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April Showers Bring Flower Pots to Mind

April Showers Bring Flower Pots to Mind

April brings thoughts of gardens, flower pots, window boxes and plants to the minds of homeowners (even if we did have snowflakes last week), and what better choice than vintage?

Pottery has always attracted fans of retro. Names like McCoy, Weller, Rookwood and Roseville are some of the most sought-after pottery manufacturers but there are others including California pottery brands.

Antique or vintage examples of flower containers are distinctive and not too hard to find at shops, estate sales or auctions. Colors are often muted pastels and neutral tones that work well in most homes. Many of these antique versions were made for indoor sunrooms or covered porches and some have matching pedestals, so it’s probably best to keep them under a roofed area where they are safe from extreme weather and wind.

Even unmarked vintage pottery examples can be identified by color, weight and familiarity. The more you handle antiques, the better you know them. Often old examples of pottery exhibit the arts and crafts look of the early 20th century.

McCoy is one of the most well-known names today, and there is even a McCoy Pottery Society that is planning its 33rd annual convention in Zanesville this summer with both in-person and virtual options. Visit Mccoypotterycollectorssociety.org for details and to join, if interested.

Did you know that Zanesville, Ohio is actually known as the Pottery Capital of the World? It became so due to its wealth of natural resources including gas, coal and clay, necessary for pottery making commercially.

The city’s many pottery companies produced household objects such as utilitarian pottery and attractive art pottery. Both are popular among collectors.

McCoy’s history has roots in the early 1800s but the J.W. McCoy Pottery officially began production in 1899, according to the McCoy collectors’ website. Another McCoy, the Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Company opened in 1910 in Roseville, Ohio, not too far from Zanesville, according to Collectors Weekly.

Art deco flower vases and figural designs were favored by McCoy and the pottery was known for creating attractive pottery that had a use and was practical. For example, banks, planters, mixing bowls and even umbrella stands.

Even more popular than flower pots for many collectors are McCoy cookie jars. There are many different designs available but the one known as Mammy or Aunt Mammy is probably the most desirable McCoy cookie jar in the world of antiques. Others were made in a variety of animal and food shapes including strawberries or bears.

Condition is everything when shopping for vintage pottery items or pricing them. There should be no cracks or chips and the glaze or color should still be attractive. Because many of McCoy items were mass produced, there are plenty of examples around to discover.

Vintage pottery and flower pots are a great way to add a touch of class to your spring plantings and brighten up a porch or sunny spot in your kitchen. The designs are so varied there really is something for everyone. Happy Spring!


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