Delve into the alluring world of McCoy pottery, a beloved American collectible, as we explore the company’s most coveted creations, and offer invaluable insights on identifying and amassing these charming ceramic treasures.
History of McCoy Pottery
The McCoy Pottery Company was founded by J.W. McCoy in Roseville, Ohio, in 1910. Over the years, the company underwent several mergers and acquisitions, eventually becoming part of the Designer Accents Corporation in 1967. Despite its numerous changes in ownership, McCoy pottery remained popular among collectors due to its high-quality craftsmanship and unique designs.
The early days of McCoy Pottery were marked by the company’s dedication to producing functional yet artistic ceramic pieces for everyday use. As the years progressed, the company continually expanded its product range and invested in new technologies to refine its craftsmanship. This commitment to innovation and quality enabled McCoy Pottery to weather the challenges of the Great Depression and the post-war era, as well as navigate the evolving tastes of American consumers.
One of the key factors that contributed to the enduring popularity of McCoy Pottery was its ability to adapt to the changing market demands. The company’s designers consistently produced fresh, captivating designs that resonated with consumers, reflecting the prevailing trends and styles of each era. As a result, the McCoy brand remained a prominent fixture in American homes for nearly a century, leaving behind a rich legacy of ceramic artistry that continues to fascinate collectors and pottery enthusiasts today.
Most Sought-After McCoy Pottery
McCoy Cookie Jars
One of the most collectible McCoy pottery items is their line of cookie jars. These colorful and whimsical jars have become a symbol of Americana, and collectors often pay top dollar for rare and well-preserved examples. Some of the most sought-after McCoy cookie jars include:
- Mammy: This iconic jar features a smiling African-American woman wearing a red bandana and white apron. Produced in the 1940s, the Mammy jar is one of the most valuable McCoy cookie jars.
- Clown: The Clown cookie jar, made in the 1940s, features a brightly painted circus clown with a wide smile and red nose. This jar is a favorite among collectors of vintage circus memorabilia.
- Davy Crockett: This cookie jar depicts the famous American frontiersman wearing a coonskin cap. Produced in the 1950s, the Davy Crockett jar is highly sought after by collectors of Americana.
McCoy is well-known for their beautifully designed planters. These functional pieces often feature intricate details and vibrant colors, making them a popular choice for collectors. Some of the most sought-after McCoy planters include:
- Wishing Well: This charming planter features a miniature wishing well with a bucket and pulley. Made in the 1940s, the Wishing Well planter is a popular McCoy collectible.
- Swan: The elegant Swan planter, produced in the 1950s, features a graceful swan with a curved neck and detailed feathers. The Swan planter is highly prized for its beauty and craftsmanship.
- Bird Dog: This unique planter, made in the 1950s, depicts a hunting dog with a bird in its mouth. The Bird Dog planter is a favorite among collectors of hunting memorabilia.
McCoy Pottery Vases
McCoy pottery vases are another popular collectible, with their wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Some of the most sought-after McCoy vases include:
- Butterfly: Produced in the 1940s, the Butterfly vase features an embossed butterfly design available in several colors. This vase is a favorite among McCoy collectors for its delicate details and vibrant hues.
- Double Tulip: This beautiful vase, made in the 1950s, features a pair of intertwined tulips. The Double Tulip vase is highly sought after for its elegant design and intricate craftsmanship.
- Indian Head: This unique vase, made in the 1930s, features the profile of a Native American chief wearing a feathered headdress. The Indian Head vase is a popular collectible among those interested in Native American history and art.
McCoy Pottery Lamps
In addition to their functional pottery pieces, McCoy also produced a line of decorative lamps. These lamps often featured the same high-quality craftsmanship and unique designs that made McCoy pottery so popular. Some of the most sought-after McCoy pottery lamps include:
- Wagon Wheel: This charming lamp, produced in the 1950s, features a rustic wagon wheel design. The Wagon Wheel lamp is a popular collectible among those who appreciate Americana and vintage Western decor.
- Mermaid: The Mermaid lamp, made in the 1940s, features a beautiful mermaid figure gracefully holding a shell-shaped light. Collectors highly prize this lamp for its intricate details and whimsical design.
- TV Lamp: The McCoy TV Lamp, made in the 1950s, features a sleek, modern design with a built-in planter. This lamp is a popular choice among collectors of mid-century modern decor.
Tips for Collecting McCoy Pottery
If you are interested in starting a McCoy pottery collection, consider the following tips:
- Research: Learn about the different McCoy pottery pieces, their history, and their value. Books, online resources, and pottery clubs can provide valuable information to help you become a knowledgeable collector.
- Inspect: Examine pieces closely for signs of damage, such as chips, cracks, or repairs. Damaged pieces may be less valuable than those in pristine condition.
- Authenticity: Look for the McCoy maker’s mark, which is usually stamped or embossed on the bottom of the piece. Be aware that there are some reproductions and fakes on the market, so familiarize yourself with the genuine McCoy marks.
- Network: Connect with other McCoy pottery collectors and enthusiasts through clubs, online forums, and social media. Networking with other collectors can help you learn about upcoming auctions, estate sales, and other sources for McCoy pottery.
- Enjoy: Collecting McCoy pottery should be a fun and rewarding hobby. Take your time, and enjoy discovering and acquiring new pieces for your collection.
Where to Buy McCoy Pottery
McCoy pottery can be found in a variety of places, such as:
- Antique stores
- Estate sales
- Online auctions (e.g., eBay)
- Pottery shows and conventions
- Collectors’ clubs
McCoy pottery is a beautiful and collectible form of American art. With its wide range of designs, colors, and styles, there is a piece of McCoy pottery to suit every collector’s taste.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the most sought-after pottery?
Some of the most sought-after pieces include the Mammy cookie jar, the Wishing Well planter, and unique lamps such as the Wagon Wheel and Mermaid lamps.
How can I determine the value of my McCoy pottery?
The value of McCoy pottery can depend on factors such as rarity, condition, and demand among collectors. You can determine the value of your McCoy pottery by consulting price guides, attending pottery shows and conventions, or consulting with experienced collectors and dealers. Additionally, online auction sites like eBay can give you an idea of what similar pieces are selling for.
Are there any McCoy pottery reproductions or fakes I should be aware of?
Yes, there are some McCoy pottery reproductions and fakes on the market. To avoid purchasing a fake, familiarize yourself with genuine McCoy maker’s marks and characteristics of authentic pieces. Be cautious when buying from sources that cannot provide a provenance or authentication for the pottery.
What should I look for when inspecting McCoy pottery for damage?
When inspecting McCoy pottery, look for signs of damage such as chips, cracks, or repairs. Also, examine the piece for discoloration, crazing (fine cracks in the glaze), or missing parts. Damaged pieces may be less valuable than those in pristine condition.