By Frank “Floraline” Poolas

When is a tea pot not a tea pot? When it is a cookie jar? McCoy used the teapot and tea kettle shape at least a half dozen times. In my previous articles, (Vol. 2, issue 2 and 3) two cookie kettle designs were covered. The cookie jars in this design that seemed most confusing to me to decipher were Teapot, jar #185 and Kettle jar #209. These two jars are extremely alike in shape and color, and to add to the confusion the picture of jar #185 in Harold Nichols book, “McCoy Cookie Jars, From the First to the Last”, is pictured with a unknown bail. Let us take a look at these two jars so as to educate ourselves about the differences.

First, both jars are the same in color, Antique Bronze with hammered effect. Jar #209 titled “Kettle” was made first, from1962 to 1964, and jar #185 titled “Teapot” was made in 1974. The Jar measurements are as follows:

Title & #
of Bail
# 209
# 185

The shapes of the metal bails differ and are not interchangeable. Kettle jar #209 has a bail shaped like the roof of a barn and the lugs at the ends are about 1/4” in diameter. In the picture below, the bail on the Teapot jar #185 is not fully upright and therefore looks shorter than the bail on the #209 jar. However, the bail on the #185 jar is actually 1” taller. Also, the bail on the #185 jar has a wavy shape, and the lugs are about 5/32” in diameter. Both bails are metal and have a copper-color plating.

Now, let us look at the lids. The lids will interchange, but the #209 lid fits very sloppy on the #185 jar. Additionally, the #209 lid comes to a dome, whereas the #185 lid is flat. Also the #185 jar is marked on the underside of the lid with the number 185.

The markings on the bottom of these two jars are as follows, Kettle #209 is marked “McCoy USA,” and Teapot #185 is marked either with “McCoy USA” or “McCoy USA 185”. Keep an eye out for these jars and examine them the next chance you get. Remember the #185 Teapot was only made one year and is a little tougher to find.