxes are in very good condition considering their age and the fact that they held tiny, sharp nails for over 80 years! As stated earlier, the smaller box does retain the end flap which features manufacturing info. The larger box is missing this flap. The cover litho on each box remains very crisp and clear. Typical, age-related edge wear is noted. Please peruse all photos for condition details. The boxes have been shrink-wrapped to protect the integrity of the cardboard, and they do contain the nails.
These VERY, VERY RARELY FOUND SALESMAN SAMPLE size boxes WITH ORIGINAL NAILS are offered at $125 each, or the two boxes can be purchased as a pair for $198.00 firm.
Fabulous colored and black and white illustrations as represented by photos adorn this 26 page book! The book features the adventures of a little Southern boy who lives with his gran'mammy and gran'daddy in a log cabin set down in a cotton field.
Interior pages are in very nice condition, are clean and bright and are tightly bound together. The hard bound cloth covers are in fine condition, with slight wear to cover spine edges and book corners typical of a book of its age. There are two drip marks at spine and a few on the rear. Otherwise clean. A 1" tear at top of frontispiece is present along with a tiny one at bottom. No other damage. An early owner's name and gift date is inscribed in ink on the interior front cover. This is a first edition as later editions had the cloth board without the color pastedown. Illustrated on every page, alternating color and black and white.
A charming addition to one's Black Americana collection, and a black-themed children's book that is very rarely found in today's collectible market!!
This wonderful Depression Era piece features a whimsical 10 inch long cutout figure of a little wooden black mammy with hand-painted “surprised” mouth and eyes! She is dressed in a machine-stitched cotton costume with great yellow ric-rac accenting —a wonderful kerchief on her head, and a cute little apron.
Her feet feature two brass-finish hooks, presumably to either hang keys or pot holders from. Overall condition is fine with minor paint wear to her face as seen in photos--typical of a 70 year-old-piece.
One of my favorite hand-made pieces with true folk art appeal!
This never-used tote bears the original paper tag which states, "Handmade by African Cripple; Ematupeni / Zimele Cripple Care Centers; Durban, England".
The artistry of the wool felt, hand-appliqued cut-outs featuring a mother and her three children is further enhanced by colorful bead work which was carefully placed for symmetry in design and form! A gorgeous piece of vintage African Artwork!
Measuring 14 long x 14 wide x 2 deep, the bag retains a "brand-new" appearance with no fading, rips, stains, or other blemishes.
Please see the companion "tea cozy" offered for sale and priced separately.
Demonstrating some degree of age-related paint loss as seen in photos, Shufflin' Sam remains fully functional, shuffling his feet and twirling his blue umbrella when he is gently pulled along a flat surface. His manufacturer is unknown. On his base is written in ink, a very OLD price of $22.00!
The paint loss imperfections do not interfere with the toy's overall charming visual appeal! This exceptional toy has never been repaired or repainted; it remains in all-original condition!
Wooden toys were produced with less frequency than their tin counterparts and also tended to be less hardy, and thus, a far fewer number of them survive today as compared to the more frequently discovered tin and metal toys of the same era.
"Shufflin' Sam" is very RARELY found (The FIRST time I have ever been able to offer him!!!), and the opportunity to acquire him should not be overlooked!
Constructed of cardboard with black printing, this circa 1930-40's sign reads: " Coleman's Hotel Colored. Special Attention to Tourists. Ashland Virginia".
The sign remains in all-original condition inclusive of minor discoloration as noted in photos and small chips to the upper right and lower left corners. Print source is noted: "Herald-Progress Print, Ashland, VA".
This is NOT a reproduction, but rather a fortunate preservation. It is quite amazing that this sign has survived the many years being constructed out of cardboard. It was clearly stored away in such a manner that preserved its original condition.
Travel for African Americans during the Jim Crow period was difficult and complicated, with limited options for eating, sleeping, even procuring gasoline for the car. As a result, black-owned hotels and motels placed signs such as this one prominently in their windows. There were even special travel-guides to help African Americans plan their trips, hopefully, without incident. Victor Green's "Green Guide" provided state by state lists of colored hotels, motels and other travel-related businesses that catered to African-Americans.
Quite possibly the ONLY sign remaining extant from this particular, racially segregated establishment. An historically significant piece!
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!
Constructed of painted wood that is nailed and glued together, this vintage collectible retains quite a few of its original but yellowed-with-age grocery shopping list pages. The holder/board retains a ball of string and a stub of an older, red pencil. It also has an inkwell cut-out that would have accommodated a bottle of ink; presumably, an inkwell pen once resided beside it versus the current pencil.
The holder/board remains in all original condition with no repaint or repair. The black chef is not painted on but is a decal--all original. The pale blue paint has appropriate, minor, age-related wear as noted in photos.
Has great visual appeal and displays wonderfully!
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.
