Jolly N*g*er Piggy Bank (No Hat)

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Identifier

TBAFB0020

Title

Jolly N*g*er Piggy Bank (No Hat)

Description

Castiron coin bank made to resemble blackface caricature of a black person. The figure has an arm outstretched which acts as a lever. When raised, the arm 'opens' the figure's mouth (by removing the 'tongue') and causes its eyes to roll back in its head. The figure wears a red buttondown shirt with a golden bowtie. Its skin is painted almost completely black, with large red lips and white teeth. On the back of the figure is a safety lever, which operates the arm mechanism as well. On the figure's back the words "Jolly Nigger Bank" are raised and painted white. The bottom bears the manufacturer's name: John Harper & Co., England.

Creator

John Harper & Co

Type

Metal Sculpture

Relation

Facing Blackness is a multimedia exhibition that takes the public through the obscure history of portraying Black people from the colonial period to contemporary society. Using unique archive material and visual art, we show how anti-black racism became part of the Dutch 'cultural archive' and our everyday ideas, customs and utensils. On the other hand, the exhibition shows how there has always been 'everyday resistance' to various forms of racism and how Black people themselves have given and continue to give meaning to their culture and identity.

Source

The Black Archives

Format

Piggy Bank

Subject

Black Caricature

Coverage

Buttondown Shirt, Bow Tie

Date

c.1880-1890?

Physical Dimensions

11x13x15

Country of Production

England

Place of Production

Willenhall

Keywords

Piggy bank, Caricature, Jolly Nigger

Rightholder

John Harper & Co

Archived By

Richard Weaver

Oral History

Doing research during the archiving process - Richard discovered that this object was actually manufactured at an industrial estate close to his hometown of Walsall in a nearby town called Willenhall.

Bibliography

https://www.prices4antiques.com/Mechanical-Bank-John-Harper-Jolly-Black-Man-Rolling-Eyes-D9816706.html ; http://www.historywebsite.co.uk/Museum/locks/gazetteer/harper.htm ; https://www.mechanicalbanks.org/sy/schreckinger-text.htm

Citation

John Harper & Co, “Jolly N*g*er Piggy Bank (No Hat),” The Black Archives, accessed February 6, 2023, https://collection.theblackarchives.nl/items/show/3454.
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