McCoy’s midcentury art pottery adds shapely style and a burst of color to your shelf, potting bench, or windowsill.

 

McCoy pots planted with African violets

In the 1920s, the Nelson McCoy Pottery Company of Roseville, Ohio, began producing colorful and decorative pottery in response to public demand and soon became the leading manufacturer. As a result, its wares are still available and relatively inexpensive to collect.

 

McCoy pots ready for planting

Designed by artists and mass-produced via molds, the pots were originally sold in department and dime stores. Distinctive shapes, colorful and rich glazes developed by chemists, and charming textures and patterns, gave the pottery its affordable beauty then as now.

 

White McCoy vase full of summer flowers

In addition to planters and pots, McCoy produced abstract and curvaceous vases along with various figurative shapes such as cornucopias, flowers, and fans. Textured and embossed designs on the pottery were generally either geometric or nature-inspired.

 

McCoy mark on the bottom of the ceramic piece

McCoy pottery was unmarked prior to 1938; afterward it bore the mark “NM.” From the 1940s through the 1960s it carried the distinctive “McCoy” mark, often with “USA” or “Made in USA” on the bottom.

 

Blue McCoy vase full of various flowers

Prices generally range from $10 to $250 for pieces from the 1930s to 1950s, depending on rarity, popularity, and condition.

 

McCoy pot holding utensils

McCoy pots make handy receptacles for all kinds of items around the home. Use one on your desk to hold pens and pencils. Tuck a McCoy vase in a corner of your vanity as a container for makeup brushes. Place one on your potting bench to corral tools, plant markers and seed packets.

 

White McCoy pots

Gathered in a group, white McCoy vessels make a sculptural display. To find McCoy pottery, check online auction sites such as eBay and shopping sites such as Etsy. Visit antique shops and flea markets. Or immerse yourself in art pottery at the annual Pottery Lovers Show and Sale. Read more in McCoy Pottery: the Ultimate Reference & Value Guide by Bob Hanson, Collector Books, 2009, Collector’s Encyclopedia of McCoy Pottery by Sharon Huxford , Collector’s Books or online at mccoypottery.com.

 

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