Valuable Vintage McCoy Cookie Jars: Value & Price Guide

Vintage McCoy Pottery Brown Drip Glaze Cookie Jar with Lid
Vintage McCoy Pottery Brown Drip Glaze Cookie Jar with Lid (Image Source: Ebay)

When you think of the beauty and functionality of kitchenware, Vintage McCoy Cookie Jars come to mind. The 1930s-born containers made in beautiful art forms remain collectors’ favorites due to their unique features.

According to Live Auctioneers, a rare Red Squirrel McCoy cookie jar sold for $4,000 against an estimated $4,500 in 2010. 

However, you don’t have to break the bank to own one of these historical pieces.

You’ll learn later on in this guide that you can get common models for as little as $1 – $5, while the rare pieces will set you back some thousands.

Brief History of McCoy Cookie Jars

Per Rarest, Cookies became a staple in America in the 1600s despite their origin dating back to the 7th century. However, it wasn’t until the late 1800s that cookie jars became popular amongst homeowners.

The McCoy Pottery Company started as the Brown & McCoy Company, then J.B. Owens Pottery Co., J.W. McCoy Pottery, and finally, Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Co. in Roseville, Ohio, in 1910 per Live About before settling for the known name McCoy Pottery Co.

It wasn’t until 1929 that the company produced its first cookie jar, starting a new line in the Thirties. This business lasted for 60 years as McCoy became the leading stoneware and pottery pieces manufacturer.

McCoy Pottery Company

Nelson McCoy started the company with his father J.W. and five stockholders in Roseville, Ohio, and what started as a sanitary ware company evolved to other ware-making branches.

Because the demand for sanitary ware declined post-war, the company switched its focus to pottery. The company sold its business to Mt. Clemens Pottery Co. in 1967, but Nelson McCoy Jr. stayed on as the president of the pottery division.

Then in 1974, the new owners sold it again to the Lancaster Colony Corp. about eight years before Junior’s retirement.

Between 1981 to 1985, the profits didn’t increase, so once again, ownership shifted to Designer Accents, and it adopted a new name for the McCoy Potteries – Nelson McCoy Ceramics.

The new company continued popular McCoy cookie jars like the Floraline collection but discontinued slow-moving ones.

8 Popular Types of McCoy Cookie Jars

McCoy Cookie jars gained popularity amongst homemakers because of their diverse designs. It made them perfect for different personalities as they could spruce up a kitchen counter without cluttering the space with a separate art.

Some of the most popular and sometimes valuable designs include;

NO.
Model 
Year
Number
1.
Mammy Jar (Aunt Jemima)
1940
N/A
2.
Squirrel
1959 – 1962
N/A
3.
Honey Bear
1960s 
143
4.
Dog (Beagle)
1961
185
5.
Cat (Coalby)
1967
207
6.
Dog (Thinking Hound)
1977 – 1979
N/A
7.
Strawberry 
1970 – 1979 
263
8.
Turtle
1977 – 1980 
N/A

 1. Cat (Coalby)

 1. Cat (Coalby)
(Source: Live Auctioneers)

Year: 1967

Number: 207

The black cat is one of the most iconic McCoy cookie jars, with its head and part of the shoulders forming the lid. The feline is poised in a half-sitting position with yellow painted toenails, and this part forms the jar’s body.

Its eyes are green and black, with the cornea being the former and the iris being the latter. It has gold whiskers and a pink tongue. Also, note that all the colors are matte.

 

2. Squirrel

2. Squirrel

Year: 1959 – 1962

Number: N/A

The Squirrel is one of the most valuable cookie jars worldwide because of its height, design, and glaze. Per Live Auctioneers, Belhorn Auction Services sold a 10 1/2 inches tall piece believed to be the rarest cookie jar ever for $4,600.

Don’t mistake this piece for the Squirrel on a log design or the 1940s Squirrel with a jacket and top hat.

