Afro-Americana Lawn Jockey "Jocko the Jockey", Cast Iron, Early 20th Century For Sale
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Afro-Americana Lawn Jockey "Jocko the Jockey", Cast Iron, Early 20th Century

About

Original Afro-Americana lawn jockey, "Jocko the Jockey" cast iron hitching post, early 20th century A lawn jockey is a small statue of a man in jockey attire, often placed in front gardens near the entrance of a home. Most are white jockeys, but historically African American jockeys were more prevalent in the last 19th century. A cast replica of a black man dressed in jockey's clothing and holding up one hand sometimes carrying a lantern or a metal ring suitable for hitching a horse. Lawn jockeys may have also played a role in the history of the Underground Railroad. During the Civil War, oral traditions held that lawn jockeys holding lit lanterns or colored flags in their hands indicated a possible safe house for escaping slaves. The home of U.S. District Judge Benjamin Piatt was just such a home, with his wife using the family's lawn jockey for that very purpose. At the first Kentucky Derby in 1875, 13 of the 15 riders were African Americans, and blacks rode the winners of 15 of the first 28 Derby races. Jocko, as it is so commonly called continues to be shrouded in mystery. In 1963, Earl Koger Jr., an insurance salesman and part-time journalist, published a 32-page pamphlet, “The Legend of Jocko: The Boy Who Inspired George Washington.” It was the story of Jocko Graves, a 12-year-old black boy who died in the service of George Washington on the night Washington and his revolutionary army crossed the Delaware River, an important occasion in American history that led to victory for the colonial forces. According to the legend, Jocko froze to death while waiting for the colonial forces to cross the river and tending to horses for their use. After the war, so the story goes, Washington had a small statue erected in his memory on the grounds of Mount Vernon.    

Details

  • Condition Details
    Totally stable but rusting underneath paint consistently throughout. Dents in some spots on the pedestal part.
  • Dimensions
    H 34.75 in. x W 11.13 in. x D 11.25 in.H 88.27 cm x W 28.28 cm x D 28.58 cm
  • Seller Location
    Southampton, NY
  • Reference Number
    LU2005316729381
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About the Seller

5 / 5
Vetted
Platinum
1stdibs seller since 2016
Located in Southampton, NY
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