Crazy for Cookie Jars

There was a time when every home had a cookie jar, filled with some sort of delicious home-baked treat! A favorite old cookbook advises keeping fresh-baked goodies on hand at all times, not only for after-school snacks, but “just in case company drops by”. I was once told, “One is a piece, two is a couple, three or more is a collection”. Loving all things “vintage”, cookie jars are no exception to my adoration. A jolly blast from the past, you’ll find them peeking out at antique stores, thrift shops, and flea markets. They’re a great way to add whimsy and cheer to a kitchen, and don’t just have to hold cookies….

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My kitchen is truly the hub of my home. My “theme” is “cherries” and “chickens” . The cherry theme was a popular motif in the 1940’s and 1950’s. This shiny little jar is what started my craze for all things “cherry”. I found it at a flea market about fifteen years ago, but knew I just had to have it. I’m sure you know how that goes!

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I love the bean-pot shape. I later found a second one, in a color similar to Yellow Ware. I use it to hold cookie cutters that are not in use.

IMG_0324-001A blue one I found had no lid, so I re-purposed it to hold cooking utensils next to the stove. I know the jars are old, probably 1940’s, with “cold painted” cherries. None are marked, and try as I might, I still don’t know for sure who manufactured them. (If you know, please do tell)!

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Vintage cookie jars had personality! Animals, people, fruits, and veggies were all popular themes, as well as were advertising jars. When I was a kid, my mom always kept a “Quaker Oats”  cookie jar on the counter, made by Regal China (and she kept it deliciously stocked). When I saw a similar one at the flea market, nostalgia kicked in. Mine is a reproduction, commemorating the Quaker Oat company’s 120th year in 1997, but I love it just the same. This jar holds instant organic oatmeal packets for those occasional manic mornings when stove top oatmeal isn’t an option.

IMG_0323I received this vintage chick jar by American Bisque from a dear friend. His jaunty tam and sweater just crack me up! He sits by the sink and holds fresh, unused sponges. American Bisque made many popular jars, some featuring popular cartoon characters.

McCoy, Hull and Red Wing are a few other manufacturer names who made popular past-era cookie jars. How do you know if a jar is a reproduction or an true original? For one thing, original jars usually have “heft”, weighing more than reproductions. It also helps to really know as much as you can about a particular company and their identifiable traits when buying an antique piece. Mine are all simply pieces that I love, that make me happy and create a warm, homey atmosphere in my kitchen. In a fat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free-filled world (blech!), vintage cookie jars harken the past with a sweet nod to much simpler times. That, and they’re just so darned cute!

Are you crazy for cookie jars, or  have a special “kitchen collection”, too? Tell me about it!

Until Next Time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

 

Leave a comment 31 Comments

  1. Nicole, I love cookies jars too. Although I don’t have very many of them. I do have a McCoy smiley face one that is bright Yellow. Also few others. they are so cute. I have a snow man. I would like to have a teddy bear one. My Aunt , years ago had a teddy and it was always filled. I never knew what happened to it. I don’t think my cousin has it, at least I have never seen it. I also collect snow men. Love them. Well Hugs to you. Juanita Massey, Farm sister #1020

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Juanita. I have seen that McCoy cookie jar you are talking about, in a book about McCoy. It’s adorable! I bet it sets the tone for your kitchen. :) I can’t say I’ve seen a teddy bear jar yet. Sounds like a cute one, and a great memory of your aunt. I bet your snowman collection is adorable, too. Thanks for stopping by! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  2. susana says:

    I think your cookie jar collection is neat. I never took to cookie jars but/after seeing your, may start. I seen
    Many of them, its probably why I never cared to collect them….too familiar….my mother had all kinds of collectibles….lots of antiques! My dad would always bring her them. He collected them. I caught the collecting fever too. But a little different. Mine were a variety….bells, thimbles, green glassware and teapots and funny cups. And containers. As a child we played with most of the antiques and didnt know they were previous….antiques. Just loved them. Handled them, broke them but had fun with them . My love was collecting…. teapots. I dont care if they are old or new, just love what they symbolize to me…. a slower time in time. Tea time was a part of my past good memories. Its why I collect.
    I also collect thimbles because they were easy to transport…. as a memory of our travels. I also collected dishes from the countries I have visited. No monetary value just memories f those countries.