 

3. Dog (Thinking Hound)

3. Dog (Thinking Hound)
Vintage McCoy Thinking Brown Hound Dog Cookie Jar USA 0272 Ceramic (Source: eBay)

Like the Turtle, there were two designs of Dog-shaped cookie jars – one sitting and the other panting.

Year: 1977 – 1979

Number: N/A

On the other hand, the panting dog has a red tongue and a textured finish. Its butt is extended and topped with a short tail that’s the cover for the cookie jar.

 

4. Beagle Dog

4. Beagle Dog
Vintage McCoy Beagle Puppy Dog Holding Painted Cookies Sign Cookie Jar 1961-62 (Source: eBay)

Year: 1961

Number: 185

The Beagle Dog has a glossy shine on its color, holding a square-shaped letter to its chest. It’s also triple-toned – brown, off-white, and black.

 

5. Turtle

Turtle Cookie Jar - Mccoy Timmy Turtle 271
Turtle Cookie Jar – Mccoy Timmy Turtle 271 (Image Source: Etsy)

Year: 1977 – 1980

Number: N/A

There are two types of the Turtle McCoy cookie jar, with one design being belly-down and the other sitting up. However, the more popular one is the latter, with two feet on each side stuck together and a high shell forming the container.

The lid has a butterfly painted yellow and green perched on the shell serving as a handle.

 
Turtle McCoy cookie jar
Vintage 1960’s Turtle Cookie Jar by California Originals (Source: Pinterest)

The second which is the sitting Turtle wears a wide smile with a hat on its head and a matte brown and green paint job. The head and shoulder form the lid while its body is the jar.

 

6. Mammy Jar (Aunt Jemima)

6. Mammy Jar (Aunt Jemima)
Mammy Jar (Aunt Jemima) (Source: Antique Mall)

Year: 1940

Number: N/A

Many people know Hattie McDaniel as the first African American woman to win any Oscars for acting Mammy in Gone With The Wind, but they don’t understand the cultural impact of that win.

The role became a typecast in Hollywood, especially because of her Southern accent.

The Mammy Jar is a big, black woman in a blue maid dress with sleeked short hair. However, some Mammy Jars came with off-white clothing, known as the Pea Head Mammy.

McCoy Pottery made a cookie jar after this iconic character known as the Mammy Jar, and its later models came with a saying written in a Southern accent, “Dem Cookies Show Am Good.”

However, the controversy surrounding it led to discontinuance in 1946, making it a rare find in today’s market.

Live About says there was another unreleased version with different words saying, “Dem Cookies Sho Got Dat Vitamin A.” Consequently, that version would be worth more under its rarity.

 

7. Honey Bear Jar

Vintage McCoy #143 Cookie Jar Sleeping Bear With Honey Pot & Honey Bees
Vintage McCoy #143 Cookie Jar Sleeping Bear With Honey Pot & Honey Bees (Image Source: Ebay)

Year: c. 1960s

Number: 143

The Honey Bear cookie jar is one of the most intricate McCoy designs ever formed. It’s a cream-colored honeypot with two bees sitting in a brown bear. The bear sleeps peacefully in a folded position as it hugs itself.

Other colors on the shiny glazed bear include black and pink for the details on the toes, nose, eyes, and ears.

 

8. Strawberry Cookie Jar

8. Strawberry Cookie Jar
Strawberry Cookie Jar (Source: eBay)

Year: 1970 – 1979

Number: 263

Simple and beautiful are two words that best describe the Strawberry Cookie Jar. It’s manufactured in a regular strawberry shape with a rich red paint job on the body and leafy green with a brown stalk on the lid.

The jar is 9 1/2 inches tall and 8 1/2 inches wide with a 6 1/2inch depth.

 

Identification of Vintage McCoy Cookie Jars

With the hundreds of designs and motifs made into Cookie Jars by the McCoy Pottery company, it’s easy to buy a fake instead of the original.

However, with the steps in this guide, you can authenticate a vintage McCoy Cookie Jar without a professional appraiser (we advise you to hire the latter for double assurance.)

