For pottery collectors, there’s perhaps no brand that’s more exciting than McCoy. It started life in the mid nineteenth century, and eventually closed in 1991. And with such a long history, there’s a lot of different pieces out there to add to any collection.
Some, though, are considerably more valuable than others. We’re going to take a look at some of the rarest McCoy pottery. And we’ll find out just how much it can be worth.
So if you’re ready, step this way to find out more!
Rarest McCoy Pottery Worth Money
1. Chartreuse Planters $260
Some of the most sought-after pieces of McCoy pottery are planters and jardinieres. They’re not only beautiful, but practical too. And this beautiful pair of lemon yellow planters are the epitome of 1960s style.
The design is called “Chartreuse”, and it features overlapping diamonds beneath a border of leaves and berries. Each planter is 10.5 inches across at its widest point and stands 7.5 inches tall. They’re a good, solid weight too. Each one is 6.5 pounds.
They’d make a wonderful statement piece, particularly filled with large green plants like ferns. And when they came up for auction online in May 2022, there were plenty of bidders interested in taking them home. When the virtual hammer finally fell, the winning bid was $260.
2. Swallows Jardiniere $260
This lovely matte green jardiniere is another great interiors piece. This one is decorated with a design of embossed swallows in flight. It’s full of movement, marking it out as a genuine piece of art pottery.
It measures 7.25 inches wide and is 7 inches tall. That makes it a useful size to make an impression, even where space is limited.
It was offered for sale via an online auction site in May 2022. And crucially for collectors, it was in perfect condition. Any chips, crakes or flaking glaze could have affected the price significantly. In the event, it was snapped up by one collector for $260.
3. Owl Lantern $280
This unusual owl lantern is both stylish and whimsical. It features cut outs for the eyes, as well as crescent shapes resembling the edges of feathers on the body. These allow the light to travel through when the candle inside is lit, creating a beautiful effect.
This green version came in its original box, a real boon for collectors. This declares the lantern to be made of “Cermalite”, a 1970s heat-proof ceramic. There’s a small hole on either side of the owl’s head, allowing a metal handle to be attached for hanging.
This version came up for auction in 2022, and sold for $280. The same design, only in white and without the box, fetched $250.
4. Horse and Rider Ornament $250
This sweet ornament depicting a draft horse and rider dates from 1943.
It’s a tranquil rural scene, with the farmer sitting side saddle while the horse drinks or grazes from a trough. And it’s finished in a treacle glaze, with brown at the bottom blending to olive green at the top.
It was in perfect condition when it came up for sale, without any chips, cracks or other damage to the glaze. The seller was asking $285, but was prepared to accept a lower offer.
5. Teal Ivy Planter $285
This attractive planter was made to hang nestled in a chain or cord. If there was ever a hanger with it, it has since disappeared. But three grooves around the rim would have held it securely in place.
The body of the planter is decorated with an embossed design of ivy leaves. The teal glaze is closely associated with McCoy pottery, appearing in a range of pieces.
It dates from the 1940s and it’s a small, neat size – 6.75 inches across and just under 4 inches high. So you don’t need a palace to display it to good effect.
It was presented for sale at an online auction in 2022. It had some minor signs of wear, and some crazing and bubble marks. Importantly, those appeared to have been made during the manufacturing process rather than being signs of later damage.
It was snapped up by a collector for $285.
6. Amaryllis Vase $300
This striking vase is decorated with the design of an amaryllis. The beautiful pink tones bleed into the surrounding green glaze creating a dream-like quality to the piece.
The overall impression is art nouveau, but a dimpled collar gives it more of a mid-century feel. It stands 7.5 inches tall, and was presented for sale in May 2022 in perfect condition.
Its good looks attracted plenty of interest from collectors, and it was bought for $300.
7. Green Woodland Pedestal $300
McCoy produced a wide range of jardinieres on pedestals. But you don’t always need to have both the pot and the pedestal to get collectors interested.
This green pedestal had been separated from its pot. But it was still a very attractive piece, with its design of an orchard and wooden fence.
It could be used today for displaying any manner of objects of interest. And for any collector with the matching pot, it would be an amazing find.
It was offered for auction online in 2022, with a starting price of $300. There was only bidder, but they were happy to pay that price to secure it.
8. Dogwood Twist Vase $300
This elegant vase has an unusual twisting form. It was made as a collaboration between McCoy and Loy-Nel-Art somewhere between 1905 and 1910. And it’s decorated with a beautiful hand-painted dogwood flower, which glows against the deep green ground.
It’s tall and slender, standing 14 inches long and 4.5 inches wide. Those proportions would have made it vulnerable to damage over the years. And indeed, this design is hard to find today.
This example, however, is in excellent condition. There is some crazing, but no cracks or chips. It was offered for sale online in 2022. The asking price was $325, but the seller accepted a lower offer.
9. Fuchsia, Teal and Mustard Jardiniere $350
The first thing you notice about this planter is its striking colors. Shades of fuchsia, teal and mustard make this a piece that really stands out from the crowd.
