Esquire Magazine Award, presented to Barney Bigard

Esquire Magazine Award, presented to Barney Bigard

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Description (Brief)

This award was presented to Barney Bigard from Esquire magazine in 1946. It features a stylized silver-tone statue of a man playing a trumpet, Esquire magazine’s pop-eyed mascot “Esky,” on a black-stained wooden base with an embossed and engraved metal plate. The metal plate is marked:

All American Band
awarded to

Esquire is an American men’s magazine founded in 1933. The magazine featured its first jazz awards, All-American Jazz All Stars and All-American Jazz Band, chosen by Esquire’s board of leading jazz artists, critics, and writers, in 1944. The inaugural winners included Billie Holiday, Roy Eldridge, Jack Teagarden, Barney Bigard, Coleman Hawkins, Art Tatum, Al Casey, Oscar Pettiford, and Sidney Catlett.

The “Esky” mascot was created by African American cartoonist E. Simms Campbell (1906-1971).

An ad for the Esquire awards appeared in a January 5, 1946 issue of Billboard magazine indicating the list of winners would be in the Esquire February 1946 issue, which sold for 50 cents. Esquire also published a 1946 Jazz book that featured articles, photographs, and biographies of the 1946 winners, which sold for $1.00. Additionally, a concert presented by the winners, and emceed by Orson Welles in New York, would be aired over the entire ABC network.

Currently not on view
Object Name
presentation date
Bigard, Barney
place made
United States
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 15 1/2 in x 6 1/8 in x 6 1/8 in; 39.37 cm x 15.5575 cm x 15.5575 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Lucille Levin
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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