This has been an interesting month on Ebay - a lot of unusual listings, several with new sellers with ZERO feedback - got lots of emails on those pieces - all of us are so suspicious of anything unusual from a totally new seller who just happens to have a RARE piece. Also a long time seller in Kentucky just keeps turning out the rarest of rare - a solid gold Puss N Boots cookie jar. It is already over $3200 with a few hours to go - a new buyer bidding it as well. I have seen three solid gold jars in all my years of collecting - a Smiley, a Sailor, and a Puss N Boots but these pieces don't show up but once in a long long time and not coincidently from the same seller who isn't even a collector of Shawnee - it takes a die hard collector years to acquire pieces like these.
A very unusual Smiley also showed up - would love to see it in person and examine it as the yellow bib, rosy cheeks, blue shoulder caps and gold cursive Smiley all looked genuine but the decals did not seem vintage or at least not of the earlier era when those jars would produced. Could have been one of the lunch time specials we hear about but lots of collectors emailed
suspicions with the supposed signature of the artist Rochet???
Then a Smiley with hair on green bib/shamrocks showed up - the hair is normally found on the yellow bib Smileys with exception of the red head which has always been on a green bib. I do know of one with hair on a blue bib. Years ago a friend saw one at the Springfield show and offered to go back for it,
not being a Shawnee collector and not certain if it was authentic, we decided to pass on it. I do know of another collector in Illinois who has a blue bib with hair but haven't seen it in person. The buyer of this shamrock one is an experienced collector and lives in the Illinois area, possibly had the opportunity to see it hands on. Ebay sometimes scares us because of all the tampered with jars but we really don't know what unusual pieces are still out there to be found - as long as a seller is willing to stand by the jar and accept a return them some pieces may be worth the gamble. Could be a bargain at the $1,000 selling price - interestingly only one bidder.............
We are working on expanding the newsletter to ad some other features if collectors are willing to participate - ads for sale, a matching parts service and wanted section - would love to have feedback from those of you interested. Please email me at Linromb@aol.com More info on this at the bottom of this page .
For years I have networked with collectors to find certain pieces or color variations and some of this has been lost with Ebay being our main exposure for finding pieces. I always hate to walk by a piece of Shawnee I don't need and know someone else likely is looking for it for their collection. One of the biggest perks of Pam Currans newsletter years ago was it brought so many of us together helping us to add to our collections by building friendships with other collectors. Those were before the cell phone days and we had phone bills of $200 a month calling across the country!!!!
Chic Pottery or Shawnee ? This was submitted by a collector from an auction listing - a lot of the Chic pieces are unmarked but this particular listing was a marked piece. The seller provided some information about the company as well. (A piece like this can be found on page 164 of the Curran book)
"Chic Pottery Co., while they were based in Zanesville, Ohio. The Chic Pottery Company was located in Wellsville from 1938-1943. They were then in Zanesville until they closed in 1955. This substantial piece stands 11 3/4" tall. The base is 3 5/8" although the bowl part of the vase is wider than that. ; This vase is a lovely cobalt blue color with plenty of gold decoration and
trim. Gold edges the handle and top of the vase, and the body and handle are just covered with large ornate snowflake type shapes. The edging is hand applied. The snowflakes have areas with sharper and more blotchy detail... they could almost be stamped on by hand. In addition to the snowflake design,
there are also ribs and swirls molded directly into the pottery. The handle is a good example of this, with an expansion near the top that is ridged down the length, with curls incorporated near the top. The lip of the jug repeats this pattern on a larger scale. MARKS: impressed into vase: OHIO / ZANESVILLE. stamped in gold: 1946 CHIC POTTERY CO."
Another concern that came to my attention this past month is the USPS service denying claims for damaged items. I shipped an inexpensive Metlox jar in pristine shape with an original label - $35 purchase price - it arrived with a full crack down the side of it - the box however had no exterior damage and therefore they denied the claim by the buyer. I had never heard of this
happening before - I have never had an item I packed arrived cracked but have received several over the years and only once was the box itself exhibiting any signs of damage. My concern is what is the point of purchasing insurance and not being able to collect - a dropped box can certainly crack a jar yet would not show signs of exterior damage. One isolated incident is one thing BUT then a week later I heard from a another cookie jar collector - not a Shawnee
collector, who had been on an Ebay buying spree as a new collector and she had close to sixty jars out of almost 200 jars that arrived with damage - several due to insufficient packaging by novice Ebay sellers but her post office in Iowa was not honoring the claims - this alarmed me as a trend - have any of you experienced this or heard of similar stories????? Possibly it was the number of damaged items arriving in such a short time but all were from different sellers typical of a new Ebayer that goes hog wild. I ship very few items but am seriouslyconsidering switching over to UPS exclusively if this continues to be the position of the postal service - very unfair to buyers and those paying insurance. There has always been some small abuse by some buyers but this is scary to think they are denying valid claims.
Next month we will have a collector's input on lamps made by Shawnee - hoping that each month we can feature a collector and more specific parts of our collections.