HEAVY METAL McCOY
By Jim Powers
For those of you who were not able to make it to the convention/reunion in Zanesville this last July, one of the displays in our “Show & Tell” segment was two small McCoy Vases along with examples produced with aluminum material. The two aluminum vases shown were made of recycled aluminum by the (now defunct) Aluminum Pottery Co of Devon PA. The letter and catalog sheet included here, generously supplied by the McCoy family, confirm these facts.
Also, it appears some of these pieces were evidently made for, or sold to the L.L. Bean Company in Maine around 1999/2000. The first two examples shown were found in an antique mall “Down East” Maine in the fall of 2014, which makes sense in light of a likely retailing agreement with L. L. Bean. A month later a second copy of one of them showed up on eBay, and found its way to Massachusetts as well.
As you can see in the photos, the bottoms of these two vases are flat with no markings. However, the vase with the vertical leaves and berries does have a sticker on the bottom noting it was made by the Aluminum Pottery Co. of Devon PA. It further states it is made from recycled aluminum. Also shown in the photos are the bottom styles of the McCoy vases, both made with dry bottom styles and one also made with a McCoy mark; see photo. The “real” McCoy’s are slightly taller, whereas the aluminum copies are much, much, heavier. Prior to the Show and Tell segment, I had some fun tossing the vases to some of our members to check them out in my room. You should have seen the double surprised look on their faces. First when they thought I was tossing a piece of pottery around carelessly and then disbelief when they felt the weight of the vase in their hand! A good laugh followed when they realized there was no danger in one of them breaking if it fell on the bed, or the carpeted floor.
In the catalog sheet from the Aluminum Pottery Company, you can see that they called this group of products their “Art Pottery Vase Collection”. As shown, there are a couple other McCoy shape designs which are not included in this article and also some pieces from other Pottery Companies so this was not exclusive to McCoy Pottery designs.
Below is another Vase example from this aluminum collection owned by one of our members. You can see this one is also included in the catalog sheet images.
These photos are another example of one of these aluminum vases modeled after a piece of McCoy Pottery. The interesting characteristic on this one is that it actually carries some markings on the bottom. The markings are the APC initials for the Aluminum Pottery Company and then what looks like a “D6” mark. At this time we do not know what that designation means. It might be a style number or catalog number. However, the specific pieces on the catalog sheet shown in this article have designations beginning with the letter “V” so we may never have an answer to that question for sure.
I attempted to find out additional information on the Aluminum Pottery Company, but apparently it has ceased to exist. Calls to the local Chamber of Commerce found no historical information as well. If anyone has any additional information on these vases, or the company, I would be pleased to hear more about them.
Of course, in the meantime I’m keeping an eye open for any of the other examples of these Heavy Metal McCoy’s.