The History of Regal China Company

© Victorian Casino Antiques

There are several dates thrown about for the time frame of when The Regal China Company was founded. According to Mike Schneider, The Complete Cookie Jar Book the company was founded in the late 1920s - 1930 by Herman Kravitz in Chicago, Illinois. The fact is certainly sketchy when it comes to the older companies*.

To back his date up, Schneider also states that Catherine Miller was hired as a decorator for the company in 1930. Which would make it almost a decade older than other sources claim? The company later moved to Antioch (about 50 miles north) in 1940.

Royal China and Novelty Company

During the 1940s Regal was bought by distributor Royal China and Novelty Company. In 1968 the company became a part of the James Beam Distilling Company. A perfect fit since Regal had been producing Jim Beam Bottles since 1955 -- an ashtray? and continued until the company stopped manufacturing.​

The company had a long 62-year run but closed down in 1992.

Little Red Riding Hood

Although the patent for the popular Little Red Riding Hood jar was issued to Hull. Hull only did the blanks and sent the jars to Royal China and Novelty Company to be decorated. After decorating they were sent BACK to Hull for distribution.

Confusing, right? It gets more so, because the Royal/Regal company also produced jars, along with most of the go-withs.

Learn more about how to tell the difference in Little Red Riding Hood Cookie Jars.

Decanter Prices

A sampling of Jim Beam Decanter prices on eBay, Spring 2013.

  • Fox Decanter Speckled Silver Coat with a Turtle Behind Back (rare sample?)
    Auction Price: $3350.50
  • Spiro T Agnew Elephant Decanter w/Scroll
    Date: 1972
    Auction Price: 799.
  • Red Coat Fox
    Auction Price: $599.
  • Dulcimer Decanter KY Musical Festival
    Date: 1986
    Auction Price: $488.
  • White 1957 Chevy Belair Decanter
    Auction Price: $375.
  • Ducks Unlimited Loon Decanter
    Auction Price: $333.
  • Palumbo Fruit Company 1929 Ford Model A Pickup Truck
    Auction Price: $199.
  • Angelo's Liquors Red 1957 Corvette
    30th Anniversary/1961 - 1991
    Auction Price: $175.
  • JR Ewing Decanter w/Music Box
    Date: 1980
    Auction Price: $172.50

Regal China Jars

It often takes someone with supreme sleuthing skills to figure out what company made what jar during the golden age of cookie jars. Molds were often used by more than one company or were copied so closely as to be hard to tell the difference. According to by Mike Schneider, Regal jars that are similar designs include the Puss'n Boots (Shawnee), the majorette and churn boy.

The company made several jars were produced for as licensed advertising products, including the Quaker Oats jar, Kraft Bear, Washtub Angel and Harris Bank Lion (later produced by Lefton).

Some of the better known and more sought after Regal cookie jars include:

  • Majorette
  • Toby Chef
  • Davy Crockett
  • Goldilocks
  • Kraft Marshmallow Bear
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Old McDonald Farm
  • Uncle Mistletoe (Marshall Fields)
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Peek-a-Boo by Ruth Van Tellingen
  • Cookie Jarrin' Angel (Cookie Jar publication)

Bottom Line

Regal China was best known for their long and prolific line of Jim Beam decanters, those pieces were very clever designs and quite popular with collectors for a long time. There are clubs devoted to collecting decanters and those interested in Regal China should take a look at some of the great designs made for Jim Beam.

As with the decanters, the company's cookie jars were also clever and well-made. The quality of the jar was apparent and it was a loss to collectors when the company went out of business.

More Resources for Collectors

*I've interviewed and chatted with Schneider several times over the years and am impressed with his research, so I tend to believe the facts as he publishes them.