McCoy Pottery was a popular pottery firm that produced earthenware in the State of Ohio, USA, during the early 20th century.
Brief History and Description
It was during 1910, that J. W. McCoy, his son Nelson McCoy Sr. and five stockholders formed the Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Company. They began manufacturing decorative and functional stoneware. The company operated successfully until about 1918.
In 1925, the pottery along with other pottery companies formed the ACPC or the American Clay Products Company, which marketed their products. The ACPC was eventually liquidated in 1926. In 1933, a new company was formed, changing the name to Nelson McCoy Pottery Company and which focused on marketing decorative pieces. The McCoy’s, Nelson Sr., and later Nelson Jr., oversaw the company’s operations for over 57 years until it was sold to Mt. Clemens Pottery Company in 1967. However, Nelson McCoy, Jr., continued to remain as president.
The Mt. Clements unit was later sold to Lancaster Colony in 1974 and Nelson McCoy. Jr., left the company in 1881. The company, Nelson McCoy Pottery Co., was eventually sold to Designer Accents in 1985 which managed the pottery for about five years, before closing down operations in late 1990. In 1991, the offices of the closed Nelson McCoy Ceramics was burnt down in a fire. Between 1991 and 2001, quite a few people applied for the McCoy trademark but none of them were successful.
Since 2001, there has been no official use of the McCoy trademark as the company is no longer in business.
Guide for Collectors
A general mistake most collectors make is that not all American pottery from the early 20th century with the McCoy insignia were necessarily McCoy. The McCoy Pottery insignia has been misused and has been copied on a multitude of jars and pottery items. The copies are so good that most new collectors are quickly deceived. As the McCoy cookie jars were so popular, they have been reproduced unscrupulously and collectors have been fooled many times. An authentic McCoy cookie jar can sell for as high as $1000.
Collectors are advised to be cautious while buying McCoy products online, as the online marketplace is full of fake McCoy products. A small tip for collectors - the popular products that are being reproduced and marked as McCoy include Freddie the Gleep, Jack’o’lanterns, full figured decorative clowns, Mammy with cauliflowers, dalmations in rocking chair and covered wagons. Even new jars that have been made after the company closed down are being marketed under the McCoy brand.
Notable Auction Sales
A purple McCoy cookie jar was auctioned on 17th November 1994 at Christie’s, New York for a premium price of $1,035. Another McCoy Dalmatian Cookie Jar was sold at the same auction for a premium price of $403. A mid 1950’s basket weave McCoy cookie jar was also sold at the same auction for a premium price of $345.
A collection of McCoy and other American pottery table articles that comprised of a pair of McCoy cornucopia vases was auctioned for a premium price of $837 at Bonhams, Los Angeles on 19th March 2006.
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