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Lawn Jockey statue Lantern

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Lawn Jockey statue hand sign

Lawn Jockey statue base sign

Streamlined Black-face Jock

Soon after newspapers hit America's stoops announcing the end of World War 2 in 1945, mail order catalogs advertising newly redesigned jockey hitching post reproductions followed, then came the jockeys! One such reproduction(stamped on base McKittrick Foundry or White Oak Foundry) featured a new "smiley face" jock- all of the reproductions were sold configured as "white face", as there were no actual black horse racing jockeys(the last African-American rider to win the Kentucky Derby was in 1902, and almost all had vanished from the sport by 1904, never to reappear). Although the African-American horse racing jockey disappeared, figurines based on historical African-American "Legends of the Turf" did reappear in the memorabilia section of post-war mail order catalogs alongside the new style white-face jockeys.

While there were some full-size original antique cast iron black-face jockeys still on display in 1946, the main reason for the revitalization of the concept of a black horse racing jockey in an era of "no black horse racing jockeys" can probably be attributed to sales of new miniature lead figurines depicting a black horse racing jockey figure sold through mail-order catalogs as bookends or lamps. These sleek, elongated post-war "black lawn jockey" figurines were extremely popular as horse racing gifts and many survive today as prime examples of mid-century Black Americana and "kitsch". Like many reproductions, the new lead figurines were based on an original 19th century chalkware figure of a smiling black jockey holding a riding crop.

original chalkware and reproduction lead jockey figures
ABOVE: Meyers Co., Lexington, KY 1948 ad featuring black-face jockey lamp and bookends, with examples. Note that the ad describes the 9-inch tall figurine as a "hitching post" instead of a "jockey".
Example 1: Original c1900 chalkware black-face jockey figure on trapezoid base holding riding crop.
Example 2: Early c1920 lead reproduction of chalkware figure.
Example 3: Streamlined c1948 lead reproduction figure of Example 2 on square block or "cotton bale" base holding ring.
Example 4: Example 3 configured as a lamp(with horseshoe finial).
Click on picture for larger view.

BELOW: Closeup of c1900 chalkware jockey and watercolor image of 19th century African-American horse racing jockey Isaac Murphy(1856-1896).
The figurine is most likely a depiction of Murphy, the most prominent jockey of the era.
Click on picture for larger view.

closeup of 1890s chalkware figure jockey figure isaac murphy statue

Isaac Murphy(1856-1896)

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The first rider to win 3 Kentucky Derbies, African-American jockey Isaac Murphy won 628 of the 1412 races he entered in the years following the civil war, a record that many racing authorities consider unmatched in the history if the sport. Born Isaac Murphy Burns in Kentucky, he dropped his last name when he became a jockey.
At Chicago's Washington Park race course, Murphy won four of the first five runnings of the American Derby in 1884, 1885, 1886, and 1888. Murphy also won the Suburban Handicap at Belmont in 1889 on Salvator. Riding Salvator in 1890 at Sheepshead Bay, New York, Murphy beat the great jockey Ed "Snapper" Garrison.
Murphy became the regular rider on Salvator, who was the leading thoroughbred of the US until the great Man O'War came on the scene 25 years later. In the 1892 racing season at Saratoga, Murphy won 49 of his 51 races.
Murphy won his first Kentucky Derby on Buchanan in 1884 under 110 pounds. In 1890, with weights set at 118 pounds, he won the Derby for a second time on Riley. The winner's purse that year was $5460, a record amount for that time and one that was not exceeded for 23 years. Murphy established another record in 1891 when he captured a second consecutive Derby win and his third victory at that stake, this time on Kingpin.
Murphy was striken with pneumonia in 1896 at died at the age of 40, leaving an estate of $50,000. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Lexington, Kentucky.

19th century "Legends of the Turf" African-American jockey tribute edition

Our "Isaac Murphy tribute" black-face jock is redesigned in a 1940's "streamline moderne" style and simplified with a "3-color" paint job. This black-white-red color scheme can be seen in many black jockeys of the late 1940's.

The Streamlined Black-face Lawn Jock is virtually maintenance-free and ages gracefully. Just like other yard artwork, just hose him down when you're watering the flowers or set the spinkler to hit him every now and then and he'll look great for years.

The Streamlined Black-face Lawn Jock is fully-painted with red, white, and black oil-based enamels- the same kind of paint used on farm machinery and little red wagons that are used a lot and face the elements. Paint is chip, fade, and UV resistant and will last for many years. The statue itself is made of non-rusting Aluminum so it too will last for generations.

A ring is included for the Streamlined Black-face Jock's hand, but these Jocks also work well with our optional oil and solar lanterns(lantern sold separately-
CLICK HERE for more information).

View of Streamlined Black-face Jock


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CLICK HERE to view Lawn Jockey dimensions

Streamlined Black-face Lawn Jockey Statue #7672

Wrought Aluminium Lawn Jockey Statue on pedestal.

Jock is primed with standard automotive primer and then painted with 2 coats of standard oil-base enamel paint in the following color scheme as shown above:

  • Gloss White: Pants, eyes
  • Gloss Sunrise Red: Vest, cap, sleeves and cuffs
  • Gloss Black: Eyeballs, face and hands, boots and base.

  • Includes removable ring for hand and repainting instructions for future reference.

    $600 with FREE SHIPPING INCLUDED(to continental U.S. only).
    CLICK HERE for international and Hawaii shipping.

    Aluminum doesn't rust, and is lightweight. Unit is hollow.

    DIMENSIONS: approx. 46" tall including pedestal base. Pedestal base is 13" x 13" x 7". Shipping wt. 60 lbs.

    Arrives fully assembled in a cardboard box by FedEx Ground.

    Approx. time from order placement to delivery: 1 week.

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