Sometimes our most endearing possessions are the items we use regularly. Every day I walk by my Susan Winget cookie jar. I don’t think about it very much. However, if there was a fire in my kitchen, and I could only save one item, it would probably be that humble cookie jar.
Ceramic Cookie Jar History
According to Wikipedia, cookie jars, or “biscuit barrels,” have been used in England since the later part of the 18th century. They became popular in the USA around 1929, during the Great Depression (Americans needed something to lift the gloom of that trying time period).
The first ceramic cookie jar was made by the Brush Pottery Company in Zanesville, Ohio, in 1929. Early Brush cookie jars are still highly collectible.
Versions made by Shawnee Pottery (closed in 1961) and McCoy Pottery (closed in 1990) are among the most coveted jars sought by collectors today. Interstingly, Shawnee was based in Zanesville, Ohio, just like the Brush Pottery Company. McCoy Pottery (split from the Brush Company in 1918) operated in Roseville, Ohio. You can read more about the history of the McCoy Pottery with this link: http://mccoypotterycollectorssociety.org/mccoy-pottery/nelson-mccoy-pottery-history/ Read about Shawnee Pottery with this link: https://www.thoughtco.com/shawnee-pottery-782646
One of most famous collectors of ceramic cookie jars was Andy Warhol. “New York” Andy Warhol collected cookie jars? Yes, he did. He scoured flea markets for cookie jars from the 1930s and 1940s. His collection of 175 cookie jars sold for a whopping $250,000 in 1987 (collection haters, take note). An article published about his collecting habits sparked the cookie-jar collecting bug in people everywhere.
One reason cookie jars are so valuable is the rarity of finding one without cracks or chips. The banging and clanging of the ceramic lid on a much-loved piece takes its toll. I’ve had a few cookie jars over the years. All of them were eventually broken. Last summer I scoured thrift stores for weeks before finding an intact jar that I liked, and that was not holiday-themed.
Cookie Jars in 2018
What if a buyer wants to forego the vintage, and buy a new cookie jar? According to Best Reviews, three of the five best-rated cookie jars of 2018 are currently sold by Walmart and designed by Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. If you would like to read the review, tap this link: https://products.bestreviews.com/best-cookie-jars
Cookie Jar Summary:
Worth: Vintage cookie jars can be found for $5- $7500, depending on make, type, and condition.
History: refer to above article
Appeal: Who doesn’t love the idea of a jar full of treats?
If you have a special cookie jar, I’d love to hear from you and see pictures!
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Read The Sad Story of the Indiana Glass Company here
Read Collecting Vintage Cookbooks here
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