Thursday, December 11, 2008

Matthew Would Be Shocked

Since I have a small collection of McDade pottery of my own and about a year ago learned that at least two of the pieces are actually desirable to collectors, I've been paying attention to the items that pass through EBAY. I actually bought one of my nicer jugs through EBAY a couple of years back. Mostly I see the 2-gallon crocks come up for bid, but occasionally you see something a little different.

This past week a piece of the later pottery, circa 1940s-1950s, came on the EBAY market. It was a small planter in the shape of a swan, glazed in yellow. This period of McDade pottery reminds me a little of McCoy pottery and was not something I had heretofore considered to be valuable. I considered placing a bid, but it rapidly passed my budget in just a couple of bids and so I contented myself with watching the bidding war.

Matthew Dunkin, the founder of the original McDade pottery business, was the brother of my great-great-great grandmother, something I've mentioned here before. The early pottery was functional and generally of earth-tones. The second generation pottery was quite often glazed in a hideous brown. By the time this little swan was produced, the business had drifted into a combination of the functional items like crocks and the commercial type items like ashtrays, banks and planters. Many of these decorative items were embossed with the names of local businesses and given away as business promotions.

Over the course of a week, I began to blink when I checked on the progress of the auction. When it hit $300, I was amused. When it hit $600, I was shocked. The little piece finally sold for a whopping $811. I'm betting it originally sold for less than a $1.

Matthew may still be spinning in his grave. And I'm pushing my pieces into more protected spots.

LSW

8 comments:

RMG said...

Afraid those heathen cats might knock them over? They can be as bad as kids...

LSW said...

The heathen cats are worse than kids, but what really bothers me is I'm getting really, really clumsy the older I get.

Anonymous said...

Wonder how many $ our mother threw away in old cracled, no good pottery from that place?
BKP

MiniKat said...

I agree. The heathen cats are worse than heathen kids... or in my case a heathen husband. The rabbits don't really get to heights above the couch without assistance. ;-)

My mother is in the habit of collecting and identifying "unknown" Depression and EAP glass. It boggles the mind how much some of the pieces are worth.

RMG said...

The house next door to us has petrified wood inlaid all around the front porch. I talked to a lady tonight at our Christmas party that used to own the house, and she said it came from McDade...small world. I believe their last name was Bailey, and they were from up there. Supposedly, there is a ton of the stuff lying around up there.

LSW said...

When we first moved to this house, I picked up quite a few pieces of petrified wood alongside the undeveoped roads in the subdivision. I'm not the only one, because I see big chunks of it in yards around here.

RMG said...

Just turned in our teams' name for the Men's chili cookoff at the church tomorrow. We are the "Fart Starters", and will be cooking "Afraid to Fart Chili". How tasteful are we!

RMG said...

Turned out we only needed a name for our team. With it being a church function, I came up with P.E.T.A. (People Eating Tasty Animals) as a spoof on the animal rights activists. Stacey said that if I had used one of the cruder names, she would have had to hide under her seat when they announced it in church. Turns out some of the teams had pretty crude names anyway- mens only event.We didn't win by the judges, but we were the popular choice hands-down winners. We had a line of people wanting our chili and got tons of compliments. Hate to think something was fishy, but the judging wasn't blind. They knew whose was whose as they judged. But, I had a great time and am looking forward to next year. I cooked 16 pounds of beef and six pounds of venison for one big pot of Texas Red. I've got just enough left to feed my shift at work tomorrow, and one gallon size ziplock for the freezer. A good day all in all.