From whimsical animals and fairy tale characters to giant size cupcakes and apples with faces, vintage cookie jars are fun to look at and even more fun to collect.
Collecting Vintage Cookie Jars
A popular collectible, cookie jars have been in American kitchens for more than a hundred years. Throughout that time, cookie jars were the most popular from the end of World War II to the early 1970s.
Many of today's cookie jar collectors were children at that time and have fond memories of the special treats the happy little containers held. Finding a special cookie jar from the past at a flea market or garage sale has often been the beginning of a lifelong hobby of collecting these unique containers.
Limiting a Cookie Jar Collection
For some cookie jar collectors one of the hardest aspects of their hobby is deciding how to limit their vintage collection of cookie jars. Relatively inexpensive, vintage cookie containers can often be found for less than $25. As collectors, such great bargains are often hard to resist and in no time at all, some collectors find themselves with hundreds of cookie jars and not enough room to display and enjoy them. By determining a specific set of collecting criteria, or guidelines, collectors are able to keep their cookie jar collections from growing too large to be enjoyed. Examples of ways to limit a cookie jar collection include:
- Collecting cookie jars based on a theme such as animals, Disney characters or foods
- Limiting the collection by manufacturer such as Hull, McCoy or Treasure Craft
- Collecting only cookie jars from certain years such as the 1960-70s
- Collecting pieces from a specific country or area such as cookie jars made in Japan or those made in the eastern area of the United States
- Limiting your cookie jar collection to a certain color or group of colors
Where to Find Collectible Cookie Jars
Antique, vintage and novelty cookie jars are often found both on and offline.
Finding Collectible Cookie Jars Offline
There are still numerous vintage collectible cookie jars found at flea markets and garage sales. Other places to search for them include:
- Thrift stores
- Antique and collectible shops
- Estate sales
- Consignment stores
Cookie Jars Online
If you are looking for collectible cookie jars on the Internet, there are many websites dedicated to the buying and selling of these kitchen collectibles. Sources of collectible cookie jars that offer a wide selection of these adorable items include antique and collectible shops and auction websites such as:
Resources for Cookie Jar Collectors
The following websites and price guides are excellent resources to learn more about vintage and antique cookie jars.
- The Ultimate Collector's Encyclopedia of Cookie Jars: Identification & Values by Joyce and Fred Roerig
- The Complete Cookie Jar Book by Mike Schnider
- The Wonderful World of Cookie Jars: A Pictorial Reference and Price Guide by Ellen and Mark Supnick
- Kovels price guide online
- Association of Collecting Clubs: American Cookie Jar Association
Beware of Reproductions
There are many fake and reproduction cookie jars on today's market. It is important for collectors to learn how to identify an authentic piece from a fake or reproduction. Antique Trader Guide to Fakes & Reproductions by Mark Chervenka offers excellent information and tips on learning how to spot pieces that are not authentic. There are also many informative articles online, in price guides and on websites about specific pottery manufacturers.
Collecting vintage cookie jars is a fun hobby that the entire family can enjoy.