Mews Emporium in Donington admit to 'naivety', but not racism over buying and selling a golliwog statuette
A Donington antiques dealer and her son have denied claims of racism after buying and then selling on a golliwog to a customer.
Lesley and Danny Goodacre, of Mews Emporium in Church Road, bought the "golly" from another antiques dealer last Monday.
But a day later, when the item was posted for sale on social media, a number of hostile comments in criticism of the pair resulted in them taking the post down.
Lesley, who started the business with her husband and son nearly five years ago, said: "We're in the business of selling quirky antiques and when I bought the golly from someone who is also in the trade, I did so knowing that people are always looking for nostalgic items.
"When I put it on social media on Tuesday, I thought of it as an innocent advert and I got lots of really nice comments about it, such as 'It takes me back to my childhood'.
"There was no malice intended and there wasn't one person of a non-white colour who complained about it.
"I did my utmost not to rise to any of the bitter comments that accused us of racism.
"But with the kind of abuse I was getting online, I felt like Nazi German soldiers were about to march down the street.
"So I thought the easiest thing to do was just to take down the post advertising the golly for sale."
The creation of the golliwog is generally credited to American-born, but English-raised cartoonist Florence Kate Upton who illustrated a series of children's books that were written by her mother in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
After the publication of the first book, The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg, in 1895, "Golly" was taken up by marmalade producers Robertson's as its mascot in 1910.
But ninety years later, the mascot was dropped by Robertson's after protests over its racist history.
Danny said: "If we're guilty of anything, it's naivety and no racism was intended at all."