This vintage Art Deco dress or fur clip can only be a figural depiction of the fantastic, outrageously talented Josephine Baker (1906 - 1975). Baker was an American-born French entertainer, activist, and French Resistance agent. Her career was centered primarily in Europe, mostly in her adopted France. During her early career she was renowned as a dancer, and was among the most celebrated performers to headline the revues of the Folies Bergère in Paris. Her performance in the revue Un vent de folie in 1927 caused a sensation in Paris. Her costume, consisting of only a girdle of artificial bananas, became her most iconic image and a symbol of the Jazz Age and the 1920s. Baker was the first African-American to star in a major motion picture in the 1927 film 'Siren of the Tropics'.
This figural dress or fur clip is hand-painted enamel on white metal. It's gilded and set with some rhinestones. This 'Black Venus', as she was called, was known for her outrageous costumes (see photos). This one includes flowers, feathers, and draping scarves. The costume leaves much of the showgirl's brown skin exposed, something Baker was proud of in her irreverent style and grace.
The clip measures about 2 inches across by 3 inches high. It's unmarked. The clip hinge still works well.
There's slight age-related wear but overall, this clip is in excellent vintage condition with stones intact. Circa late 1920s - early 1930s. This is a rare clip...have never been able to find another like it.
More on Baker - During the 1950s, Baker often returned to the U.S. to help support the Civil Rights Movement, participating in demonstrations and boycotting segregated clubs and concert venues. While looking over the crowd at the 1963 March on Washington, Josephine stated “Salt and pepper. Just what it should be.”
She had to wait until 1973 in the United States before she was accepted for her boundless talent and activism. She was greeted with a standing ovation at the beginning of her performance at Carnegie Hall in New York, which reduced her to tears, as she stood six inches deep in the roses that were thrown on the stage. Josephine Baker became the first black woman to achieve international stardom.
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Art Deco c1930 Josephine Baker Fur Dress Clip Pin