Remember Smiley the Pig?

  • Remember Smiley the Pig?

    Many of us who grew up during the 1940s, 1950’s, and 1960’s remember iced-tea or lemonade being poured from a Smiley Pig pitcher or sneaking a cookie from a Smiley or Winnie Pig cookie jar. These beautiful items were produced by the Shawnee Pottery Company of Zanesville, OH. Shawnee Pottery Co. was incorporated in 1936 and production began in 1937. Within a few years, nearly every farmhouse and most city homes had at least one Shawnee item, while some homes had many Shawnee items. Although best known for the Smiley pitcher or Smiley and Winnie cookie jars, Shawnee Pottery made many ceramic items from kitchenware items, to dinnerware items, to planters and vases, to figurines, as well as various other ceramic items such as banks, clocks, lamps, etc. Ultimately, the demand for ceramic items waned and in 1961, Shawnee Pottery ceased production and was completely liquidated by 1963.

    One of the more interesting facts about Shawnee pottery is that they had a high quality control standard and had many rejects or second quality items which were not painted and fired. These seconds were frequently sold to outside parties who enhanced the item by painting it with gold trim and then firing the glaze.   These Gold-Trimmed items now are highly prized by collectors and command a premium price.

    Today, there are thousands and thousands of Shawnee collectors not only in the US, but in many foreign countries. Shawnee is one of the most collectible if not the most collectible brand of pottery and it can be found in most antique stores as well as many yard or garage sales. Many Shawnee collectors have experienced the ultimate joy in finding a treasured piece of Shawnee in some corner of an antique store, or at a garage sale.

    The Denver Brass Armadillo has a good selection of Shawnee items, including those with gold-trim.   Whether a Shawnee collector or just someone who wants to remember the Good Ol’ Days, stop by the Brass Armadillo and reminisce – you never know – you might become a Shawnee collector!