Large Black Americana Chalkware Bank Boy with Watermelon

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Large Black Americana Chalkware Bank Boy with Watermelon
A wonderful and original piece of Black Americana from the late 1940s / early 1950s. This young black boy sits with his knees drawn and arms outstretched to keep the partially cut watermelon secure on his lap. He wears red overalls and a matching red cap, with the slice from the watermelon serving as the coin slot.

Stands 12" high and is in excellent condition, with only a few minor nicks in the paint, the two most notable ones being at the watermelon rim. There's not even a hole or plug for retrieving the collected cash! Pressed stamped marking on the left rear of the base which reads G.M.G. Art / Lou, Ky. with what is presumably a mold number of 186.

Researching the G.M.G. Art name, I find only one reference, in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, which states that "[i]n the post-World War II era, ... [t]he G.M.G. Art and Novelty Co. was founded by Albert Grisanti, his brother Ferdinand, and his cousin Dorina Mattei. After about ten years in this business of manufacturing plaster novelties, the three principals started Casa Grisanti. For many years, it was a premier Italian restaurant..." The author of this book section (which apparently is on the Italian community in Louisville) was Dominic Mattei, presumed to be a relative of Dorina, one of the restaurant's founders. Further research confirmed that the Casa Grisanti opened in 1959, which appears to put the G.M.G. Art start date around 1949. With the proliferation of reproductions that plagues the market, there can be little doubt of the authenticity and dating of this wonderful bank — a fabulous addition for any Black Americana collection.

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  • Brand: Unknown
  • Product Code: 01814
  • Availability: 1
  • $98.00
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Tags: 1940s, 1950s, Black Americana, Chalkware

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Customer Reviews
I received my mugs today and I could not be happier. Packaged with great care, lovely card to say thank you, and all intact. They are better than expected, with the size I really wanted, thinner rim for sipping coffee and hot chocolate. I really have a thing for pottery mugs and these are great quality and wonderful drip glaze. Flashback Alley owner Holly is wonderful to work with, great communication, extra service all along. Thank you again! I love them.
- Shelly (11-08-18)
Seller was very nice and helped me through the registration and purchase process. Love the product and arrived quickly. Thank you!
- Sharon DeQuasie (08-29-18)
The packages of Royal Doulton tea cups and dinner plates arrived in perfect condition. I could not be happier with the merchandise. Holly is personable and cares about the quality of the product as well as the packaging. Holly is a pleasure to work with and I will be shopping at Flashback Alley in the future. I'm so glad I found Flashback Alley!
- Susan (08-22-18)
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