Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Real McCoy

I've always been drawn to pretty white pottery. I love the look of it displayed on a shelf for all to admire. I think I prefer white to any other colour because it all goes together so beautifully. Cleaner shades of whites can stand amongst creamier shades and they will still compliment each other. I'm not even particular on whether they're all the same style or era of pottery. All that matters is that they're appealing to me.
There is, however, one exception; McCoy pottery. McCoy pottery began in April 1910 as The Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Company in Roseville, Ohio. Ohio was known for it's natural resources of clay and thus it's bounty of experienced earthenware workers. McCoy started out producing a vast range of functional pottery for a wide range of everyday things. Over the years, due to the demand, they began to focus their efforts more on the decorative pieces. The pieces were generally sold in nickle and dime stores and it wasn't until the last couple decades that they really became collectors items. The Roseville factory is no longer open and production has since moved to Tennessee where they only produce reproductions.
To own a collection of McCoy pottery has always been an antiquing aspiration of mine. It's the only brand of pottery that I absolutely adore! I'm not even picky on the colour. Be it the Martha Stewart style blue-green, buttery yellow or a soft pink, they're all gorgeous and I would find a spot for every one of them. If I did have to pick one favourite though, it would have to be the greens. I'm completely drawn to anything in a jadeite shade of green and these are no exception.
The only slight kink in my collecting aspirations, however, is I've never actually come across a vintage McCoy! For some reason, they just don't seem to be around. I'm sure if I ventured down to the States I could come across a few, and I'm sure they exist in Canada, just not when I'm holding a bidding number! Yesterday that changed though. I went to my Tuesday auction and what did I stumble across? A pretty pink vase that looked strikingly similar to a McCoy - a real McCoy. As I approached that piece my eyes fell on the distinctive flared double handles of a familiar design. It definitely seemed like an authentic! But I, sensible as I am, wasn't about to let it fool me. Only the true McCoy symbol stamped into the bottom could convince me. Before turning it to check, I noticed the vase was actually in quite rough shape. It was cracked and had a large chip out of the one side. As I turned it over, sure enough, five letters spelled out McCoy (complete with overlapping M and c and C curled into o). In my hands, for the first time, I held a real McCoy. Neither the chip, the crack, or the price I would have to pay to win it seemed to matter much anymore. This would be the first piece of my collection and it would soon sit proudly on display, waiting for others to join it.

Oh and as for the price - I ended up walking away with it for free because no one else wanted a cracked, dirty old vase.


  1. bravo! I'm super excited for you, for your find!!

  2. I can't believe nobody wanted such a beautiful vase.


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