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 company.
Read Between the Lines
A common ploy is the way a jar is advertised for sale. For instance, instead of saying this is a McCoy jar, the seller might say "McCoy is on the bottom of the jar", not quite calling it a McCoy jar, but definitely making you read between the lines. The jar has almost always been found at an estate sale, thereby no history can be given. Or it might have been discovered in Grandma's attic. Apparently Grandma was pretty busy in her attic making all these jars. The majority of these jars have extremely heavy fake crazing on the jar, which is offered as proof of a sign of aging -- it's not! The crazing is usually darkish, completely covers the jar and is very even. In a collection of 1000 jars, not one of my jars has crazing this heavy or even.
McCoy Mammy Jars
McCoy only made two Mammy jars, both are pictured on this article. Mammy with Cauliflowers was made in 1939, but has been widely reproduced. An authentic jar can sell for as high as $1000.
Mammy #2 originally had the words "Dem Cookies show am good" on the front of the dress on the jars made from 1944 through 1947. The words were changed in 1948 to "Cookies". These jars were made through 1957 in the colors of solid aqua, solid yellow and white with decorative cold paint. Size is 11" high.
Note: The same mold as Mammy #2 was made (1942?) with the words "Dem Cookies Sho Got Dat Vitamin A", it is thought that this jar was never put into production.
The McCoy mark has been copied and misused on a multitude of jars (and other pottery items).
- A McCoy mark has been used on reproductions of authentic McCoy jars. At one time it was just the more valuable jars, but now even inexpensive McCoy jars have been copied.
- The mark has also been used on reproductions of jars from other companies. Brush, Treasure Craft, Shawnee jars have all been copied with no shame on the part of these people.
- McCoy is also put on jars that are apparently new designs or ceramic molds.
When looking at cookie jars on the Internet and at shows, the Top Ten Reasons why bells should go off:
- The seller will not give refunds
- the seller found it at the estate of a 90 year old lady, probably in the attic
- The jar has a very distinct, heavy crazing covering the entire jar
- Or the jar looks too new and too good. For instance the McCoy Mammy jars are OLD and should not look like new.
- the seller has many auctions, all featuring vintage jars with the above descriptions
- Size is not quite right -- lightweight or shorter
- you've never seen or heard of the jar, but the seller has more than one for sale (check closed auctions)
- Many more bidders than what is typical, shill bidding is often found on these fake jars.
- The auction is private, that way more knowledgeable collectors cannot warn the bidder buyers, the piece is a fake.
- Too many negative feedbacks on eBay.
- According to description, it's a vintage jar-- picture is on eBay, but in the background identical jars are seen along side packing boxes (Yes, this really happened!)
Remember, Collect with Your Heart, But Be Smart!
Sources Include: McCoy Cookie Jars by Harold Nichols