If your grandma or mom had a cookie jar on the kitchen counter, you probably weren't alone. These treat-holding treasures were part of many homes, and today, vintage cookie jars can be worth a whole lot more than crumbs. Certain jars can be especially valuable, so if you have one of these, it's definitely worth a second look.
Classic and Luxury Car Cookie Jars
Cookie jars in the shape of vintage and luxury cars can be worth almost as much as an actual car (probably a used car, but still, it's a lot). These ceramics appeal to car collectors and cookie jar collectors alike, and they have a ton of nostalgic charm. A few car-shaped cookie jars can be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. For example, a Rolls Royce cookie jar designed by Glenn Appleman recently sold for almost $500.
Popeye Character Cookie Jars
Famous cartoon characters like Popeye and friends can be super valuable as cookie jars, especially those made by American Bisque. The key is to make sure these are actually vintage and not new reproductions, which can be tricky to spot. One clue is that the bases on vintage examples are not elevated to accommodate shrinkage that happens when the pottery is fired. A genuine American Bisque Olive Oyl cookie jar sold for about $1,300.
Wizard of Oz Jars
If you happen to have a vintage Wizard of Oz cookie jar, you may be on the yellow brick road to treasure. These vary in value, but many by Star Jars and other vintage companies are worth hundreds. Jars in good condition are worth the most, so those without cracks, chips, and staining are especially valuable. A ruby slippers jar in excellent condition sold for about $450.
Vintage Cookie Jars of Disney Characters
Disney collectibles can be valuable, especially if they're vintage, and cookie jars are no exception. Jars in the shape of characters from Disney movies like Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp, and others appeal to collectors because of their nostalgic charm. If you have a Disney jar, it's worth a second look and could be worth hundreds of dollars. For example, a Lady and the Tramp cookie jar in excellent condition sold for about $250.
Enesco Animal Cookie Jars
Vintage animal jars made by Japanese company Enesco can be some of the most valuable too. Look for the Enesco mark or label on the bottom of the jar. Examples from the 1950s, usually painted in pastel shades, are worth the most. One in the shape of a cat head sold recently for about $270.
Holt Howard Christmas Cookie Jars
Christmas cookie jars tend to be useful (who doesn't love cookies at Christmas?), and that functionality can add to their value. Iconic Santa mugs from Holt Howard are collectible Christmas decorations, and the company's Santa cookie jar is also a hot item. If you have one in great condition, it could be worth a lot. A Holt Howard Santa cookie jar from the 1960s sold recently for about $225.
Christmas-themed ceramics tend to sell better in November and December, so if you're considering selling a holiday cookie jar, that's the time of the year to do it.
Cookie Jars by Red Wing and Famous Potteries
Famous pottery companies made cookie jars, especially during the early 20th century, and these can be valuable. Look for manufacturers like Red Wing and Roseville. A Red Wing cookie jar sold for almost $700.
Cookie jars with famous cartoon characters or iconic public figures tend to be worth a lot, especially if they are made by a well-known pottery company or artist. If you have a vintage cookie jar, take a few minutes to learn a bit more about what makes it valuable. You might just have a treat-holding treasure on your hands.