Art and antiques by Dr. Lori

The cookie jar held a place of honor in American kitchens in the 1950s and 1960s; it was part of the overall home decor as well as an important piece of serving ware.

Cookie jars were of good size in order to hold many cookies for America’s growing families in the years following World War II.

The fact that these vintage collectibles were positioned in “the front lines” (a.k.a., on the kitchen countertop) of busy post-war American kitchens, makes their condition a vital trait when assessing their value on the collectibles market. Chips, cracks and scratches to the surface decoration are key factors when evaluating vintage cookie jars.

The American baby boom sparked cookie jar production as Americans were having more babies and eating more cookies during the late 1940s and 1950s.

Over the decades, cookie jars featured popular characters and cultural icons such as Felix the Cat, Howdy Doody, Mickey Mouse, Snow White, World War II American G. I.s and Betty Boop, to name a few. The variety of cookie jars and the opportunity to collect so many different examples may contribute to the fact that many collectors just can’t stop collecting these cherished objects from childhood.

With cookie jars, as with cookies, it’s difficult to have just one. I have reviewed cookie jar collections all over the United States and most are assembled in large numbers, dating from the 1950s, with values for the collections reaching the $10,000 to $20,000 range.

Some examples of the market for good quality cookie jars in good condition from the mid 1900s include a Brush Pottery company cookie jar in the shape of a cow resembling the famous Borden milk mascot, Elsie, from 1945 to 1950, is worth $500.

Additionally, an Aunt Jemima cookie jar sold for $325; a Robinson-Ransbottom Pottery firm’s Oscar cookie jar brought $500; and the popular Little Red Riding Hood cookie jar by Hull commanded $1,500 recently.

Nursery rhyme characters were among the most common types of cookie jars, such as Mother Goose, Humpty Dumpty, the Little Old Woman who lived in a Shoe and Puss ‘n Boots.

It makes perfect sense that nursery rhymes would be the featured theme for cookie jars, as the characters were recognizable to youngsters.

In the late 1980s, after the death of pop artist Andy Warhol, the cookie jar market enjoyed a market spike. Warhol was an enthusiastic collector of cookie jars and viewed them as important objects of American culture.

His famous estate auction brought cookie jar collecting to the forefront and put the sweet collectibles on the map. Warhol’s collection of hundreds of vintage cookie jars brought more than $250,000 at auction.

The Warhol auction attracted new collectors to amass American cookie jars.

Today, collectors remain committed to the cookie jar category and amass large numbers of jars from Maine to California.

Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and award-winning TV personality, Dr. Lori presents appraisal events to audiences worldwide.

Dr. Lori is the expert appraiser on Discovery channel’s “Auction Kings.” Visit, or call 888 431-1010.

Art and antiques by Dr. Lori

At more than 150 antiques appraisal events all over the world every year, I tell people what they’ve got and what it really is worth. My approach is plain, simple and straightforward. This unique approach, along with my unexpected flair for the comedic – most people figure a Ph.D. is bound to be boring and stuffy but I’m not – has attracted many people including many men to my appraisal events.

Guys are keen collectors and they know, dare I say better than some women, when someone is feeding them a line. I reveal the real deal and that is largely what brings the guys coming back to my antiques appraisal events with the objects that they collect. Guys want to hear the truth and they know, no matter what, I will tell them just that.

In Baltimore, Md., I just had to coax Dan into wearing the strand of pearls that he bought at a Goodwill Thrift Store for $15. When I told him that the pearls matched his Baltimore Ravens football jersey and purple camouflage ensemble – straight out of Duck Dynasty – he laughed along with his wife and just shrugged me off. When I explained that he had a purchased an opera length strand of hand-knotted 6 millimeter Mikkimoto pearls from Japan dating back to the 1950s worth $2,500, he stopped laughing. He ran up to the stage to model them for me. Who says men don’t like to buy jewelry?

In Roanoke, Va., I told a nice guy who just wanted to keep the old crock that sat at the top of his grandmother’s staircase for years that sometimes sentimental objects are also worth some cash. Pete initially took the oversized crock from his late grandmother’s house for sentimental reasons. A few weeks later, during football season, he found that grandma’s old crock was the perfect size for putting his beer on ice. The early 1900s storage crock had a cobalt blue image of a flower on it and Pete nearly dropped it off my event stage (I couldn’t lift it so he came to the stage to help me) when I told him that his crock was worth $5,000. After my event, he was heading home with his crock to break the news to his football buddies that they needed to chip in for a new beer cooler.

I first met Nick in Hazleton and since then he has been at many of my events over the years. At one event, Nick brought me a flag to appraise. The flag had been in his family for years and he knew that it was from Philadelphia. His family had it since the late 19th century. Nick’s flag was Centennial flag dating to 1876. As was customary at the time, the flag was flown over the streets of Philadelphia during the 1876 World’s Fair or Centennial Expo. I told Nick that his piece of Americana was worth $20,000.

Nick was so happy and surprised to know the real information about his flag. Nick’s flag is not only an old piece of World Fair memorabilia but it is glorious, too.

I review wonderful historic objects, sporting objects and a litany of objects all over the world.

Some are more masculine than others, but no matter the object, guys want to hear the real truth about their art, antiques and collectibles.

I am glad to share the news with the boys!

Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and award-winning TV personality, Dr. Lori presents appraisal events to audiences worldwide.

Dr. Lori is the expert appraiser on Discovery channel’s “Auction Kings.” Visit, or call 888 431-1010.