Step 1: Be on the Lookout for McCoy Marks

The most obvious identifier is the McCoy Mark found on the bottom of the cookie jar. Thanks to the extensive list compiled by McCoy Pottery collectors, new hobbyists can confirm the authenticity of their items.

The McCoy mark from 1940 to 1944 included a logo with the USA written underneath, and this era had the exclusive FLORALINE set. This logo changed within 5 years of existence, including an arc in some and ditching the USA in others.

Later on, the company evolved to writing out McCoy in fancy letters. Check them out in the table below. (Source: McCoy Pottery)

Year Logo
1939 – date 1939 – date
1940 – date 1940 – date
1940 1940
1940 – 1942 1940 – 1942
1940 – 1943 1940 – 1943
1940 – 1945 1940 – 1945
1940 – 1950 1940 – 1950
1942 – 1944 1942 – 1944

Please note that not all McCoy Pottery carried the mark, so it’s not a single identification source. Watch the video below for more information on Real McCoy Collectibles

Step 2: Find out its Date/Age

Another sure way to assess the authenticity of a vintage McCoy cookie jar is to determine its exact or estimated production date. Besides using the physical features for this assessment, logos are also reliable alternatives.

It’ll also help in knowing the market value, as you’ll learn later. If you want a more detailed list, check the McCoy Pottery Collectors Association website.

The 1930s

The first McCoy Cookie Jars made in the 1930s had Concave bodies with floral motifs in yellow painted on. By the mid-thirties, the maker moved on to flat and circular finials, then ended the decade with special colors – brown, maroon, and green.

Vintage McCoy Pottery Butter Churn 1930's Ceramic Cookie Jar Flowers Brown
Vintage McCoy Pottery Butter Churn 1930’s Ceramic Cookie Jar Flowers Brown

1939 also birthed the production of the tilt pitcher in four colors (green, blue, yellow, and black.) These colors were mostly fire-glazed and made in earth tones.

The 1940s

Following the success of the earthy cookie jars, McCoy introduced more vibrant shades in 1939, just in time for the new decade. They included blue, ivory, and black, although the company discontinued them in 1944.

Those shades also came in newer shapes – bean-pot cookie jars with open handles, round-balls with slanted tops, hobnails with molded handles. The latter had a limited-edition coral shade in 1940, which makes it extremely rare today.

The 1950s

Colors popular in the 1950s include two-toned mixes like purple splotches on ivory, green on yellow with bird motifs, green dipped in red, yellow dipped in black, fruit with green leaves, white over-drip, and two-toned brown spray.

By 1956, McCoy introduced color combinations of different bodies and lids, while in 1957, it took it up a notch with different interiors. The company added 24k Gold, Gloss, and Matte paint jobs that same year.

The 1960s

The Roseville Floraline pieces made a comeback in the 1960s with the introduction of the matte and gold paint jobs. It also continued the combination and mixed styles.

By 1961, McCoy added Satin and 22K gold, experimenting with matte/gloss combinations and antique coloring.

The 1970s

1970 was the year of the bold colors as the mixtures got more vibrant and the cookie jars started using decals on the paintwork.

Some notable designs include an eagle, flag, rooster, sayings, small children, and fruit. In 1976, stripes came on the market, followed by textured paints 1977.

The 1980s

The 1980s continued with decals and stripes but ditched the textured paints.

The 1990s

No notable changes were made because this was the decade of the company’s famous cookie jars’ exit from the market.

Remember that in between these years, some McCoy Cookie Jars were made exclusively for brands for advertising purposes.

Step 3: Examine the Design (Accredited Motifs)

Regardless of the numerous motifs, McCoy Cookie Jars have notable models and patterns. While this guide cannot cover every vintage cookie jar made by McCoy Pottery Co., it’ll steer you in the right direction.

Step 4: Pay Attention to Details

If there’s one thing McCoy Cookie Jars have in common, it’s the flawless design by the manufacturer. Every part of the jar was well thought out and carried a unique identifying feature. Look at everything when inspecting a supposed vintage McCoy cookie jar.

