A fantastic recent estate find. A set of 6 black - African American Jazz Musicians with their jazz instruments. The set includes a drummer, a lead singer, piano player, saxophone and trombone players, and a bass player. The set is said to be from Detroit Jazz Club in the 1920s, and was possibly modeled after Duke Ellington's band. I was told by the previous owners, that the figures were displayed in the windows of the club advertising life jazz performances.
In all of my research, I could not find another set of figures like this, so the set can potentially be unique or one of a kind. In any case, it is certainly exceptionally rear, and historically significant for the collectors of black Americana and early classical jazz memorabilia. The figures are quite large, measuring up to 22 or 57 cm in height for the stand up musicians.The figures are very heavy, weighing several pounds each. They are likely made from either plaster or other molded material. The figures are intricately hand painted and carved, with intricate details of facial expression, folds of the clothes, and instruments. The set was obviously made before the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s, with caricature-like depiction of black facial expressions. The drummer is equipped with a full free standing set of percussion instruments. The stands and cymbals are made from brass. In spite of my careful examination, I was unable to locate any markings or signatures.
There are multiple vintage photographs of Duke Ellington's band in Detroit, which strongly resembles listed set. The item "ANTIQUE HAND PAINTED BLACK AMERICANA JAZZ BAND FIGURE FIGURINE DETROIT 1920s" is in sale since Sunday, August 23, 2015. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Cultures & Ethnicities\Black Americana\Figures & Sculptures". The seller is "artiquarius" and is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
This item can be shipped to United States, to Canada, to United Kingdom, to Germany, to Japan, to Australia.