StoryBook Ceramics : We Hate Fakes Too
Question: What do McCoy, Shawnee, and Weller Pottery have in common?
Rhyne and Son Importer and Wholesaler in Ringgold, GA.
Confused? So were we.
Around the end of 2005, a new wave of fake vintage cookie jars hit eBay with a vengeance. The first to appear was a figural Mammy cookie jar, marked “McCoy” on the underside.
Following in quick succession was the appearance of a McCoy style Mammy cookie jar with checkered apron, a Smiley Pig and Winnie Pig cookie jar
, in both regular and bank head motifs, a Jo-Jo the Clown cookie jar, a Lucky Elephant cookie jar, a Weller Mammy cookie jar, and finally a couple of more generic, vintage, Japanese-made, style basket-handled Black Americana cookie jars. These new jars were substantially unlike any known to have been created by Roger Jensen, or any of his related eBay-centric counterfeiting friends.
The first of these jars to appear presented somewhat of a mystery. This Mammy cookie jar appeared to be of the exact same design and manufacturing technique as an existing product, imported by ACK in their Casa Vero line
. That line, consisting of a Mammy and Chef cookie jar and many related kitchenware products, was marked “Casa Vero” “Made in China”
on the underside and was widely available on eBay at bargain basement prices.
Suddenly, this same Mammy cookie jar appeared in the eBay fake sellers channel, newly branded underneath as “McCoy”. The jar was unchanged in color or design, except for the vintage style McCoy logo now impressed into the underside. Touted by one fake seller as the “McCoy Fat Mammy” cookie jar, sales skyrocketed. Sellers offering the jar spread quickly.
As similarly marked fake cookie jars, described above, appeared; several noteworthy, shared, characteristics about these items became clear to us, from a technical point of view.
· They were all painted with cold paint. This paint had a decidedly matte finish, was semi-durable (it couldn’t take going through a dishwasher, experiments showed), and seemed to be brushable as well as sprayable.
· Each jar had been subtly resculpted. The changes were relatively minor, when compared to the original jars, but there was definitely an attempt to modify the design enough to protect the creator in a courtroom.
· The jars were marked with a professional stamp. None of the Jensen molds had anything more than a hand scratched “signature” in the bottom, of varying “believability”. Some “marks” actually had misspellings. These new jars had a standardized version of the McCoy and Shawnee markings. The markings too were somewhat changed from the original marks, but were so close as to surely be aimed towards fooling the masses.
A recent search of the US trademark office has revealed critical information in understanding the appearance of these “next generation” fakes. Rhyne and Sons
has applied for and has been temporarily granted, trademarks for McCoy, Shawnee, and Weller
logos to be used on pottery. These logos, pictured clearly in the trademark applications, are the logos appearing on the new fakes cookie jars on eBay.
Please see this gallery page to view the marks for comparison.
Without actually receiving confirmation from Rhyne and Son, we can only speculate as to the exact nature of their relationship with ACKusa
. Given that Rhyne and Son is not a ceramics manufacturer, it certainly appears that they have contracted through ACK to have pottery manufactured in Asia with these new markings, then imported into this country, to be distributed wholesale through their company to resellers. The most compelling factor in this theory is the fact that it was an ACK created jar that first appeared on eBay bearing a Rhyne and Son trademarked logo.
These new jars are now available through all of the usual outlets, including Rosso Wholesale and Glass. What this consolidation of vintage style pottery marks will mean to the fake pottery market overall is still unclear. Will Rhyne and Son begin enforcing “their” trademarks against the old time counterfeiters like Roger Jensen? Will it be easier, or harder, to educate the collecting public given the fake ceramics may become increasingly standardized? We’ll take a look in our next article at what the implications of this development might mean to the secondary collectors market, and what we can do as pottery educators to use this new information to help the novices.
thank you for the info, it isd certainly appreciated! A McCoy Pottery list person, Lauriegal
It is so sad to have the value of all the old McCoy I, and so many others have because of these subtle changes and cheap new things.
Thank you so much for sharing the information with us.
I wonder if Nelson and Bille could do anything in court?
What is ebay doing to address this issue? Sad for people like me who want to sell one that has been in their family for more than 20 years. Thanks for sharing!
How Many Chocolate chip Cookies may I fit in a Mammy Cookie jar?
I am curious because I have 47,
but If I can not fit all 47 then I am not interested.
Nelson and Billie could care less, they destroyed McCoy Pottery themselves with poor decisions and financial mis management. Do you homework, Nelson and Billie sold McCoy Pottery in 1967 only after 6 years of running the company. They do not own the name. Why? they were not smart enough to protect the Nelson McCoy Pottery name because they failed to pay the protection fees. They are not interested in helping McCoy collectors. If the real collectors would look into it, they would see how these two totally screwed up the generations of McCoy ownership and failed to protect the name.
So, no they can not and would not do anything anyway.
Jenson OWNED the name because Nelson screwed up and he owned the name rightfully because it was not protected.
S, in closing,blame the McCoys for running the company into the ground in the 1960's and therefore here failure to continue to operate without losses.
* By the way ebay cannot do anything because Rhynes owns the name. Again blame the McCoys.
To a certain extent, I agree with you "A very pottery knowledgable (sic) person", but my agreement only extends so far.
Billie and Nelson McCoy SHOULD have protected their company name, and no one will ever argue that they failed miserably by not doing so. However...