Glaze

McCoy cookie jars have smooth overglaze with vibrant colors hence their lasting shine more than 50 years later. That’s not saying you won’t encounter some pieces with dull looks due to dust and age.

However, that’ll not affect the glaze underneath, so make sure you clean the cookie jar and confirm its authenticity before writing it off.

Dimensions (Weight, Height, Length)

Because McCoy Potteries were made of the highest quality porcelain and fine china, they’re heavy. So, lightweight pieces should be suspicious when shopping. Also, note the other dimensions attached to popular designs, such as 11-inches of the Davy Crockett cookie jar.

Common Designs and Their Notable Features
Designs Pictures
Blossom Time Blossom Time
Jeweled Jeweled
Onyx Onyx

Blossom Time: Floral motifs decorated on colorful bodies were popular from 1945 – 1950.

Jeweled: Another floral motif jar with butterflies and sparkling glass gems that sprung up after Blossom time.

Onyx: a set of cookie jars with swirled glazing, giving the body an appearance of a stone.

You can also group these designs by their production years.

What is the Value of McCoy Cookie Jars?

Ordinarily, McCoy cookie jars aren’t very expensive, as you can purchase one in good condition for $10 or less on secondary auction sites like eBay, Etsy, and Live Auctioneers. However, other models carry higher monetary value depending on certain factors.

“What makes a vintage McCoy cookie jar collectible?”

Is the Cookie Jar intact? (Condition)

It goes without saying that the condition of a vintage McCoy Cookie Jar would significantly influence the monetary value. Because its primary purpose is to hold cookies and biscuits (or any other suitable item,) damages to the piece would depreciate its value.

Nobody wants a broken cookie jar, one with missing parts or one without a lid. Slight damages include crazes, cracks, chips, scratches, fades, and breaks.

The cookie jar should be in excellent condition with shiny glazes, bright paints, smooth edges, and flawless surfaces.

That’s not saying minor damages can’t be overlooked in the market, but it’ll reduce the price, and at that point, it becomes a matter of buyer’s preferences rather than standard procedure.

How Many Pieces of this Model are available? (Rarity)

One thing about vintage pieces is that every collector wants something unique, and that’s why rare McCoy cookie jars are worth the most money. As seen earlier on, the most expensive model recorded as sold cost $4,000.

Other rare McCoy cookie jars aren’t worth as much, but they fetch comfortable three to low four figures.

Does it have any Special Features?

Another thing that makes rare McCoy cookie jars collectible is if it has special features. For example, signed models from famous people are highly valuable. Be careful, however, so you don’t all pray to sellers of fake autographed pieces.

Extensive research is the best way to ensure that.

7 of the Most Valuable McCoy Cookie Jar Still on The Market

NO.
Name
Price
Year
Number
1.
Freddy, The Gleep
$2,500
1974
189 
2.
White Apple 
$900 
N/A
N/A
3.
Davy Crockett
$650
C. 1950
N/A
4.
Green Turkey
$600
1945
176
5.
Jack O’ Lantern 
$519.99
1955
53
6.
Popeye, The Sailor 
$500
1971 – ‘72
222
7.
Uncle Sam’s hat
$500
C. 1973 
200

7. Uncle Sam’s Hat

7. Uncle Sam's Hat
C. 1973 Rare McCoy Uncle Sam’s Hat Cookie Jar Vintage Made In USA (Source: eBay)

Price: $500

Year: c. 1973

Number: 200

The Uncle Sam’s Hat, designed in the 1970s, was part of the new striped line introduced by McCoy Pottery co. It had a wide-brimmed cover with the extra circumference serving as handles. Painting it in the American flag also added to its appeal then and now.

 

6. Jack O’ Lantern

6. Jack O' Lantern
McCOY JACK O LANTERN COLLECTOR COOKIE JAR VERY HTF (Source: Collector Cookie Jars)

Price: $519.99

Year: 1955

Number: 53

Collector Cookie Jars sells this Jack O’ Lantern model for over 500 dollars. It has a factory error overglazing on one ear and wears and tears cookie grease on it. It’s one of the rare peach pastel shades made by the company.

