8 Most Expensive Cookie Jars in the World

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Cookies have roots dating back to the 7th century C.E. These early desserts were related to cake-like convections which were eaten by wealthy people living in Persia (a.k.a. modern-day Iran).

In America, cookies were introduced by English and Dutch colonists of the 1600s. Many English speakers during those years thought of cookies as small cakes, but the word cookie became common in English during the 18th century.

No matter what type of cookie you enjoy, our modern idea of the popular sweet treat comes from the earliest forms of cooking known to humankind. 10,000 years ago, early farmers would blend grain and water, then cook the mixture on hot stones. The result definitely wasn’t a modern cookie, but it did set the stage for baking sweet treats in the modern era.

When it comes to storing cookies, cookie jars have long been a popular option. These containers are usually pretty affordable, but some varieties have become expensive collector’s items as fewer people use them.

Learn more about the world of expensive and collectible cookie jars with this top eight list.

  1. McCoy Coalby the Cat Cookie Jar
  2. Estimated Value: $450
    Brand or Maker: McCoy
    Origin: The United States
    Year Made: 1967
    McCoy Coalby the Cat Cookie Jar
    photo source: ebay.com

    McCoy was founded in 1910, but the brand didn’t start making its iconic cookie jars until the 1930s. The business was established by Nelson McCoy along with his father and several stockholders. Although the business is technically called “The Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Company,” most collectors refer to it as simply “McCoy.”

    McCoy made a lot of cookie jars over the years. Some of them are more common, so they sell for less than $100. Others, including this Coalby the cat jar, go for way more.

    Prices vary, but most sellers ask for around $450 when selling rare examples of Coalby.

    Reports say this design was released in 1967. Not all McCoy cookie jars are marked with a product number, but Coalby was stamped with 207. Some knock-offs feature the same stamp, but collectors check for signs of low-quality materials to make sure they’re getting the real deal.

    Did you know?

    McCoy’s first pottery facility was in Roseville, Ohio.

  3. Rare Astronaut Cookie Jar
  4. Estimated Value: $499
    Brand or Maker: McCoy
    Origin: Ohio
    Year Made: The 1960s
    Rare Astronaut Cookie Jar
    photo source: pinterest.com

    It’s not clear exactly when McCoy’s rare astronaut cookie jar was made, but collectors say the design debuted sometime in the 1960s. Like other McCoy creations, this cookie jar was crafted in the company’s pottery facility in Ohio.

    McCoy fans rely on characteristics like maker’s marks, glazes, and pottery shapes to figure out if their cookie jars are real. These features also help date the jars — earth tones are reportedly more common for McCoy jars of the ‘30s while black, blue, and yellow are more prevalent in jars from the ‘40s and ‘50s.

    As with many pricey McCoy cookie jars, the astronaut variety is very rare. That means the collectible can be extremely expensive. Some examples go for as much as $499!

    Did you know?

    McCoy made cookie jars in the 1930s and ‘40s. That means the company survived both the Great Depression and WWII.

  5. McCoy Jack-o’-Lantern Jar
  6. Estimated Value: $579
    Brand or Maker: McCoy
    Origin: The United States
    Year Made: 1955
    McCoy Jack-o’-Lantern Jar
    photo source: collectorcookiejars.com

    In 1955, McCoy joined the spooky Halloween decoration market with its cute jack-o’-lantern cookie jar. The piece features a glazed exterior with that characteristic orange hue.

    Collectors pay good money for this cookie jar — most are priced at nearly $600.

    Jack-o’-lanterns have roots dating back thousands of years. In some northern European Celtic societies, people would carve fruits and vegetables to look like human heads, potentially to “symbolize the severed heads of…enemies.”

    The tradition and use of carved vegetables changed over the centuries, eventually leading to the carved pumpkins we recognize today. In the U.S., jack-o’-lanterns show up in literature from the 1800s, proving the long history of jack-o’-lanterns as a spooky symbol of autumn.

    Did you know?

    The influx of Irish immigration to the U.S. during the 19th and 20th centuries helped jack-o’-lanterns find a permanent home in American society. This was partially because Irish society had a variety of folktales and traditions involving carved vegetables, but it was also because North America was well-populated with pumpkins ready for carving.

