Monday, June 16, 2008

The "Real" McCoy

McCoy Pottery actually started in 1848 as a stoneware crock and jar manufacturer. Until 1933, their pottery remained utilitarian...bowls, crocks, jugs. I have a set of 2 of these mugs that were my grandparents...they date to 1913.
In 1934, Nelson McCoy hired an English designer, Sidney Cope, who designed many of the collectible pieces people seek. When he died in 1961, his son took over until 1966 when Nelson McCoy's wife took over. (Bet that was an interesting dinner converstation!) This is McCoy's "art" pottery...still a poor man's Roseville, it does have its own charm. Here is a picture of Lily Bookends and a decorative vase.

One of the more dramatic lines was called Butterfly and was manufactured in the 1940s. There were 26 different shapes and 6 pastel glazes: blue, yellow, aqua, lavender, pink (although called coral), and white. This is a pink jardinere.

In 1950, all of the buildings were destroyed by fire, and they rebuilt with all new technology. They were the largest pottery producer in the U.S., shipping millions of pieces per year.

The pottery of the 50s included violet pots and a Garden Club Line produced in 1958...that line is very streamlined. The Floraline, produced in 1960 for Teleflora, FTD, and Smith Bottle, was a little more decorative.

In 1967, the company was sold to David Chase who in turn sold it to Lancaster Colony Corp. in 1974.

Throughout the changes, Nelson McCoy, Jr. remained President until he retired in 1981. Four years later the company was sold to Designer Accents who failed to maintain production and it closed in 1990. Interestingly, the McCoy line has held its own in the collectible world. Although prices have come down some, they still hover in the 2002 price guide ranges~for what it is worth...since I still say, buy it because you love it!


Carolyn Kocman said...

well, taught me something interesting post. you know i love pottery!

Brandie said...

Wonderful pottery! I love that you give the background behind the pieces.

Cottage Flair said...

A wonderful lesson in history again and you have some lovely pieces.

Anonymous said...

I do love it~ especially the white pottery~ thanks for sharing your knowledge~ S

Carol at Clutter Bug Studio said...

Wow, I learned something new today. Really love the bookends!

Lilli Blue said... know I am a fool for Mc Coy.I will have to send you a photo of a peice I got at an antique mall. It is big. I paid $20
and I hand carried it home on the plane.
Something happens inside of me when I look at old pottery. It is a very pleasant satisfied feeling.
My best friend and I have been collecting it for years.
I still dream about that pink vase.
When you see the peice I have you will know why.
Thank You Susan. I came here first. I have a surprise for you!

Miniature Patisserie Chef said...

Hi Susan,

Thanks for teaching us more on pottery! Learnt something new today!

Pei Li

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the wonderful information. I love McCoy and always pick up pieces here and there.


Cathy said...

Hi Susan, You left me a message about your auctions on Friday night. Please tell me more...

Thanks xoxo

Noelle Garrett Designs said...

Great lesson today! Loved the yellows! Always something wonderful here at your blog!

Patricia said...

Now I loved that history lesson. Love even more the advice to only buy what you love. Always look forward to your Show and Tells, thanks.


Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

I've been blessed to find several pieces at the thrift store for very little $$$.
There is something so soft and beautiful about McCoy.
Thanks for sharing,

gail said...

Hi Susan I just love the research you do for your posts. I always leave having learned something. I really like this pottery. thanks for sharing.....gail

Susie said...

Susan, Thank you for the history behind the McCoys. Now...what about the Hatfields? LOL
Love your Show and Tell pictures.
The Polka Dot Rose

Sweet Necessi-Teas said...

I love reading your blog. It is just chock full of the best information. I am learning something new every week. Thank you for the time you put into each post!

Silena said...

Hi Susan,
What a lovely lesson on McCoy! I, as many, love to collect and enjoy the color and patina of the beautiful pieces. Your blog is always a delight!!

Unknown said...

Hi Susan,
I have a set of the big mixing bowls out in the shed. Waitin' for a comeback I suppose, more likely I can't bear to part with them. I bought them during our first years of marriage in the mid-70's, lol.
By the by, I have a Sunday School voice, they only let me sing with the Sunday Schoolers.
Theresa @ Cottage Violets

Susan - InHerOwnWords said...

I grew up in Red Wing, MN so am quite familiar with that type of pottery. It's interesting to me that each individual piece has a story to be told. These are lovely! Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this subject!

Deb said...

Hi Lilli...nice post about McCoy.....we have a large collection of McCoy pottery and I also have a collection of McCoy Floraline (green). Yes, pottery collecting is an addiction...LOL

Pink hugs,

Deb said...

Sorry, Susan...I called you Lilli in my previous comment. :(


SoCal Helene said...

Susan, you have such knowledge! Thank you for sharing it with us. Just love the pottery and the pastel glazes.
Sisters Gift Company