Love Vintage Cookie Jars?
What's Not to Love About Collecting Vintage Cookie Jars?
I started collecting vintage cookie jars completely by accident. During my growing-up years my family had a pig cookie jar that was both well-loved and well-used. I can remember my brother and I teaming up to steal the tea cakes that were put away in the jar on top of a tall (to us) cabinet. Tom would climb up on a kitchen stool while I was the "lookout". Fun times. When I married, my mom gave that cookie jar to me and told me the story of how it had been a wedding gift to her. I was pleased with my cookie jar and for about a year he sat alone on the countertop. One day I stopped at a yard sale and saw an old bear cookie jar marked for 50 cents. How could I resist his cute face? I decided he made the perfect pair with my pig. It was the beginning of my collection. Soon I was looking for cookie jars in antique stores, auctions, and estate sales. This was before the widespread influence of the internet and also before cookie jars became hot collectibles so they were pretty affordable. I have never collected based on the value of a jar, but only if I loved it. Because of that all of my jars are figure jars (they are just so darn cute) although there are many other types available. Today I rarely add to my collection (space and price have gotten too valuable), but I still love my 30 plus cookie jars. Whether you are interested in specific vintage cookie jar lines like Shawnee or McCoy or just enjoy finding fun cookie jar figures, there are many great resources out there for the cookie jar collector and I hope to share some of them with you. Happy collecting!
Here's my original jar joined by his first "friend".
Story of a Traveling Pig
In 1978 (or maybe it was 1979), I saw a contest announced in a magazine that required writing an entry about "my warmest memory of my cookie jar". It was sponsored by Nestle Toll House Morsels in connection with their 50th anniversary. There were some pretty cool prizes offered and I thought I had a great memory to share so I wrote off my entry and mailed it in. My entry described growing up using the cookie jar (the pig you see at the beginning of this lens) and also about how my mom, who had gotten this jar as a wedding present, gave it to me when I married. I basically forgot about it and was surprised one day by a phone call telling me that I was the winner from my state (Mississippi). The prize for state winners was a one year supply of Nestle chocolate chips and a commemorative cookie jar. Also, each of the winning jars, one from each state, went to New York for a month-long exhibition in a museum there. I was a little nervous to ship my beloved pig off, but he made it there and back without any mishaps. Today the commemorative jar I won in the contest is a reminder of my "traveling pig's" adventure and is well on the way to vintage status as well.
What's It Worth? - Reference Books for the Collector
If you want to make informed decisions about purchasing a vintage jar, you really need to do some background research. Every collector needs at least one good reference book. Some collectors aren't really interested in how much a jar is worth in terms of planning to sell it; but it still feels good to think the cookie jar you found at an auction or at an estate sale was a great find. Reference books can also help you avoid some of the unscrupulous seller tricks to which the uniformed buyer sometimes fall prey (for example combining lid and jar from two different cookie jars and passing it off without telling the buyer). Reference books provide all kinds of information including good photos to aid identification.
Other Sources of Information - Check these links.
- Cookie Jars from A - Z - Picture and Price Guide for Cookie Jars
A cookie jar collection brings a smile to everyone's face, whether young or old. Many are taken back to their grandma's kitchen with the smell of cinnamon wafting in the air and the selection of that one "perfect" cookie taken carefully from her cook
- The Real McCoy: Is it Authentic or is it a Fake?
McCoy and Cookie Jars go together and because they do, many unscrupulous sellers try to take advantage of collectors. This is especially prevalent through Internet sales when buyers think they are bidding or purchasing an authentic jar from the real
- McCoy Pottery Collectors' Society
This official website of the non-profit organization offers information and newsletters plus more for the serious (or not-so-serious) collector.
- Cookie Jars, Today's Vintage Online Auctions
Locate information and values on collectible Cookie Jars of the 1930s, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's.
Andy Warhol's Cookie Jar Collection
Pop artist Andy Warhol collected over 175 cookie jars (mostly from flea markets and auction box lots). In the 1970s Claude Picasso, (son of the artist) asked Warhol why he collected the cookie jars. Warhol's answer? ''They are time pieces.''
When Warhol's collection was featured in a news magazine, public interest in cookie jar collecting was stimulated. One result of this (unfortunately for those of us who love collecting jars for our own enjoyment and not for monetary value) was that collecting became more competitive and prices went up. When Sothebys auctioned off his estate in 1987, collector and businessman Gedalio Grinberg paid $198,605 for 136 of them. The entire collection brought in $250,000. Not too shabby for a collection assembled mostly from flea markets!
Looking for a Vintage Cookie Jar?
Are you ready to try to find that perfect jar to start your collection? Maybe your grandmother had a special cookie jar you remember from childhood. Part of the pleasure of collecting vintage jars is the thrill of tracking down that perfect find. Maybe what you're looking for is a click away.
Newest Addition (A Non-Vintage Favorite)
I love cookie jars, not just the vintage ones, and have several at my house that are in current use. For my birthday this year I was given a new cookie jar that I just love. It is a Fitz and Floyd snowman and I predict that he will one day be collectible too. Right now I'm just enjoying him.
Fitz and Floyd
This is a beautifully made cookie jar that can be enjoyed for years to come. While intended for Christmas use, I plan to leave mine out year-round. Right now he's sitting in the middle of my dining room table (unfortunately he's out of cookies).
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