    For your information, your cookie jars are Crock cookie jars….and I think the value us between 20 and 70 dollars unless you can find their manufacturer and number on them. Most items have a number under the lid or on the bottom, but sometimes can be on them or a name mark into them on their side depending on the manufacturer or artist as done cookie jars were otiginlly signed by the artist who designed them.if you can find the manufacturer number or designer, you can .locate its style easier. But you can take a look at WWW. Rubylane.com

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Susana, I love thimbles, too, and have some from places I’ve visited. As for cookie jars, I have a rule that I try not to collect anything that I can’t or won’t use, so I use the jars as storage. Of course, the special cherries one has cookies in it! 😉

      Thanks for the info. None of the jars have markings or numbers so we have not been able to pin point a manufacturer. Oh, but the goodies on that Ruby Lane site! Thanks for sharing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  3. Mary Rauch says:

    Found Blues and Blacks on Ebay, but all they said was “vintage” and “retro”.
    Vintage Medium Blue Crockery COOKIE JAR Ear Handles Hand Painted Cherries no lid FREE S/HHeavy, vintage, Hand Painted Blue Cookie Jar, about 6 3/4” tall (without lid), and 8 1/2” across at widest. Opening for lid is about 5 1/2” across. Some paint on raised design on front is missing, item is unmarked. Otherwise, very good condition, no wear or damage. Does not include a lid. $31.00 (sale ended)

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Mary, Yes, I have found others on eBay, too. They always say “vintage” or “antique” but have not been able to pin point anything else, or verify the true maker. Thanks for trying! I still love them. I think I decorated my whole kitchen around that little black and red cherry jar! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  4. Mary Rauch says:

    Ebay shows blacks and blues.

    This is a caption for the picture.

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  5. I grew up with a cookie jar that was an elephant. Its white sailor hat was the lid. My mother kept it full of oatmeal for serving up a hot breakfast.
    http://www.ebay.com/bhp/elephant-cookie-jar

    I like your cherry jars better:)

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi MaryJane, I think the elephant cookie jar is cute too. Growing up, my mom also kept a strawberry cookie jar. I think it was a McCoy. My mother’s kitchen was red, like mine is now. We always kept knocking the lid off that strawberry jar for some reason. It was glued so many times! If finally broke, and Mama got a second one. It broke too. After that, she didn’t want another one. To this day, I can’t look at a strawberry without thinking of that cookie jar! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  6. Rose says:

    Love the Cherry Cookies jars! What a great idea to re-purpose them for other storage uses.
    I still have my large blue “Aunt Jemima” cookie jar purchased from an antique store in Tennessee. I use it for dog treats for my first dog, Nikki and now the new dog, Grace. The dogs can hear the lid of the “cookie jar” opening from all over the house and come running into the kitchen for a treat. You gave me an idea! I may start my own collection with dog and cat themed cookie jars.

    Rose

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Rose! I love that! My pups have their own “cookie jar”, too, though it is not vintage. It’s smaller, stoneware with a “bone” on top. I had to watch my previous dog, Dino. I’d hear that lid going off – he would stand up on his hind legs and help himself to treats! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  7. Cathy Curry says:

    In 1997 I was a sales rep for the Quaker Oats company…I remember the promotion to get your own cookie jar and of course I had one!!! Still can’t beat a homemade oatmeal cookie! And yes, cookie jars are so fun and the creative ways they can be used in unending! Cathy

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Cathy, that is cool! My mom always made the recipe on the back of the cookie jar. That’s still a favorite oatmeal cookie recipe, and they smell heavenly when baking! Thanks for “stopping by”! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  8. CJ Armstrong says:

    Hey Nicole,
    Fun post! My mom had a brown, stoneware cookie jar that always had some treats in it. My dad dipped into it daily for a snack with his coffee during his break from farm work.
    It was used so much and has some chips and, as I recall, a crack. My daughter has it safely placed on a high shelf just for a treasure. She doesn’t use for cookies. It’s a sweet reminder of my mom . . her grandma!