Measuring 10.75 inches wide x 8.25 inches long, the book has seen little use as evidenced by the fairly fine condition of the little boys' heads which, while providing visual interest, are primarily present to allow easy turning of each page. Given this purpose, neck creasing is expected and evident, but only one head, the fourth one, is partially ripped at the neck. Corner wear is evident as is a crease to one corner of the back cover. Front and back covers are constructed of heavy cardboard, the pages of heavier stock paper. Two areas of tiny pencil scribble are present on the front cover, one of which is a slightly larger rendition of the stick figure logo of the illustrator.
The book retains its brilliant, bright, crayon-box-like colors. The book has ten pages with alternating color and black and white illustrations as noted in photos. I did not have sufficient space to post photos of all pages, but those present are representative of overall condition.
Originally published in 1868 under the Title of “The Ten Little Indians,” this poem was used during minstrel shows, which oftentimes were traveling acts, performed by white actors in blackface following the Civil War. The following year, the poem was adapted to this overtly horrid, racist rendition, replacing the word Indians with “Nigger” in both minstrel shows, printed sheet music, and children’s nursery rhyme books. This version married the stereotypes of violence and ignorance within the African-American population with the intent of villainizing freed black males while simultaneously allowing violence acts to befall the black characters portrayed in the rhyme.
This 1942 version having changed the derogatory term nigger to that of colored (equally derogatory), also depicts a somewhat tempered portrayal of the violence befalling the characters as compared to earlier versions of the rhyme.
Ten little colored boys sitting in a line; one slid off the roof, then there were nine.
Nine little colored boys fished with worms for bait; one fell in the river, then there were eight.
Eight little colored boys flying up to heaven; one tried to parachute, then there were seven.
Seven little colored boys doing circus tricks; one teased an elephant, then there were six.
Six little colored boys found honey in a hive; one tried to pet a bee, then there were five.
Five little colored boys heard a lion roar; One didn't run in time, then there were four.
Four little colored boys started out to ski; One hit a snowman, then there were three.
Three little colored boys cooked some chicken stew; One ate the pot-ful, then there were two.
Two little colored boys playing with a gun; Thought it wasn't loaded, then there was one.
One little colored boy thought it would be fun to settle down and marry, then there was none.
He had a family of colored boys and then, before very long, there were ten of them again.
To view other versions of this book presently available for separate purchase, please type the words "ten little" into the SEARCH box on our home page.
Constructed of metal with green printing, this circa 1920's sign reads: "HARLEM, Austin's Only Exclusive Colored Theatre, Telephone 83?5?33".
The sign remains in all-original condition inclusive of two holes designed to facilitate the posting of the sign upon a surface.
Quite possibly the ONLY sign remaining extant from this particular, racially segregated establishment. An historically significant piece!
Constructed with care and skill, Mammy's floral dress, white apron and white under-pantaloons were neatly machine stitched. Her facial features--- eye brows, eyes, nose, and lips --- are hand-stitched with embroidery thread. She has yarn-constructed black curls peeking out from under her red and white polka dot head scarf. Her arms, torso and head are stuffed with cotton or cloth scraps with the torso securely tucked over the top of the clothespin and into the pantaloons. Her black-painted clothespin legs are hidden under her long skirt.
A very sweet little doll in wonderful all-original condition-- no repairs, rips, stains or odor. Displays quite nicely!!
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 Banjo Player and is actually quite rare and very difficult to find in today's collectible market, likely because there were not as many Banjo players crafted as opposed to the more commonly found Vargas cotton pickers or praline sellers.
Vargas wax figures are distinctly characterized by their interesting but highly exaggerated facial features. The Banjo Player wears a tan hat with black band, a green flowered neck scarf, a red and yellow patterned shirt and textured, loose-fitting black pants- with all but the hat constructed of actual cloth fabric that was coated with a fine layer of clear wax to stiffen them. He supports all of his weight on his back left leg while propping his right leg up upon an actual wooden log as he plays! His wax body is internally supported by a wire frame through which the figure is attached to the wooden base via his left leg.
This wonderful figure is in very fine condition for his 85+ years of age with the following imperfections: missing left-hand fingers (an unfortunate, but extremely common consequence of time), and the most obvious imperfection being a missing section of his hat brim. It is evident that the banjo has been re-glued into position over the years---a situation which does not surprise me given that the banjo is only supported by the left hand and propped upon the right leg--not a very secure position from a constructional viewpoint.
Regardless of his minor imperfections, this VARGAS figure would be classified as in FINE condition. Wax is a very delicate and fragile medium in which to work, and some loss is expected given that these figures are fast approaching 100+ years of age. The banjo player's brilliantly executed face with open mouth filled with song, his realistic and intact banjo complete with all original strings, and his incredibly natural and realistic pose remains a most delightful snapshot of C1920 New Orleans African American cultural history!
Please note- photos were taken in interior natural light. The first two photos best represent true, actual color. Any white or light spots on the figure are a result of light glare and are not reflective of discoloration or fading.
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.