McCoy cookie jars, produced in Roseville, Ohio from 1930 to 1987, are another favorite with collectors. Their very first jar, A black “Mammy” in a long white work dress is a valuable addition to any collection, as are the first issue fruit and vegetable shapes. Very early pieces are marked with a number inside a shield.
After 1938 the jars were marked with the embossed McCoy name. In 1967 McCoy sold out to Mount Clemens Pottery Company and it changed owners again when purchases by the Lancaster Colony Corporation in 1974. If you intend to be a serous collector, it would be wise to study the McCoy marks as the marks changed after 1967 and the jars since that date are of little interest to collectors.
Other late 1930’s potters of note include: American Bisque, of Williamstown, W. Va., known for their cartoon character cookie jars marked U.S.A., Red Wind of Minnesota best known for their 1940’s apple, grape, pineapple, pear, bananas and grapes cookie jars designed by Belle Kogan,and their 1941 series of “Thou Shall Not Steal” figural jars; Metlox one of the leading California potters is best known for their late 1960’s and early 1970’s animal series.
Of special note are the the “Katy-Cat” and the “Year of the Dinosaur” series;,and the Shawnee Pottery company of Ohio, noted for their Winnie, Smiley, and Muggsie jars. When looking for Shawnee cookie jars it is important to remember that Shawnee was purchased by the Terrance Ceramics Company in 1961. Although Terrance jars are of similar quality, they are of little interest to collectors.
The 1980’s and early 1990’s saw tremendous returns for some private cookie jar collections. One of the most famous liquidations came at auction when the estate of pop icon Andy Warhol was sold. Warhol had been an avid collector of cookie jars for most of his adult life.