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Antiques Considered - September 18, 2013

This McCoy pottery planter was a recent estate sale purchase here in the Northern Neck. The owner would like information on McCoy, and questions how collectible its works are. The piece is in excellent condition.

McCoy is one of the most prevalent forms of American Art Pottery.      
The factory, located in Roseville, Ohio, at its height produced 50,000 pieces of various wares a day.

Founded in 1910, as the Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Company, it remained in family hands until 1967, when it was sold; it was resold in 1974. Finally in 1990 it succumbed to the onslaught on the market of inferior foreign-made pieces.

Nelson McCoy, the founder of the company, passed on to the succeeding generations of family members who directed the company’s affairs, an insistence on quality production. He also went into the clay business, and sold clay to other firms. The business was multi-faceted, and at its peak employed 450 people.

Employee loyalty was another trademark of McCoy. Many of the workers were children and other relations of initial craftsmen. The work passed on from generation to generation.

This planter/vase dates from the 1920s or 1930s. It is typical of the shape and coloring of that era. Due to the vast quantity of pieces manufactured, and their popularity across the United States, McCoy is plentiful on the market. As a result, the law of supply and demand comes into play, and McCoy pieces do not bring the prices that some other art pottery pieces do.

Although the McCoy plant ceased operations almost a quarter of a century ago, collectors’ clubs and societies are doing quite well at keeping the name alive. The prices are not excessive, and nice items often are available for under $25. This particular planter/vase is worth $35.  It is a good example of the company’s wares from the heyday of its production.
Happy Antiquing!

Henry Lane Hull and his wife, Lisa, own Commonwealth Antiques & Appraisals, Inc., at P.O. Box 35, Wicomico Church, VA 22579  You may reach them at 804.580.3301 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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