I knew Roger Jensen, and his desire to co-opt vintage pottery names extended far beyond McCoy, and was certainly never bounded by any kind of legality or ethics. He made (and still makes) pottery with the Hull, McCoy, Brush, Roseville and other markings solely for the purpose of defrauding customers. His attempts to secure the McCoy trademark, and others along the way, were never successful for anything more than short periods of time.
There are many thoughts on the McCoy's business sense and decisions back in the 60's, and since I wasn't there, I will demure. I do not believe, no matter what the McCoy's successes or failures might have been, that anyone should be allowed to brand an exact copy of a vintage collectible with an exact copy of the vintage mark, and sell it to an unsuspecting buyer under any circumstances.
Doing so is simply fraud, and that is and should remain a completely separate issue from who should ultimately "own" a disputed trademark.
my dad has the trademark
Dear lindsey martin gunter roger jensen-s son,
"my dad has the trademark"
Would you please provide a link so your claim can be verified?
According to TESS, he does not:
Trademark Electronic Search System
There are no live trademarks registered to Roger Jensen. The only trademark he ever owned, besides the now dead "Jensen McCoy" that I bought for him, was an application for a "McCoy" trademark that was deadfiled in 1999.
Word Mark MCCOY
Goods and Services (CANCELLED) IC 021. US 030. G & S: pottery made of common clay. FIRST USE: 19910101. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19910101
Mark Drawing Code (5) WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS IN STYLIZED FORM
Serial Number 74309516
Filing Date August 31, 1992
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Supplemental Register Date December 14, 1992
Registration Number 1757789
Registration Date March 9, 1993
Owner (REGISTRANT) JENSEN, ROGER ERIC INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES 212 South Gateway Rockwood TENNESSEE 37854
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Cancellation Date May 25, 1999
Thanks for your input,
Was Roger Jensen in business with himself, or did he have employee's for any length of time that he paid, under the table, or legitimately?
Michelle Tanner you nwver bought the trademark for him.I knew you.You only worked for my father.I hate fake pottery.That is all you and your husband are about.You are a crook you stoll many cookie jars from my father.
Noone should listen to you
After some thought, I'm going to allow this latest comment by "Lindsey Gunter" remain posted. I think it is truly illuminating as to the mindset and tactics of Roger Jensen that these "third person" comments by his "son" have been left on this blog twice.
Roger Jensen's son, Lindsey, attended the same school as my youngest daughter and was in the same grade. That means he is now 11 years old. At the time he and his father moved to Tennesse from South Carolina in 2006, he was 9 years old. He was obviously not privy to any of my business dealings, and would not have been capable of understanding any of those of his fathers.
I'm not sure who has made the comments here on this blog in his name, but I hardly think the preteen Lindsey is truly responsible. I'm rather uncomfortable with the idea that an adult would pose as a child, but in this case it's unfortunately a distinct possibility.
It bears saying that Roger Jensen was known in the past to open business accounts in his son's name (such as a verifiable shipping account with UPS). In 2005 a website, hosted by Pond Branch Telecommunications, was constructed, purportedly authored by Lindsey Gunter, then 8 years old, claiming him to be the new CEO of the "McCoy Pottery" company. The website was never developed beyond the very basics of an "About Me" page. One product was added (a Litte Red Riding Hood Cookie Jar), and the entire site was abandoned some months later.
That a young child would be used as a shield and a voice for a grown man is beyond me, but in this tragic situation, it is all too likely. If that is indeed the case, I would hope Mr. Jensen would show a bit more concern for the welfare and reputation of his son, and speak in his own name.
Any comments left on any of our blogs or forums from this point forward by "Lindsey Gunter" will be removed, out of respect for this innocent child.
Ok can someone tell me if the Weller Mammy cookie jar that sold on E-bay today 2-11-09 was probably real or a fake? It sounds like it is real and the price was real enough, but the story sounds like the old granma in the attic? How can we be sure of what we are getting???
Yes, It was a real jar. The reproductions look similar but have a real sloppy paint job, and they are not as tall. Be sure and watch your sizes. The reproductions are shorter. Hope this helps. Sherry
Would like to add one more comment. My husband and I have been seeing these terrible reproductions Roger Jensen has been making for years. They are a thorn in any vintage cookie jar collector and seller. They've caused many a young couple starting out collecting, to stop, and never start collecting again, after being ripped off by a jake legged dealer who bought one of these pieces of junk for $10 and sold it as the real thing for $500. We know he started out in Rockwood, TN as far as we know, and then to Spring City, TN, and then somewhere out of Atlanta, GA. We talked to one guy at a flea market that had a whole booth of these jars, with high high prices on them. He didn't know we were vintage collectors, we asked him where he was getting all the reproductions. He sort of smiled and said that there was a guy out of Atlanta that sold them for $10, if you wanted them to look old, he would craze them for you for another $10, and if you wanted them to look really old he would take some paint off! He then said, so for $30.00 you've got yourself and old, vintage jar!! This is no different than the rip off artists with fake Nascar, Sport Memorabilia, Rolex's, purses, you name it. A fake is a fake and it should be stopped. They should be made to put the name and date on the bottom. And to add to all this we met Roger Jensen at the Vintage Cookie Jar Show in Nashville, Tennessee. He came there and was talking to vintage dealers, trying to rent/buy old jars to make molds from.
You people need to get a life. This is AMERICA in the 21st century.
This pottery was crap when it was made, but people bought it, and the prices went up. "Supply and Demand". Who are the idiots? Collect something that is hard to reproduce.
de, but people bought it, and the prices went up. "Supply and Demand". Who are the idiots? Collect something that is hard to reproduce.