Doug and I took the holidays off! Another year begins - looking back did you add very many pieces to your collection???
Keeping an eye on Ebay I see our "counterfeit buddy" Larry McKoy4U2 is back at it - right now he has ANOTHER pair of Indian corn up for auction. These are so rare and this seller has turned more than half a dozen of them in the past year or two - hard to believe they could possibly be real. In all the thirty years I have collected, I have only known of two, maybe three pairs - all in collections of die hard collectors - so they cannot be so common one seller has this many. Few, if any, of his auctions are legitimate - PLEASE BEWARE!!!!!!!!! He takes authentic Shawnee and McCoy pottery but doctors them with gold trim from shakers to planters to cookie jars and teapots. Anything to make a buck.
Also on Ebay is an unusual pairing of a Winnie/Smiley - the first time I saw one like this was from a dealer in Pennsylvania - she purchased it from the original owner who received it as a wedding gift - it remained mismatched for over forty years without the owner even realizing it. Being a dime store pottery, these items could be mixed up - often times Smiley shakers were paired with matching decals, other times with matching decals but different bib color so buyers could differentiate salt from pepper. I think the same often happened with jars at the point of sale which explains some of the unusual pairings. This one is the Winnie bank lid on a Smiley base - unfortunately I missed the ending and didn't capture a picture of it for the newsletter.
A couple of years ago I mentioned the lamp I found in Glendale, AZ - I was so surprised to see it as a gold trim decorated jar made into a lamp that I couldn't figure out right away what was odd about it - I was examining the drill hole for the works and noticed it read Muggsy - yet had the Puss N Boots lid - I was thrilled to find it and after making some inquiries found out it was a wedding gift and had come that way. Not something you would expect to be out of the factory that way yet being given as a gift, not likely it was put together with mismatched head and base. Possibly wherever some of the gold jars are decorated - in those times parts certainly were not going to be discarded.
The family jar I received in 1978 that started me collecting is actually a married jar - my Mom and Grandmother each won a Smiley cookie jar at Hawkeye Downs in Iowa - years later one broke the top, the other the bottom yet I managed to get a red bib with the tulip base - no idea if they were both the same or if the bottom might have been a chrysanthemum. If that were my jar years ago, I might have kept the lid as it looks good by itself but certainly not a base by itself - yet post Depression, neither considered
tossing the half jar and later put them together. Had one been a shamrock I might have had a green bib over the tulip base and not been the wiser had it not come from within my family.
Right now there is a yellow bib "gold" jar listed with a bug on it - take note of the flower decals on the bottom and the squiggly Smiley in gold cursive - my guess is this is one of the early cold painted bottom (which DOES fit the yellow bib heads which are from the larger mold in many cases on the earlier ones). I think someone doctored the bottom as it just doesn't appear genuine. Actually a non Shawnee collector, rather a cookie jar
collector who dabbles in good Shawnee as well emailed me inquiring about it, I had not spotted the jar yet. He is a rather newbie to collecting cookie jars but has done his research and has a good eye for quality and variations!!! One note - it is much easier to ascertain irregularities on these jars with hands on - this is one jar I would like to handle to determine but even so the cursive Smiley is not at all typical - always a chance something
was done at time of production or shortly thereafter.... just beware.
Gary and I started seriously collecting in November 2008, so it's been about fourteen months. We have 144 jars and quite a few go-withs. Shawnee being dominant in the collection followed by Brush and Hull LRRH's.
As we realized where we wanted to focus our collection, we sold eight jars and gave seven as gifts to friends who had admired them.
It is our goal to keep the collection to approximately 300-400 quality jars. We are picky when it comes to condition and unless a jar is truly a rare one, of which there are few, the jars we add into the collection must be chip and crack free.
Four months ago we started to collect Twin Winton's 1947 Hillbilly line. Besides enjoying the whimsy and design of these pieces, it's rather nice having a second collection that we can add to that doesn't hit our bank account as hard as the jars do.
We met Norma Winton through Barb and have bought a number of pieces from
Norma's private collection. She lives about two hours from our home and has become very dear to us. We have learned about the golden years of American pottery through her, about the jars Don designed for other companies, and a great deal about her late husband. I could listen to her stories 24/7 and the pictures and records she has are amazing. Don kept little journals of everything he ever designed - each month and year since 1947. Reading those journals is like opening treasure chests.
Collecting cookie jars has truly enriched our lives. Not only because of the enjoyment we get from our collection, but because of the people we have met who have become good friends.
And to think all of this started because we bought a Metlox Puddles the Duck for one dollar at a thrift shop.
Now come on, lots of you have stories to share about how you got started - why not write in an let us know - we always welcome pictures and stories of your "finds".
Until next month.
Newsletter notification email
At the risk of getting grief from my Internet provider I'm going to run a notification email each month when the newsletter is published.
The fine print : You only have to sign-up once. You'll be on the list forever or until my computer eats or hides the list, whichever comes first. To be removed, just email me and tell me you what off. firstname.lastname@example.org
I was forced the take some time off, a little thing called Guillain Barre. I'm back with a tired body and strong mind, well at least as strong as it ever was. Thanks for your patience and most of all your prayers.
Lin's mismatched Muggsy and Puss-N-Boots mentioned above reminded me of one I saw on Ebay a while back. Surely not related. I neglected to save the description.