Nothing says Halloween like a Jack O’ lantern, and adding the spooky cookie jar to your house décor in October isn’t a bad idea. It’s not as scary as the carved pumpkins because of its overglaze.

 

5. Freddy the Gleep

5. Freddy the Gleep
Ultra Rare 1974 Freddie the Gleep Freddy the Gleep McCoy Cookie Jar (Source: Picclick)

Price: $2,500

Year: 1974

Number: 189

It’s bright and bold with unique features, so there’s no reason Freddy the Gleep cookie jar shouldn’t make this list. It’s part of the promotional pieces made by McCoy for certain brands.

 

4. Popeye, The Sailor

4. Popeye, The Sailor
Vtg McCoy Pottery 1965 Popeye The Sailor Man Cookie Jar w/lid No chips no crack (Source: eBay)

Price: $500

Year: 1971 – ’72

Number: 222

As a branded cookie jar, it’s no surprise that this white jar with a lid painted with the Popeye the Sailor motif made this list. The seller listed its height at 7 – 11 inches while its width is a certain 6 inches.

It’s also in perfect condition with no visible damages, so that’s an appreciating factor. In 1929, the series took the world by storm, catching the attention and love of children and adults everywhere.

Not long after its commercial success on print and screen, the manufacturing company launched collectibles to promote the brand further.

 

3. Green Turkey

3. Green Turkey
Vintage Original RARE Stunning McCoy GREEN Turkey Pottery Cookie Jar ~ 1945 (Source: eBay)

Price: $600

Year: 1945

Number: 176

This Turkey-shaped cookie jar stands at 6.5″ with the bird’s head and neck forming the lid while its body is the jar. It’s painted a dark green shade that looks tan with a nude highlight from wear and tear.

 

2. Davy Crockett

2. Davy Crockett
Vintage McCoy Davy Crockett Cookie Jar (Source: eBay)

Price: $650

Year: c. 1950s

Number: N/A

Can you claim full knowledge of American folklore if you haven’t heard of David Crockett? The Davy Crockett McCoy Jar was made in homage to the legend.

Crockett’s head has brown hair trailing down the side of his face in a raccoon’s tail and his name carved on the base. The cookie jar is made of earth tones, and it stands at 10-inches.

 

1. White Apple

1. White Apple
vintage mccoy white apple cookie jar (Source: eBay)

Price: $900

Year: N/A

Number: N/A

Although this cookie jar has a lot of red flags, from crazing to obvious wear and tear marks, it’s still valuable because of its rare coloring.

The apple jars typically came in green, red, or mixed paints like the real fruit, but this one had a unique plain white color with two green leaves on the lid. It’s 9-inches wide and 12-inches high.

 

Parting Words

We hope this guide has been helpful in answering all your questions about McCoy cookie jars. Applying the steps listed here will save you first-timer stress and possibly earn you top dollar on sale.

Even if you don’t eat cookies, getting a McCoy Cookie Jar is still a good option for sweets, pet treats, spices, beverages, and many storable items. For other examples, check out 10 Most Valuable Cookie Jars: Value and Price Guide.

When identifying your McCoy cookie jar, it’s important to use more than one means. Here’s a recap of things that matter;

  • Age
  • Marks
  • Motifs
  • Details

FAQs

Q: Where can I find a vintage McCoy Cookie Jar?

You can search any antique and vintage shop around you or visit an online auction site like Christie’s or Sotheby’s for extremely rare models. However, if you don’t mind a common McCoy cookie jar, Etsy, eBay, Amazon, and Live Auctioneers are your best choices.

Q: Are there other resources to Use as a new collector?

Yes. You can buy any of the numerous McCoy Pottery written guides like The Collectors Catalog of Brush McCoy Pottery, The Collectors Encyclopedia of Brush McCoy Pottery, and Sanford’s Guide to Brush-McCoy Pottery.

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