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!
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.
Ready for framing, this unusual piece of history would be a fabulous addition to one's collection of slavery or medical artifacts. It measures approximately 7 inches wide x 1.34 inches high and would look fabulous double-matted in an exquisite frame.
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."
In lovely condition with age crackling to the backside of the seashell, this stunning piece appears to have never been used for its original purpose as a hanging wall planter. The black paint is in impeccable condition and any white dots that appear in photos are the result of light reflection off of teeny glaze imperfections and are NOT chips, rubs or scratches to the surface. The gold stippling to the seashell is perfect!
The piece has a hole in the back to facilitate wall-mounting or it may be easily displayed on a shelf.
A very seldom found piece of vintage Black Memorabilia that is truly stunning in appearance!
This circa 1920-30's Johnny Griffin inkwell is constructed in solid brass and has a hole for both placement of pen and glass insert for ink. This piece is offered without the pen and glass ink insert.
It is in all original condition with delightful patina- not a reproduction- no replaced parts- and measures 6 inches long x 3.25 inches wide and 2 1/2 inches high. It does not retain any marking other than a mold number 4557.
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.
The folder is undated and was never mailed. Some edge wear evident at corners and some slight separation at the seams of individual cards. 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 of industry common in the South during this period: cotton picking and production, tapping pine trees for turpentine production, watermelon farming, Razorback Hog farming and sugarcaning. All photos feature African-American laborers.
Prominent facial features- eyes and brows, nose, cheekbones, lips and teeth -and tight curly hair rise from the surface of the bowl. The bowl is rather heavy for its diminutive size and has no markings. Measures 4 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches high. Condition is excellent with some tarnishing that may be cleaned if desired; our preference was to offer this 140+ year old piece in as found condition.
An outstanding and highly collectible offering to add to one's advanced Black Memorabilia collection!
The female doll depicts a black mammy out for a stroll with black umbrella in hand. This gentlewoman wears a red and white polka dot kerchief on her head covering most of her gray hair and has embroidered facial features – 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 has (not uncommonly) lost hers long ago, but a bit of the original shingle is still attached to the soles of both shoes. Clothing, with the exception of her neutral-striped knit-fabric sweater, is machine-sewn cotton with careful detailing right down to the red hankie poking out of her apron pocket. She also wears gold hoop earrings! Her body, which is well-stuffed to be anatomically correct, is black cotton fabric stuffed with cotton batting.
The white haired and bearded male country gentleman doll is similarly attired in machine-sewn cotton britches with a patch at the knee and suspenders along with a tan cotton striped shirt and red kerchief around his neck. His hat is constructed of cranberry-colored felt. Under his right arm, he holds a nicely crafted chicken that has sustained a tiny bit of fabric loss to its face. His left arm once held a wooden walking stick which is long gone, but alternatively, he now uses his free hand to hold the arm of his lovely lady! His asphalt shingle is also missing with remnants evident of it present on the soles of his shoes.
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 $225.00 each, or they may both be purchased as a pair at the discounted price of $395.00. Please note that no further advertised discount is applicable to this special paired pricing offer.
In very nice condition with minor scratches to paint here and there as seen in photos, this wind-up toy works, but the mechanism does have the tendency to stick a little. Marked J. Chein.
A must-have for the avid Black Memorabilia Toy collector!
The 3 dolls were grouped together in a creative display that supported the sale of Aunt Jemima Pancake products! Their costumes are all identical and were hand-stitched and made especially for the planned Aunt Jemima display.
Each of the dolls remain intact inside an encasement of glue and paper wrapping and are attached to home-made, plaster-of-Paris-based, rectangular platforms. The platforms were created in 1958 as is written on the bottom of each base, and the dolls remained in place until the store closed in the early 1980s.
The large doll is 11 inches tall and evidences age-crackling to her composition face and hands; her right hand is actually missing a small piece of composition (see photo). Black hair peeks out from inside her checkered head scarf framing her sweet face!
The doll on the left side is the shortest, measuring 5 3/4 inches high. She is in fine condition and her eyes are placed in an interesting sideward glance.
The doll on the right measures 6 1/4 inches tall. Her composition is in fine condition with the exception to some small loss at the very top of her head (see photo).
Certainly a very visually appealing trio!
The group of 3 may be purchased for $265, or they may be purchased individually--the small dolls are priced at $80 each, and the large doll is priced at $135. Please email us stating which doll you wish to purchase so that we can customize your order form.
All cloth and done in a great, red paisley fabric, this darling Black Mammy bag features an interesting, smiling face! Due to its small size, this bag would have held undies or stockings or also may have been placed on one's bed and used to hold one's nightie during the day!
Very sweet and displays nicely!
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 good condition, as evidenced by the photos which clearly detail the flaws she has acquired over her 100+ years of existence. The body of the tin has minor paint loss to the litho as seen in photos, minor and subtle surface scratching (see photos), and small areas of denting to the top of mammy's head (see photo) and to her base near the cigarette pack protruding from her pocket (see photo). The body has some light soiling and has the appropriate wear at contact points. The tin has no repaint but does have some light, interior rusting to the interior of the base as well as a couple of tiny size holes which can be seen in the 12th photo (tiny holes show up as white spots in the photo). The base was held up to the bright, outdoor light to illuminate the holes- which actually make them appear more prominent than they actually are!
The base of the tin is labeled "made in factory # 42, in the 2nd District of Virginia".
**The depth of color is 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 only the second Mayo Cut Plug tin that I have had the pleasure of offering for sale in my 20+ years specializing in Black Americana! The tin displays beautifully!!
Great condition with some corner wear, but please note that all pages have completely separated from the center seam so are no longer in "booklet" form. No missing pages though!
A difficult item to find in today's market!
Marked "Copyright 1924", in the lower left hand corner, this extremely hard-to-find advertising piece measures 10.5 inches wide x 13.5 inches high. Colorful and visually interesting, the heavy cardboard diecut depicts an engaging Uncle Wabash serenely strumming his banjo on his front porch! Guess the message to the consumer was, "Eat one of Uncle Wabash's cupcakes to experience your own little slice of heaven and serenity!"
Condition of this charming piece of Black Historical ephemera is quite good given its 80+ years of age!! Old water staining to bottom of the diecut does little to detract from the piece. Crease line to one cupcake edge. Appropriate age foxing to back.
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.
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!