A black Americana toy is a toy or doll with one or more persons from African-American origin.
Representations, both stereotypical and realistic, fashioned into playthings, date back centuries.
More accurate, mass-produced depictions are manufactured as toys and dolls for children and nowadays these toys and dolls are adult collectibles.
Several 19th-century European toy companies preceded American toy companies in manufacturing toys with African-American persons
Today there are toy collectors they collect special the “Black Americana toys”.
And there are a lot of these toys, the most toys were made in the late 1800s till the early 1900s.
Mostly from American manufacturers but by European manufacturers to.
One of them was the Paris toy manufacturer Fernand Martin.
He made only a few of these toys but they are rare and expensive to very expensive.
Fernand Martin traveled a lot and has visited the United States to, and when he was “on the road“ he looked at toys produced by foreign companies that he encountered at fairs and in shops.
He must have noticed that some toys were equipped with African-Americans.
With his Kodak camera he photograph people in their daily activities and probably he saw African-American people at work to.
With the knowledge and the pictures he made, he traveled back to France and worked out his ideas and designed and produced his toys.
The first one was a lead spinning top from 1885 called Les Valseurs (the dancing couple).
The second one was the Bamboula ( dancer) from 1901
The third one was the Le Garson De Cafe from 1901 ( the waiter)
The fourth is the L’autopatte from 1910 ( black boy on a cart with fruit )
And the last one is the L’autopatte made in 1920 bye the Fernand Martin successor Victor Bonnet and is in principe the same one as the fourth one only another wheels and another key wind up.
The pictures from the Bamboula and the Le Garson de Cafe are courtesy Bertoia Auctions