McCoy Pottery: American Stoneware

Antique Week

Andy Warhol collected it, and Martha Stewart and Bob Williams (of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams) still do. It has shown up in Apartment Therapy posts and House Tours. It's McCoy — the much-beloved American pottery from Roseville, Ohio.

The first McCoy Pottery Company opened in 1848, but it was in 1910 when Nelson McCoy and his father began The Nelson McCoy Sanitary and Stoneware Company that the company really began to thrive. Nelson and his father manufactured and produced stoneware from the local Ohio clay, and also mined and sold the clay to other pottery companies. The company went through many incarnations over the 20th century, but was run by the family until it sold in 1985, closing permanently five years later.

While some McCoy pieces — particularly hard-to-find cookie jars — can be pricey, many pieces go for under $30. Unfortunately, there are a number of companies that have produced McCoy knockoffs and unlicensed "reproductions" over the years. It can be hard to spot a fake, especially as the "McCoy" labeling on the bottom is unreliable — the company itself did not start marking the pottery until 1929, and some fakes are marked "McCoy". The McCoy Pottery Collectors' Society has some helpful articles on identifying fakes, as well as photos of the pottery lines actually produced by McCoy.

The versatility of McCoy pieces — from the whimsical Fruit Planters to the sleek Roseville Floraline line — have helped contribute to its legacy and McCoy pieces will likely be cherished for a long time to come.

Top Row:

1. Colorful McCoy Scandia pottery in Meredith’s House Tour.
2. Pink bowl from the 1958 Oven Proof Kitchenware line at Vintage Suzanna's on Etsy, $25
3. A Scottie dog planter in Lara’s winning home from the Domino Decorating contest.
4. A striped vase from High Street Market on Etsy, $32.
5. 1970s’ pot and plates at June Vintage on Etsy, $45.

Bottom Row:

6. Martha Stewart’s own collection of McCoy at her East Hampton home.
7. The 1964 Suburbia Ware collection via McCoy Pottery Collector's Society,
8. Sasha’s House Tour included shelves lined with pottery by McCoy and Weller.
9. A beige Scandia bowl at TMHL on Etsy, $20.
10. Amy’s gorgeous collection of McCoy turquoise pieces via her Flickr stream.

Images: 1. Apartment Therapy 2. Vintage Suzanna 3. Domino Magazine 4. High Street Market 5. June Vintage 6. Martha Stewart 7. McCoy Pottery Collectors’ Society 8. Jessica Blake Tata 9. TMHL 10. Amyalamode on Flickr, used with permission.

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