  7. Mid-Century Bitossi Blue Cookie Jar
  8. Estimated Value: $795
    Brand or Maker: Bitossi
    Origin: Italy
    Year Made: Unknown
    Mid-Century Bitossi Blue Cookie Jar
    photo source: ebay.com

    This cookie jar was potentially made by Aldo Londi, an Italian ceramics artist known for his work with the Bitossi company in Italy. Although it hasn’t been verified that the jar was specifically made by Londi, the piece was made in Italy during the artist’s time with Bitossi. The jar also matches Londi’s characteristic style, so there’s a good chance this piece is the real deal.

    Any cookie jar made by Londi is sure to sell for hundreds if not thousands — and this example is no exception. The unique find fetched nearly $800 during an auction in early 2022, making it the fifth-most expensive cookie jar in the world.

    Did you know?

    This jar’s exact year is unknown, but the design and markings point to the mid-1900s. Designs from this period are sometimes called “mid-century modern,” referring to a broad range of styles from the early 1930s to the mid-1960s.

  9. Rare Vintage Metlox Humpty Dumpty Cookie Jar
  10. Estimated Value: $900
    Brand or Maker: Metlox
    Origin: Unknown
    Year Made: Unknown
    Rare Vintage Metlox Humpty Dumpty Cookie Jar
    photo source: ebay.com

    The story of this cookie jar is pretty murky. The design was reportedly made by Metlox, a pottery company of the early 1900s, but that’s pretty much it. No stamp indicating the year, no info on where the design was crafted. Metlox was based in California, though, so there’s a good chance the Humpty Dumpty cookie jar was made in the Golden State.

    This particular Metlox piece is worth an estimated $900. Other examples of Metlox’s creations are also priced in the hundreds — this parrot-shaped cookie jar, for example, goes for a whopping $700.

    It’s not clear why Metlox shut down in 1989, but it could have been due to some trouble with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company fell under federal scrutiny in 1971 when a glaze used by the manufacturer was found to be potentially toxic.

    Did you know?

    The FDA recall impacting Metlox included 400 individual pieces of pottery.

  11. Roy Rogers and Trigger Cookie Jar Set
  12. Estimated Value: $1,750
    Brand or Maker: Roy Rogers and Trigger brand
    Origin: The United States
    Year Made: Unknown (the 20th century)
    Roy Rogers and Trigger Cookie Jar Set
    photo source: christies.com

    Roy Rogers and his horse Trigger were popular figures in cowboy movies from the 1930s to the 1950s. A lot of merchandise was created featuring the duo, including this set of cookie jars. The set sold at an auction run by Christie’s in 2010. The hammer came down at an impressive $1,750, making the duo the third-most expensive cookie jar set in the world.

    When it comes to actually using these cookie jars, the example just featuring Rogers is opened by lifting the cowboy’s hat. Christie’s didn’t report how to open the example featuring both Rogers and Trigger.

    Did you know?

    Trigger is known as the smartest horse in the movies.

  13. Freddy the Gleep
  14. Estimated Value: $2,500
    Brand or Maker: McCoy
    Origin: Ohio
    Year Made: 1974
    Freddy the Gleep
    photo source: picclick.com

    Coming in at number two is Freddy the Gleep by McCoy. The vintage cookie jar was made in 1974 and features a steep price tag of $2,500.

    Some fake Freddy the Gleep jars are made, so collectors look for authenticity markers like proper measurements and stamps to make sure they’re paying all that cash for a legit product.

    Did you know?

    After launching in 1910, McCoy joined other American pottery companies under the umbrella of the American Clay Products Company (ACPC). The ACPC supported each member company by advertising their products and producing catalogs featuring the businesses to increase sales. Salesmen were also hired to promote the companies and take customer orders.

  15. McCoy Multicolor Fox Squirrel Jar
  16. Estimated Value: $4,600
    Brand or Maker: McCoy
    Origin: The United States
    Year Made: Unknown
    McCoy Multicolor Fox Squirrel Jar
    photo source: liveauctioneers.com

    The McCoy Multicolor Fox Squirrel Jar is the most expensive cookie jar in the world.

    With a jaw-dropping price tag of $4,600, McCoy’s squirrel-shaped cookie jar is by far the most expensive collectible cookie container on the planet. Although reports aren’t sure when the jar was made, it’s definitely dated between the 1930s and ‘90s (the years McCoy was actively making pottery).

    This cookie jar stands about 10 ½” tall and was made in the U.S. The orangey-red glaze isn’t necessarily characteristic of a specific period at the McCoy company, making it even harder to precisely date this ultra-rare and expensive item.

    Did you know?

    Experts say this jar might be the most sought-after cookie jar on the collector’s market.


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