Luzianne Coffee & Tea Black Figural Mammy ~ Black Americana Pottery Cookie Jar For Sale
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LUZIANNE COFFEE & TEA BLACK Figural MAMMY ~ BLACK AMERICANA POTTERY COOKIE JAR
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THIS MONTH, WE ARE PLEASED TO OFFER MANY FINE ANTIQUE AND COLLECTIBLE ARTIFACTS AND RARITIES FROM MISSISSIPPI AND LOUISIANA ESTATES AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS
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STANDING AN IMPRESSIVE 12" TALL, WITH A 6.5 x 6.75" OVERALL BASE, THIS POTTERY COOKIE JAR IS IN THE MANNER OF THE TRADITIONAL LUZIANNE COFFEE & TEA MAMMY FIGURE OF THE 1950s ERA.
HARD FIRED GLAZE ON WHITE BASE POTTERY, FEATURING A RED DRESS, WHITE APRON WITH RED POLKA DOTS, WHITE BLOUSE AND WHITE SCARF WITH RED POLKA DOTS.
MEDIUM BROWN AFRICAN AMERICAN SKIN TONES, WITH DETAILED EYES AND EYEBROWS. SHE HOLDS A GREY TRAY, WITH A DOUBLE COFFEE POT IN THE MANNER OF BLUE GRANITWARE, WITH A BLUE CUP & SAUCER ALONGSIDE.
SOME CRAZING NOTED ON THE BLOUSE AND APRON, WITH DISCOLORED, EXTENSIVE CRAZING ON THE INSIDE BASE.
OTHERWISE, FINE OLD VINTAGE CONDITION, BEST NOTED BY EXAMINING THE IMAGES OFFERED.
HISTORY OF LUZIANNE COFFEE & TEA
Wm. B. Reily & Company Inc.'s primary division is Reily Foods, a subsidiary which owns and operates Luzianne Blue Plate Foods. Its signature products are Luzianne teas and coffees, CDM coffees, and Blue Plate mayonnaise, but the company also offers an extensive line of the other labeled food products, including, for example, Bean Cuisine pasta and beans, Abita Springs bottled water, JFG Coffee, Herb Magic No-Oil Salad Dressing, Wick Fowler's Two Alarm Chili and Taco Seasonings, La Martinique salad dressings, Carroll Shelby's Original Texas Chili, and Swans Down cake flour, the nation's number one selling cake flour. In addition, the company owns and operates Standard Coffee Service, one of the largest office coffee-services in the nation. The private, low-profile company, owned by the Reily family from the start, is now headed by William B. Reily III, grandson of the founder.
What would become Reily Foods was started in December 1902 by William B. Reily, who, up through the turn of the previous century, had operated a wholesale grocery business in Monroe, Louisiana. Reily, believing that he could create a profitable coffee roasting and grinding business, moved from the northern part of the state and set up shop in New Orleans. It was there that Reily and his workers began blending, roasting, and packaging coffee for the local market with its distinct Creole culture and culinary traditions.
At the time it was common for coffee merchants to also sell tea, and in 1903 Reily began to sell blended teas under the Luzianne name, a play on state's name. Reily was a dedicated coffee merchant, however, and he basically sold tea blended in accordance with traditional recipes as a convenience for his customers.
In 1909, the company moved its headquarters to 640 Magazine Street, a site it would use into the next century. At that time, the company's focus remained on roasting and grinding coffee beans for various blends of coffee as well as producing coffee blended with chicory, a traditional favorite among New Orleans' residents. A development that helped expand Reily's business was the growing popularity of iced tea, particularly in the South, where summer heat encouraged its consumption. By World War I, iced tea had become so popular that Americans were purchasing iced tea sets consisting of tall glasses, long spoons, and lemon forks.
After the war, in 1919, what would become a division of Reily's company, the Standard Coffee Company, emerged as one of the first concerns in the home service industry. Standard initially delivered coffee, tea, spices, and a variety of household products to homes across the country.
Another Reily product came into existence in the 1920s when J.B. Geiger, a chemical engineer working for a subsidiary of Wesson-Snowdrift Oil, led a research team that began producing mayonnaise under the Blue Plate name in 1925 at a plant not too distant from Reily's operation. The development occurred after Geiger's company bought out another company with an eye to producing mayonnaise, which, by that time, had become a popular spread and dressing. As a division of Wesson Snowdrift, the company made the mayonnaise in a warehouse in Gretna, Louisiana, just across the Mississippi River from New Orleans, but in 1941 it moved to a new art deco building on the South Jefferson Davis Parkway in New Orleans.
The popularity of iced tea continued to grow during the years of Prohibition and into the 1930s, thanks in part to the progress of rural electrification and the ready availability of ice. Although not altogether commonplace in the Depression years, refrigerators were gradually entering the home market, and they helped increase the consumption of non-alcoholic cold drinks. Encouraged by iced tea's growing appeal, in 1932 Reily began mixing and brewing its own unique, proprietary tea blended for specifically for preparing iced tea and selling it under the established Luzianne label.
In the post-World War II years, Reilly undertook some expansion through the acquisition of other companies. In 1965, it purchased JFG Coffee, a Knoxville, Tennessee company that had been founded by James Franklin Goodson in 1882 as a wholesale grocery company in Morristown, Tennessee. At first, Goodson had distributed coffee that he bought from the Arbuckle Coffee Company in New York, but he was not pleased with its quality and began roasting and grinding his own. Thereafter, James Goodson's son, Floyd P. Goodson, produced the regionally popular coffee as the JFG Coffee Company, and, in the 1920s, moved the business to Knoxville. Because JFG also made and marketed a mayonnaise in Tennessee and North and South Carolina, Reily, virtually by default, entered the mayonnaise business.
