Collecting Black Memorabilia:
What exactly is Black Memorabilia? The best description is found in "Black Collectibles, Sold in America" by P.J. Gibbs. She explains "in order for an item to be considered a Black collectible, it must be made in the imagery of a Black person or it must be directly attributed to a Black artisan."
Who Collects, Values and Different Categories
Gallery of Black Collectibles:
The above description can cover a lot of stuff! From the early and, many times, offensive pieces depicting the times of slavery to today's collectibles such as Thomas Blackshear's Ebony Visions, it all fits into that catchall category of Black Memorabilia and collectibles.
This image gallery is a sampling of Black Memorabilia, hopefully with information that will help you make informed decisions
Black Memorabilia Gallery
Compare Antique vs Fake Mammy Banks:
Black Memorabilia is both a popular and, at times, costly category for collectors. Authentic antique and vintage prices have soared from published values of fifteen years ago. When prices are high, reproductions are sure to follow and cast iron toys is one category with lots of reproductions and fakes.
Compare Fake vs Authentic Mammy Banks
Black Memorabilia Cookie Jars:
Collecting Black cookie jars is popular both with Black Memorabilia collectors and cookie jar collectors, a true cross-collectible!
Beware of fakes and reproductions, especially prevalent in black cookie jars. McCoy is one of the more popular marks put on the fake jars, so check them out before bidding!
Collecting Black Cookie Jars
What's Hot and What's Not:
A Costly Addiction:
Depending on the era collected, collecting Black Memorabilia can be a costly addiction. Authentic and vintage pieces have soared over the past decade, which in turn causes more fakes and reproductions to be produced. Browsing through a price guide printed around 1990 will give a collector an idea of just how much items have increased in value. In the case of several pieces I was able to document, many times the increase was 400 - 500% percent!
Does that mean you shouldn't collect? NO, it just means collect smart. Buy from reputable sellers, ask for documentation and do your research before writing that big check.