It’s also a very early piece of McCoy pottery, dating from the very early 1900s. The damask pattern is reminiscent of heavy Victorian fabrics, but the fresh color-way gives it a more modern feel.
It’s a handsome size too – 10 inches tall and 11.75 inches at its widest point. And it was presented for sale in perfect condition, both inside and out. It was bought by a collector for a fixed price of $350.
10. Leaping Antelope Centerpiece Planter $350
This lovely planter shows the striking design qualities that have made Mid-Century Modern pieces so desirable today. It was made in 1955 and features a leaping antelope, or possibly a springbok, as the centerpiece.
It came up for sale in 2022 and was listed as a planter. But the four separate sections around the antelope are rather shallow. It’s perhaps more likely that this started life as an ashtray.
But whatever its original purpose, it’s an attractive piece. The antelope has a pale brown glaze which contrasts beautifully with the deep green surround. And it was in great condition when offered for sale, without chips or cracks.
There was no maker’s mark, which isn’t unusual for McCoy pottery. But its provenance was without doubt – the design was featured in a trusted collector’s guide to the manufacturers’ work.
One buyer was happy to pay $350 to add it to their collection.
11. Rocket Fin Ribbed Vases $392
This stylish pair of vases scream retro chic. They have unusual fins down the sides, and would look perfect in the lair of any Bond villain!
They’re finished in a matte green glaze, with distinctive pits and an uneven texture. And they stand about 4.25 inches high and 5 inches across.
They date from the 1920s. And while they don’t have a maker’s mark, they’re a distinctive McCoy pattern.
They were offered for sale in 2022, in excellent condition, and made just under $400.
12. Zebra Planter $400+
This planter in the form of an adult and baby zebra is the height of 1950s kitsch. The black and white finish would look brilliant against fresh green leaves.
The planter is 6.75 inches tall, 7.5 inches long and 2.5 inches wide. And one specimen sold on an online auction platform in May 2022 for $400.
That was actually something of a bargain. Another example, in good condition aside from a minor firing line and some crazing to the underglaze, is currently on sale from a specialist dealer. The price? $930.
13. Floor Vase with Rocket Fins $510 – $585
This stylish vase features similar fins to the pair of vases we saw earlier. But this is designed as a single centerpiece, standing 14 inches tall.
It’s a heavy piece, weighing in at 12 pounds. And the price you’ll pay depends on both the color and the condition.
A mottled green version in great condition sold at an online auction in 2022 for $583. A blue example with a small chip to the base sold for $570. And pale yellow and matte white specimens sold for $557 and $510 respectively.
14. Blended Glaze Jardiniere and Pedestal, Blended Glaze $625
This jardiniere comes with its original matching pedestal, making it a wonderful focal point in an interior design scheme. It has a blended green and brown glaze with hints of mustard.
The damask design harks back to the Victorian era. But it was probably made between 1915 and 1920.
It’s a large piece. The pedestal is 20 inches tall, while the pot is about 15 inches high and 13 inches in diameter.
It was in great condition when it came up for sale in 2022. A buyer immediately snapped it up for $625.
15. Ceramic Pottery Shop Sign $650
This unusual ceramic sign is an interesting piece of McCoy history. 500 of them were produced as display items for J. C. Penney stores, but in the event they were never used.
If that weren’t enough to capture the interest of McCoy collectors, this specimen is signed too. It bears the signatures of both Nelson McCoy, and his wife, Billie McCoy. Nelson owned the business, and Billie also played a key part in its success.
It was offered for sale in 2022, in perfect condition. The seller was originally asking $675, but accepted a lower offer.
16. Iris Jardiniere and Pedestal, Cobalt Blue $695
This beautiful jardiniere and pedestal are in a rare design, featuring sinuous irises. Also rare is the color way – a striking cobalt blue blending to mint green at the rim of the pot and top of the pedestal.
The design is usually found in smaller pots and a brown glaze. So this example – in excellent condition – is very desirable for collectors. And with a total height of 32 inches, it would make a real impact in any interior.
It was offered for sale in 2022 at a fixed price of $695, and quickly found a buyer.
17. Giant Garden Frog Fountain / Hose Holder $950
This fabulous piece of McCoy pottery is one of the largest – and certainly the most unusual – on our list. It’s shaped like an enormous frog, with a green and brown glaze.
But it has a practical purpose too. A hole in one side allows it to be used as either a water feature or hose holder.
It’s about 9 inches tall, 16 inches long and 10.5 inches wide. And although made for outdoor use, this frog had spent his life inside before being offered for sale in 2022. As a result, he was in great condition, with no cracks or crazing, and just one small chip to the base.
The seller was asking $995, but accepted a lower offer.
The Real McCoy!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our tour of some of the rarest Mccoy pottery to have come to the market in recent years. From vases to jardinieres, small ornaments to giant frogs, these items showcase the best of a great American company.
And if you have a piece of McCoy pottery at home, treat it with care! You might just find that it’s worth some serious money.