Tips for Cookie Jar Collectors

Cookies in a cookie jar
Armstrong Studios / Getty Images

A cookie jar collection brings a smile to everyone's face, whether young or old. Many are taken back to their grandma's kitchen with the smell of cinnamon wafting through the air and the selection of that one "perfect" cookie taken carefully from her cookie jar. With such good memories attached it's no surprise that many people choose to collect the decorative kitchenwares. Even if collecting isn't in your future it's always a good idea to find out how much your family heirlooms might be worth. So whether you're looking to add to your own collection or just want to learn the value of some family heirlooms these resources will help you out. 

Sweet History of Cookie Jars

Prior to the 1930's most cookie jars were made of glass or metal. They were sparsely decorated, usually with flowers or leaves. After the Brush Pottery company in Zanesville, Ohio began producing decorative ceramic cookie jars many other companies followed suit. Ceramic cookie jars tended to be much more ornate and decorative than their glass and metal predecessors.  In America, the period between 1940 and 1970, is considered to be the "golden age" of cookie jar collecting. Most vintage cookie jar's you'll find come from this era.  

A true Louise Bauer Little Red Riding Hood Jar is very hard to come by and is coveted by collectors. It was such a popular cookie jar style when it was first produced that many other potters created their own lookalikes! This makes it hard for collectors to tell if they're dealing with a true Louise Bauer or not. As the manufacturing history of the original Little Red Riding Hood Jars is a bit confusing it's no wonder people are often duped in to buying the wrong version of this collectible. Learn how to spot this rare cookie jar. Your wallet may thank you one day!  More »

As with any collectible, some cookie jars are worth very little while others are much more valuable. Getting your collection professionally appraised before you sell them can help you get the best value. However, if a formal appraisal is outside of your price range websites like Kovels can help. You can log in to see how much specific cookie jars are selling for online.  More »

Where to Buy Cookie Jars

If you want to add to your collection the first place to look is your local thrift and antique shops. They're a common item seen at most flea markets or tag sales as well. Cookie jars often end up in the for sale pile as they have fallen somewhat out use as kitchenware. It's much less common now for most homeowners no longer own one let alone a collection. This sad news is great for collectors because it means there's less competition. If you're a serious collector auctions are a great way to find unique or valuable pieces. Buying online is always an option but online auction sites come with their own warnings. If you see something that looks too good to be true it probably is. 

Advertising Jars

A subset of cookie jar collecting is known as "advertising jars". In the late 40's and early 50's companies saw the branding opportunity that came with the cookie jar fad. Many companies turned to a pottery company called McCoy to create cookie jars for their business. Aunt Jemimah became a popular example of these type of branded jars.