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Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

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Antiques Considered -August 6, 2014

This McCoy pottery vase came as a Facebook inquiry.  It is a fine piece of the company’s production, and dates from the early twentieth century.

W. N. McCoy founded the McCoy Pottery Company in 1848 in Ohio.  It became an iconic American institution with large production throughout the nineteenth century.  In 1910 Nelson McCoy along with five stockholders established the McCoy Sanitary and Stoneware Company in Roseville, Ohio.  The company produced many varieties of pieces, and engaged in the clay business as well.

From 1910 until 1925 the McCoy factory put out a wide variety of wares that met the demands of the popular tastes of that era.  After 1925 the company went through a series of iterations with the patents and copyrights changing hands and names many times.  I remember seeing McCoy pieces in Northern Neck stores in my childhood, and some of those items still appear at estate sales.  Finally in 2000 and 2001 the claims for the trademarks were abandoned, thus ended the illustrious McCoy saga in American pottery.
Today McCoy has come into its own on the market once again.  Collectors clubs abound and the interest in rare and exceptional pieces never has been greater, thanks in part to the wider coverage afforded by the Internet. This sailboat vase is a good example of some of the firm’s best work.  The style and beige coloring are representative of the ascending Art Deco market of the 1920s and 1930s.  The shape is quite good and the condition of this piece is excellent.  To a sophisticated McCoy collector it is worth $125.

In some areas McCoy has not been discovered as yet, and bargains are available both in shops and at estate sales.  The country auction market is another place where the pieces often sell for less than what they might bring on the Internet.  Due to the vast quantities produced, McCoy likely never will be as rare as the works of some other potteries.

Henry Lane Hull and his wife Lisa operate Commonwealth Antiques and Appraisals, Inc. at 5150 Jessie duPont Hwy. in Wicomico Church, VA.  Write to him at P. O. Box 35, Wicomico Church, VA 22579 or e-mail questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Happy Antiquing!

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