How I Came To Love McCoy Pottery

I’m a little intimidated in writing my story, as there are so many of you that are so much more knowledgeable than I could ever hope to be. However, here is my story.

My love of McCoy, and other pottery, was by accident. It is something that crept up on me like a thief in the night. Before I knew it I was, as my dear husband says, obsessed.

My husband and I love gardening and we spend many a spring and summer afternoon planting, weeding, mowing, and general yard work. Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, etc. is where I used to purchase all my planters. Then I discovered eBay, but best of all I discovered “pottery”, what I call the good stuff! No more imported junk for me.

Unexpectedly one day my beloved Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It soon became impossible to leave her alone. During this period, I had to make decisions that affected us financially. Refusing to put mother in a nursing home, I became her full-time caregiver. In an attempt to bring in a few dollars here and there, I began selling on eBay, which led me to visit garage sales, estate sales, and a few auctions. My activities yielded a little additional money, and planters galore of all colors, sizes, and makes. I soon had a vase here, a planter there, and both everywhere. In turn, this led me to wonder, “What do these letters, numbers, and other marks mean on the underside of them”.

I started out knowing absolutely nothing about pottery, but thank goodness for the Internet. I soon began to identify a few of them, but I am still in the learning process, and, I guess, I will be for a very long time. As my knowledge grew I auctioned more and more on eBay, and I did okay, but my heart was not in auctioning. I knew I had discovered my niche’, although now I had a dilemma.

What in the world was I going to do with all of the vases, planters, and whatever that I was accumulating? We had moved into an old house, and had been slowly making progress with renovations and updating. I had decided to keep the cornices (window treatments), and it dawned upon me that this would be a perfect setting for my cherished planters – so viola, that problem was solved for what now just seems like a minute. To make a long story short I have planters and vases everywhere. They line my steps going upstairs; they are in and on cabinets, shelves, and anywhere else that I can fit them. However, as I have said, I do not have a handle on the identity of all of them yet. I know who made some of them, but there are others that I do not have a clue. Nevertheless, it does not matter – I love them all.

With most of the space in my house taken, I developed a new policy. From time to time, especially during the summer months, I decide what I want to keep and what to auction. I procrastinate with these decisions, and each piece I give up makes me a little sad, but I have to let go.

This is not the only thing that makes me sad. With my three cats, and my little Beagle girl, accidents happen. I truly hate having a piece of history destroyed by their antics, but it does happen. I keep the shards and I am designing a mosaic tabletop that I hope to get started on this spring. Once these accidents started taking place was when I realized it was time to downsize.

As a seller on eBay, I believe it is important to correctly identify the items you are selling. Even with my limited knowledge, I see seller’s list items as being made by McCoy that even I knew were improperly identified. I have even emailed a few sellers to let them know their item was not made by McCoy, and have been both ignored, and thanked for taking the time to contact them. It seems everyone wants their pottery to be made by McCoy, Haeger, Roseville, or other noted pottery manufacturer.

One little example I can give is about my infamous Chick-A-Dee pitcher. I had it for a while, trying to identify its origin. On and off, I checked the eBay listings, and other online sites. Finally, I found one listed on eBay, and it was identified as being a McCoy. I contacted the seller to see if they would share with me how they made this determination, but they never responded to me. A little later I decided that I was going to sell it. I was getting ready to list this little pitcher, when I received my first McCoy Journal. My little Chick-A-Dee pitcher was right there, listed in the “fakes” section. I was so appreciative that I had not listed this little creamer as a McCoy. I decided that I’d keep the little Chick-A-Dee, as I think it is sort of nice to own a known McCoy fake or misidentified McCoy.

My favorite McCoy piece is the brown with gold trimmed squirrel planter. Mr. Squirrel has a job. He sits and watches over my indoor plants and greenery, and I will probably keep him forever. Another favorite is my blue Harmony vase. I also have a little yellow, basket-weave planter that was my first McCoy piece. This one will always be with me too. I look around and know that even though I have pottery from lots of manufacturers, my McCoy will always hold a special place in my heart.