The History and Purpose of Shawnee Pottery Jars

Shawnee Pottery Making
Shawnee Pottery is one of the ancient world's most interesting remains. Marilyn Angel Wynn / Getty Images
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What to Know About Shawnee Collectibles

The Shawnee Pottery Company, based in Zanesville, Ohio boasted that it could produce 100,000 ceramic items per day.

Although everything "Shawnee" is collectible, its cookie jars are especially popular. The Smiley pig, Winnie pig, Muggsy dog, Puss n' Boots and Dutch Jack and Jill were some of the more popular jars produced by Shawnee Pottery.

Smiley, in his many variations, is one of the most "wanted" jars of all for cookie jar collectors, not only Shawnee collectors. A collection doesn't seem complete without at least one or two Smileys.

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The $6750 Cloverbud Smiley Pig

Kent Mickelson Auction Company

This Shawnee jar sold at auction in July 2002. It's important to note that this price is definitely the exception. Smiley jars typically sell in the range of $200 to $750, with gold trimmed jars and unusual decals fetching higher prices. The particular combination of decal and gold, along with two collectors vying for the same jar, made the auction price soar. Marked: USA

  • Size: 11 ¼ inches high (can vary slightly)
  • Patented in 1942
  • Sold Price: $6,750
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King Corn

King Corn, shawnee pottery, cookie jar
King Corn. J. Bennett

Think Shawnee and you can't help but think of the Corn Ware dinnerware products, their most successful line. The Corn Ware design started in 1941 and was made through the closing of the company in 1961.

The first corn product was the White Corn Ware. In 1946, the yellow Corn Ware dinnerware went into production. A further change was made in 1954 when the colors were changed slightly and renamed Corn Queen

  • Mark: Shawnee #66
  • Size 10 ½ inches
  • Estimated Values: $200 - $400
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Midwest and Shawnee Sailor Cookie Jars

Shawnee Sailor Jar. Nancy Allen

Midwest of Cannon Falls has produced this look-a-like cookie jar. Everything is the same as the old Shawnee jar, except the size. The new jar is taller than the old one and there is no cold paint on the jar. All the creases, curves and bumps are exactly alike, but the Shawnee jar is quite a bit heavier than the thinner, lightweight import.

Unfortunately, the Midwest jar has no permanent marks on the jar. There is only a paper label on the bottom that reads "An exclusive design from Midwest of Cannon Falls. Made in China".

It would be hard to pass the newer jar off as vintage, as the combination of weight and color should make it easy to tell the difference for anyone who has even a basic knowledge of pottery or jars. In the fall of 2000, the Midwest jar was sold with an issue price of $40.

Read More: Shawnee Pottery

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The Gold Trimmed Cloverbud Winnie

cloverbud winnie, shawnee pottery, cookie jar
Cloverbud Winnie. Kent Mickelson Auction Company

This gold-trimmed Winnie pig jar sold for $1,250, even though it had a one-inch hairline crack in it. Winnie jars typically sell in the range of $300 to $800, although unusual decals and jars with gold trim will sell for a bit more. 

  • Cloverbud Winnie
  • Mark: USA
  • Size: 11 ½ inches high (can vary slightly)
  • Sold Price: $1,250
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Muggsy, shawnee pottery, cookie jar
Muggsy. eBay Seller aGlassAct

This Shawnee Muggsy was sold in August 2006 for $1,825. The jar belonged to the seller's mother, who received it as a wedding present in 1946. The jar was never used, hence the excellent condition.

Muggsy jars typically sell in the range of $350 to $800.

  • Mark: Patented Muggsy USA
  • Sold for: $1,825.
  • Auction Date: August 2006
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Dutch Boy Jack

dutch boy jack , shawnee pottery, cookie jar
Dutch Boy Jack. J. Bennett

Just like other Shawnee jars, the Dutch Boy is done in numerous variations. This jar was officially called Jack by the Shawnee Pottery Company.

The more details such as gold and decals on the jar the higher the values, and jars with patches on the pants appear to be the most prized.

  • Mark: USA
  • Size: 12 inches
  • Patented in 1942
  • Estimated Values: $125 to $300
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Dutch Girl Jill

Dutch Girl Jill, shawnee pottery, cookie jar
Dutch Girl Jill. J. Bennett

Just like other Shawnee jars, the Dutch Girl, or Jill as she is officially known, is done in numerous variations.

The more details, gold, and decals on the jar the higher the values.

  • Mark: USA
  • Estimated Values: $125 to $300
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Owl, shawnee pottery, cookie jar
Owl. J. Bennett

The owl is seen in an almost all white jar with little decorations, as well as a decaled/gold trimmed jar. The owl does not have the many variations as the other Shawnee figural jars.

  • Mark: USA
  • Size 11 ½ inches
  • Estimated Values: $125 to $250
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Puss 'n Boots

Puss 'n Boots, shawnee pottery, cookie jar
Puss 'n Boots. Barb Crews

Puss 'n Boots is another jar that comes in numerous variations, decals and gold trims. There are two different tail versions, long tail, and short tail jars. Also available as a matching salt & pepper set, as well as a creamer.

  • Mark: Patented Puss 'n Boots
  • Size 10 ¼ inches high
  • Patented in 1945
  • Estimated Values: $125 to $400
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Shawnee Bank Head Jars

Bank Head Jars. Barb Crews

Shawnee Winnie and Smiley bank head jars in the butterscotch color. Bank heads jars were also made with a chocolate brown finish and a green finish on the base.

  • Marked Patented Winnie/61/Shawnee USA
    Patented Smiley/60/Shawnee USA
  • Values: $250 to $350