    Right now, I don’t have any cookie jars! Hmmmmmm . . guess I’ll have to look for one!
    CJ

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi CJ, darlin’! Thanks…I am glad you liked the post. :)

      Another neat story…lovely memories in that stoneware. Thanks for sharing it here. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  9. CJ Armstrong says:

    P.S. I was just reminded . . I have a Mary Engelbreit teapot that is black with red cherries on it and has light green spout and handle. I found it at a thrift store for a couple bucks. It is missing the lid but it could be put to some fun use . . . even for cookies!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Oh yes… I LOVE Mary Engelbreit, too, with her love of all things cherry! I bet that teapot is adorable. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  10. Karen(old cowgirl) Montoya says:

    I grew up with a white cat cookie jar. It has a blue puffy ribbon around its neck. I love that cookie jar so much. I would not take any thing for it. When my Sister and I moved my Mom out of our house to be with us here, I made sure that cookie jar and a few other memories came with us. I did not want to even take a chance on it getting broke or sold.
    Right now it is wrapped up carefully and in storage so that when I get my new house it will take its rightful place of honor.
    There were all kinds of cookies in that jar some store bought but the best was my Mom’s homemade.
    Hugs
    Kay

  11. Sharon Bertsch says:

    I love American Bisque cookie jars, in fact I own 5. I haven’t gotten any in a long time….the price’s have gotten too high.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Sharon! Sounds like a great collection! Do you use them for anything besides cookies? My little chick is certainly heavy! I love the way the American Bisque jars are painted, as well. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  12. Beverly Battaglia says:

    Nicole, I had forgotten about the strawberry cookie jar. I had after you were living in Conn., a Tweety Bird cookie jar that was given to me by Cheyn and Candice. Not really large. But the Quaker’s Oats cookie jar I have was given to me by my sister Barbara in the 1960’s and it is up high on my cabinets or I would look at the bottom for information. I will later. The recipe for the oatmeal cookies has been changed on the current box of Quaker’s one minute oatmeal. I do not think it is as good as the one I use to make. I do love your cherry cookie jar in the black. They all look so good in your kitchen. Do you remember if I had a penguin cookie jar from Barbara in my kitchen? Love you, Mother

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Mama, All the “old” recipes are so much better than some of the current ones. I love the recipes in my vintage cookbooks, and often adapt them for modern times. Cooking and baking was really better in the past. So many of our favorite recipes are ones you gave me from my childhood. I don’t remember a penguin…Love you! Nicole

  13. Hi Nicole, my Mom has a cookie jar that she brought home from Germany when my Dad was in the military there in 1955. It is a green tree, with a squirrel hole that has his head poking out and the lid is his bottom and tail! It’s very special to all of us. Whenever I’m home to my Mom and Dad’s I’m always afraid I’ll break it. Loved your cookie jars. I’ve never collected them… but this almost makes me want to start! :-) – Dori, the Ranch Farmgirl –

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Dori, I bet that squirrel cookie jar is soooo adorable! I know how you feel about breaking something so sentimental. I love all my antique/vintage items, and use them. However, I have a fairy lamp of my grandma’s. Antique wise, it is not that valuable, but if I ever broke it I’d be heartbroken! I love the story of your cookie jar, too…such great family history attached to that jar. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  14. Nicole, I love the cookie jars. I have a Juice piticher and two little juice glasses the exact same color and pattern painted with cheeries on them. They were my husbands grandparents first juice set when they were married. That was more than 75 yrs ago. so I believe the crock jar with the blk paint and cheeries is probably around the same age. Looks to familiar not to be. I too have not been able to find anything on them. If I do I will let you know. :) Be Blessed. Neta

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Oh Vivian, I would love to see your juice pitcher and two glasses! I’ve never seen any other pieces but my jars. I love everything cherry now because of that jar. Thanks for the info on them. If either of us ever finds anything else out, we will have to let each other know! 😉 Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  15. Nancy Coppock says:

    I too collect(ed) cookie jars! I’m lucky (or as hubby would say “unlucky”) enough to have dropped kitchen cabinets and that is where I display mine. While most are not vintage, I have one or two that are. My biggest collection though are salt and pepper shakers. My husband put up baseboards as shelving around my kitchen/dining room. They are up towards the ceiling like wallpaper boarder. Always get a lot of compliments on them :)

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Nancy, I love salt and pepper shakers, too, though I only have a few different ones I change out with the seasons, and a couple sitting here and there. I love your idea of displaying them on shelving made from baseboards. Awesome idea…thanks for sharing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  16. Marci D says:

    This is a fun post. Thanks for sharing your collection. I love the cherry cookie jars.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Thank you, Marci! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Those jars started my love for all things “cherry” themed! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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