Sunny Arizona and we are still setting records at 100 plus days - most of you are enjoying Fall weather and flea markets. Hope you are discovering some treasures.
For some of our newer readers, please keep in mind Doug has lots of pictures on the web site showing what is and isn't Shawnee as well as some fake pieces meant to deceive the new collectors. Often sellers on ebay unknowingly identify pieces as Shawnee because they really don't know - others intentionally misrepresent the items in hopes of bringing a higher price. It causes a lot of confusion among newer collectors - just this month we had a new member join that had been mistakenly told pieces they were buying were Shawnee when in fact they were American Bisque, Royal Copley and other pottery companies of the same era. The important side of collecting is to buy what we love but we need to educate ourselves along the way.
Another aspect of collecting is being aware that sometimes we find a cookie jar that one part has damage but the price is worth picking up in hopes of finding another part to upgrade the jar. Just be aware that Smiley and Winnies in particular are not always interchangeable as many of us have discovered. I had picked up a Yellow bib with gold shamrock base last year and found gold green bib this month - luckily it was a perfect fit! In the firing, especially on the Winnies, the opening varies some and being the slightest "off" the head will not seat into the base or will rock. The yellow bib Smileys actually have two very different molds - one the lid and base are very triangular and the other more oval. Some ideas to keep in mind when purchasing parts. In my experience this is predominantly in the Smiley and Winnie jars but could also extend to the other jars. Personally, in checking my cabinets, the Muggsy and Puss n Boots lids appear to interchange with no issues - have others noticed any problems with other pieces???? Several years ago I had a housekeeper who without me realizing it dusted the interior of the Larkin cabinet - she had replaced Puss N Boots lids onto Muggsy bases - trust me, I thoroughly examined the jars as was concerned she had no idea of value!!!! Unfortunately my jewelry was not as safe, needless to say I no longer have a housekeeper!!!
No one sent in any pictures to share this month - remember other readers always love to see how collectors display their pieces - does not necessarily need to be large collection - so many think they don't have enough to share but it if fun to see the array of pottery and how it is displayed in the home.
I just received am email from long time collectors telling of their beginnings of their collection - this is what we all love to read about - thanks so much for sharing!
It's been quite a while since we submitted to the Newsletter, but after finally remembering what you suggested in the October issue, thought we would give you a little history of our Shawnee collecting. *You may use any of it you might wish to in one of the newsletter.(May be too late for the November issue)
I was 25 years old when my parents brought me the "cat" cookie jar that sat on my grandmother's refrigerator since 1949, a year after I was born, and was always there when I was growing up. They were settling my grandparent's estate in East Texas. That was the only thing they thought I might like of hers, remembering my interest and comments about it when I was young. I was aware that my grandmother had worked at a Duke and Ayers (5c & 10c) store in the 40's and 50's before she retired. I also remembered that there were a number of planters and wall pockets that she used to decorate her house, but had gotten rid of them over the years in her garage sales, etc. She had always thought of it as "cheap junk" back then. I knew nothing about it in 1973 when it was brought to me, but I had always thought it unique. It was also the only piece of pottery my grandmother had when she died.
It was not until almost 20 years later, 1991, that I found out in an unusual way that it was a Shawnee Puss and Boots jar. I and my family were in a mall, where there was an antique show on display. My youngest son happened to see the same "cat" jar for sale on a counter and ran up to me telling me about it. In talking to the merchant, he not only told us what it was, the company that made it along with the history of the pottery, but also introduced us to Mark Supnick's book. Until then, we had not even noticed that the name of the jar was imprinted on the base. We bought the book, and the rest is history. It wasn't long before we were going to antique shows, flea markets, and garage sales, always on the lookout and taking our book with us. In 1993, we subscribed to Pam's "Exclusively Shawnee" newsletter and continued until she quit publishing it. We never specialized in any category but always tried to make good deals when we bought pieces. In all the years we've been collecting, not once have we ever considered selling any of it. My wife took a special liking to the miniature pitchers, vases and perfume bottles and collected quite a number of them. We also have 2 of the rarer Tulip ball jugs pictured on page 263 in Pam's big book, as we call it.
It's been a number of years since our last Shawnee purchase, as my wife and I decided some time ago that we had reached capacity with our collection. The last count we made was somewhere over 2100 pieces.
We thoroughly enjoy your on-line newsletter and appreciate that they are archived in your website. Keep up the great work.
I had to laugh when they mentioned getting Supnicks book - for so many of us when it was the only book, one look and as said the rest is history - we were off and running!!!! After I got the family Smiley jar my brother spotted one at an antique show, bought it and Supnicks book - we went back to the show and between us bought all the figural Shawnee the dealer had displayed.
Maybe this will motivate others to share their stories with us!!!
Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.
Until next month, happy collecting.