Nelson-McCoy Pottery: A Collector's Guide
McCoy Blue Butterfly VaseMcCoy Figural PlanterMcCoy Light Blue Highglaze Ewer
Collecting of McCoy pottery has literally exploded over the last few years, such that demand is at an all time high. Why? In most cases, more than one answer applies….
 


Naturally people ask how much is McCoy worth? Remember:
 


Another problem presents itself when a collector finds a piece with no mark. Is it McCoy? Use reference books. They don't contain everything about what pieces, colors, etc. McCoy made. That's part of the fun and enjoyment of collecting it.

Confusion exists between McCoy pottery, made by Nelson McCoy Pottery and another company, Brush-McCoy.

In 1910, Nelson McCoy started the Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Company in Roseville, Ohio with the help of his father, J. W. McCoy. They were in direct competition with Brush-McCoy, which made stoneware churns, jars, and jugs. J. W. was a partner in the Brush-McCoy company until he sold out his share in 1925; the company became Brush Pottery.

In 1933, Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware became Nelson McCoy Pottery. By the end of the 50s, they were shipping millions of pieces per year. In 1967, the company was sold to Mount Clemens Pottery Company; some pieces from this era were marked 'MCP'. The company was sold in 1974 to Lancaster Colony Corporation; after significant losses, Lancaster sold the company to Designer Accents, who found no success and closed the doors around 1990.

The Blended Glaze era spanned through several years from the '20s through the '30s. Standard glazes were  a matte white, a dark matte green and a combination of a brown and green color. This last color glaze was offered in a very dull matte and a somewhat glossy. Some were sold to lesser extent in matte blues, gloss and matte yellows; some continued into the early '40s, offered in the pastel glazes from that period.

Many pieces during the Blended Glaze era were sold in Onyx finish. (The same glaze was sold by another company, Brush-McCoy, at approximately the same time period, which can be confusing). If there is a number on the bottom it is Brush-McCoy; if no marks, the only way you can tell is by the shape of the piece, referencing the Nelson McCoy pottery book information vs. the Brush-McCoy references.

The 'Stretch Animals' are another popular collection of Nelson McCoy. From the late '30s to the very early part of the '40s, these pieces were actually part of a product group called "Novelty Flower Holders and Planters". However, collectors have labeled them with the 'stretch' designation and they will no doubt be always referenced as such. None of these pieces are marked. There are seven shapes in the series, including Pony (Horse), Goat (Standing), Butting or Ramming Goat, Dog, Hound (Dachshund), Large Lion, and Small Lion.

Without question, one of the most sought after lines by collectors is the Butterfly pattern sold in the early '40s. There are 26 different shapes (see photo), made in 6 matte pastel shades: blue, yellow, aqua, lavender, pink, and white. -Bob & Margaret Hanson, and Craig Nissen

McCoy Stretch Goat Planter         McCoy Turtle Planter

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