"People from a planet without flowers
would think we must be mad with joy the whole time
to have such things about us."
~Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Vintage Thursday


I collect McCoy pottery. The first McCoy pottery was established in 1848 in Putman, Ohio. Later Putman became a part of Zanesville. The company goes clear back to 18o6 when a redware potter used red surface clay to produce household items needed by the settlers. They started out making crocks, jugs and jars from clay in fields and then small factories started production. When W. Nelson McCoy and his uncle started making quantities of products for the local market and colored some of their pottery, business boomed.
A lot of the early pieces are not marked. Some only have numbers. Without a book to help identify each piece it can be very hard to tell if each piece is "The real McCoy". I always hope that there is a mark on the bottom, but when there isn't I rely on my McCoy pottery Encyclopedia to identify each new piece.
I'm limited, by space in my house, as to how big my collection can grow. Over the years I've collected only off-white and shades of green which I just love. I have a few beautiful pieces that are in other finishes that I just couldn't live without and are wonderful additions to the collection, but I always go back to the off-white and green.
There are thousands of pieces in the book that I have never seen. Some are really ugly; like black Seagram's ashtrays, buffalo caddies and W.C. Fields decanters. Some are the same mold but in lots of different glazes. Some are bizarre and some are astoundingly beautiful. You have lots of choices. The prices were high a few years ago and recently have gone down.

I love the finishes that are matte more than the shiny ones but most of the pieces that will hold food or water are shiny.. Some of the greens are different shades and there are usually flaws in the glaze or workmanship. It's kind of a Wabi Sabi collection. Some are just old and well used. I love that they lived lives somewhere else and ended up here.

I have to find creative ways to display this collection. This group is in the kitchen ,on the top of my cabinets. It looks good but it's hard to keep clean. When the dust starts falling on us and I can see a brown edge on the pieces, then I get motivated . It needs a ladder, good balance and a dust cloth and..., I'm getting old. Needless to say, it doesn't get done too often.
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10 comments:

Kelly said...

The bowl (under the rattlesnake sign) is my favorite~ You have beautiful pieces! ~Kelly

unDeniably Domestic

Susan said...

Nice collection. I know what you mean about displaying above the cabinets. I stopped for the same reasons.

^..^ Corgi Dog Mama ^..^ said...

Oh wow, you have a serious collection of McCoy...lucky duck you!
Yep, I do think we're soul sisters....love your site. Very homey, I just want to jump on in!

kbbryant said...

Interesting information about McCoy pottery. It's amazing that there are thousands of patterns you haven't seen! I am partial to the white pieces. They look so nice grouped together.

Hope the sun is shinning on you today.

Kathy b

Karen Deborah said...

I've got one piece just brought it home from Cali.

Coloradolady said...

THese are beautiful pieces of McCoy pottery. I love the white too. Very clean looking.

foxxy said...

I'm not familiar with Mccoy. I've heard of them but don't own any pieces. They look great how you have them displayed. Thanks for sharing.

marianedwardsdreamweaver said...

That white pottery reminds me of white chocolate...mmmm yummo!! my fav's gotta be the green..lovely McCoy collection :)

Elizabeth said...

What a great collection! Thanks for all of the information, I love to learn new things.

Becky said...

The new header is delightful.

I love that greenish flower. You have a beautiful collection.