Cookie Jars began in the 1930s during the Great Depression as a way to store and keep home made cookies from getting stale.
Most were made using ceramic and were often various sizes, shapes and designs.
During the 1940s, McCoy and Roseville Pottery made the most popular ones.
McCoy cookie jars offer designs from Raggedy Ann worth around $150; Clowns valued around $75; a Grandma valued over $100 and dogs worth around $30. Some of the most famous McCoy cookie jars were those made for the Apollo Space Capsule which can be worth well over $1,000 in mint condition.
As time went on a large number of ceramic companies began making cookie jars featuring all kinds of characters. Some of the most popular, even today, are advertising cookie jars. Coca Cola, Green Giant, Keebler, Mr. Peanut and the Pillsbury Doughboy can be found in kitchens. The prices vary from $20 to $300 depending on the year they were made.
American Bisque made some of the most valuable ones featuring such characters as Davy Crockett, Yogi Bear and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Little Lulu is the most valuable made by the company and is said to be worth nearly $4,000.
Other character cookie jars by various makers include Bambi which can be worth close to $1,000; Sesame Street characters that range from $25-$500 and Garfield the cat that is valued around $75.
If you look hard enough, chances are good you can find a cookie jar with almost any famous character worth collecting.
When purchasing one of these items, be aware prices fluctuate. A guide book is a good thing, but in a slow economy, go on the low side. Never spend anywhere near book price and don’t expect to sell it for that. Those are just estimates. Who knows what the future may bring.
Remember condition is important and knowledge is power. There are sellers out there who have made cookie jars to look old and original. Study up on them as you do not want to be taken. The best way to check quickly is to look at the bottom. If it is scratched, it probably is a fake. Many people use sandpaper on the bottom to give it age. Scrape it with your finger to see if it feels real or not.
If you like the cookie jar, regardless of age or maker, then by all means buy it. But, don’t spend too much unless you are positive of its value.
Remember it does not have to be old to be good. A quick look on eBay shows there are over 15,000 for sale. I even saw a few Star Trek, Budweiser wagon and Coca Cola Cookie Jars. They are not old, but still are very fun and hot collectibles.
So whatever your passion is when it comes to cookie jars, follow it and leave the chocolate chip cookies for me.