International Golliwog Collectors Club Newsletter - Issue No. 8

Golli Sells Scents by Bll Boyd

About ten years ago I put together an ad in the antique Trader Weeekly asking for Golli items. I had few response. However, one lady from the St, Louis, Missouri are phoned to tell me she had two Golliwog perfume bottles. The price was right, so I took both of them. The bottles turned out to be the larger ones, being six inches tall from the bottom of the bottle to the top of the Golli's hair. One still had the original perfume in it. Both had lost their labels. Prior to this I was not even aware of Golli perfume as little had been written about Golli.

Not long after the larger bottles came my way, a local collector, searching for Czechoslovakian collectibles, saws my ad and contacted me, saying she had a golliwogg perfume bottle to trade for anything Czech. Luckily, I had a multicolored vase marked "made in Czech." And we made a trade. This bottle was three and half inches tall and retained its original label.

Then I received a letter from a lady in Santa Monica, CA responding to an ad I had placed in the Union Jack, a North American only national British newspaper. In the letter the woman stated she had a perfume bottle for sale that she had purchased while on a trip to Mexico city in 1925. I expressed an interest and stated that once she had determined a price she should get back to me. Months rolled with no word, but then one day the phone rang and the lady said "you probably don't remember, but some time back I offered you a Golliwogg perfume bottle…". The end result was she sold me the bottle for thirty dollars, and when it arrived I was surprise to find that the bottle was still in it's original presentation box, and shelf paper wrapping, complete with "Golliwogg" label. It is two and half inches tall, was never opened and is in mint condition. The lady said it had been in her cedat chest since it was purchased.

Many months after that happy experience a local fiend offered me one of the later Golliwogg perfume bottled with the plastic art deco top. It is six and a half inches tall and similar to the one illustrated in Enchanting Friends by Dee Hockenberry. My bottle does not have the ribbed design down the front, but has a foot on each side. Some time later my friend found the original box the bottle came in, so I was very luck to get that also.

In Enchanting Friends there are photos of three different Golliwog perfume stoppers (page 139). On the same page, at the top, there is an advertisement for the "Vigny" perfume.

I have not opened either of the bottles which contain perfume, but I have sniffed near the caps, and have determined that the scent is pretty strong, and something like the world famous 'Evening in Paris'.

One might think that Golli would be a peculiar motif for a perfume, but at the time it was produced, black entertainers were very popular on the Paris night scene. The ad says the perfume is "so charming indiscreet!", harking back to the times when it was fun to be just a bit naughty! Twenties flappers would find it the 'in thing to do' to have a Golli perfume on their dressing table.

Some of the perfume bottles were frosted glass, and some were clear. The earlier design had a sealskin hair. One is lucky to find examples with the original paper label, as the glue on many dried and the labels fell off. The perfume was produced by "de Vigny' of Paris, France. My smallest bottle has the registration number 22543 T.S.S.A.

I am happy to say I sold the original larger bottles I first bought for the tidy sum $400, and that's more than I paid for all the perfumes in my collection. Nice cents for the scents.

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