Hand Painted & Jointed DANCING TOY or Phonograph Dancer Black Americana Circa 1920 – 1930
Made of jointed wood with painted decoration, this Black Americana HAND PAINTED AND JOINTED DANCING TOY attaches to a long rod. The toy dances as the rod is moved. Versions of this toy were attached to the spindle of a turntable above a wood platform—and with the turning of the spindle, the toy would rise and fall as if it were dancing. Circa is likely 1920 to 1930.
The toy is about 10” tall and comes with a 16 ¾” rod that attaches through his chest—hidden as a buttonhole. The painted body, face and legs are constructed from ½” or less width depth wood. The toy is painted black and wears a “tuxedo” style shirt with a red bowtie. His hat is constructed from cardboard and a red cork.
It does show use—a leg appears to have been repaired years ago with a piece of string and the red cork atop his hat is chipped.
Note: The metal flower frog shown holding the rod in the first few photos is not included in this listing.
About Black Americana: Black Americana, sometimes called Black Memorabilia refers to collectible objects and ephemera that has an African American theme. Although the theme and design of these items will often contain racist imagery can be very offensive, this is not always the case. Some black memorabilia have positive themes and reflect important events and people, such as the civil rights movement, musicians, scholars and/or members of the black community who have made a difference in our world.
In either case, it is important to remember that these items represent a very important historical record--a snapshot in time that should provide us an understanding of how black Americans were unfairly seen and treated for so many decades. While some believe that the preservation of Black Americana will only prolong racist prejudices, others collect so that history of Black America will not be forgotten by future generations. The founder of the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University in Michigan said about these items: “Use items of intolerance to teach tolerance.”
For more information and to better understand Black Americana, visit the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University.
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