In 1967, Reily's Standard Coffee division began delivering coffee to various business offices, not just private households, thereby becoming one of the nation's first coffee service companies. Over the new few decades, it would also become the largest, and in addition to servicing business offices and plants, the company expanded into the food service industry, adding restaurants, delis, diners, fast foot chains, convenience stores, healthcare facilities, and theme parks and recreation centers to its growing clientele.
Oddly enough, Reily Foods did not really become widely known as a tea company until after it had bought Blue Plate from Hunt-Wesson in 1974 and, the following year, created Luzianne Blue Plate Foods. The Blue Plate signature product was Blue Plate Mayonnaise, a product that at the time was only sold in a half-dozen southern states. Its popularity was the major appeal of the deal. However, as a result of the sale, Jim McCarthy, Reily's future president, left Hunt-Wesson to go with Reily, where he was soon looking for ways to expand that company's business. Employees told him that Reily made the best iced tea there was, but outside of a small marketing area of five states, nobody knew about it.
In order to broaden its market, Reily Foods hired an advertising agency, which, with Burl Ives as Luzianne's spokesman, launched a television advertising campaign in 1978 that continued into the mid-1980s. The campaign successfully created a national market for Luzianne tea, soon making it second only to Lipton tea.
COLLECTING AFRICAN AMERICAN MEMORABILIA
For the last quarter-century, those interested in African American history have flocked to one of the long-neglected areas of American collectibles: African Americana, also known as black memorabilia. A daguerreotype of abolitionist Frederick Douglass; notable diplomas from the early history of black universities; a rare rifle carried by a black Civil War soldier; a quilt sewn by African American grandmothers: these are just some of the objects that institutional collectors and individuals, both black and white, currently are seeking out.
Black memorabilia consist of the artifacts that accompanied African Americans on their journey of survival and achievement," says appraiser Philip J. Merrill, of Baltimore's Nanny Jack & Company, an organization devoted to discovering and appreciating African American history and culture through collecting, researching and preserving black memorabilia. "The seemingly commonplace objects that accompanied Africans and their descendants in America can often tell the story of our sorrows, our defeats and our victories, in ways that no history book can."
Philip says that the demand for these objects has risen steadily since the 1970s. Some of the interest was fueled by Alex Haley's Roots, the book and then television series about African American slavery. As African Americans sought out their genealogical past, they also sought the objects that have survived that past, Philip notes.
Notable black celebrities such as television star Oprah Winfrey, musician Branford Marsalis and actor Whoopi Goldberg have begun to collect African Americana. Public institutions, such as the New York Public Library and Duke University, have also focused on the black memorabilia as part of their collections. This increased demand and the improved exchange of information about these objects on the Internet have boosted prices. A daguerreotype of famed black abolitionist Frederick Douglass recently sold for $184,000; another of the white abolitionist John Brown sold for $129,000.
However, many more common objects are on the lower end of the price scale, such as early issues of the NAACP magazine Crisis edited by W.E.B. DuBois. One issue can sell for $100-$150. A single pomade canister, sold by millionaire hair-care entrepreneur Madame C.J. Walker to those who wanted to moisturize their hair, can sell for $500.
"The black memorabilia collecting locomotive is running full steam," Philip says. "And it's been chugging along strong since the early 1980s."
Many collectors have sought objects from the most painful chapter of African American history: the slavery period. Some of the most powerful objects from this era are: slave tags, which slaves were required to wear as identification; shackles, whips and collar braces; and Certificates of Freedom, paper documents granted to slaves who were freed.
These two slave tags were found with a metal detector near Charleston, South Carolina, and brought to ANTIQUES ROADSHOW in Providence, Rhode Island. These tags, like many others, show the year they were made, the slave's occupation, such as house servant or porter, and an ID number that was stored at the local treasurer's office.
"These were used to distinguish slaves from run-away slaves," Philip explains. "You have to remember that there were slaves up and down the Atlantic seaboard trying to escape their owners."
In the past, slave tags were almost always found in South Carolina. "Now they are popping up all over the South," says Philip, discoveries that indicate that the tags were manufactured throughout the pre-Civil War South.
The collecting of slave objects is controversial, though, as some critics argue that collectors are making money off what are tragic and often sacred objects in African American history. However, Philip - a collector of black memorabilia himself - defends the practice. He maintains that the history of African Americans, including the objects in that history, can be an inspiring testimony to the strength of the human spirit in the face of seemingly overwhelming adversity.
"Collecting is a way to learn about the past, preserve the past and to never allow the atrocities to take place again," Philip argues, adding that the display of objects helps do this. "Nothing is more powerful than seeing these authentic objects. A KKK robe speaks volumes, as does a picture of a boy with a noose around his neck. The public needs to deal with the truth and these objects are an important part of American history.
"For too long, the issues of slavery and other parts of African American history have been pushed under the rug," Philip continues. "These objects are a powerful way to share a facet of our history. The more you're able to educate and expose people to the truth of the past, the better off we'll all be. What better way to learn about the past than through its objects."
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Luzianne Coffee & Tea Black Figural Mammy ~ Black Americana Pottery Cookie Jar: $203