The American Bisque Co. started out in Williamstown in 1919, making kewpie doll heads. The company was sold in 1922 to B.E. Allen who went on to produce lamps, vases, novelties, and their most sought after cookie jars.
Pottery companies that intertwined with American Bisque were American Pottery in Marietta, Ludowici Celadon, Terrace Ceramics, and Cardinal China Co. American Bisque also produced Walt Disney items for Leeds Pottery a company that was licensed by Walt Disney Productions.
Many of its most sought- after cookie jars today are marked with a "U.S.A." imprint and sometimes a mold number can be found, and are very easy to identify with their wedge base feet.
Many reproductions and fakes today flood the market so be careful paying big bucks for cookie jars as "Casper the Ghost" "Little Audrey" the Flinstone series, and the Popeye series, including "Baby Huey," "Yogi Bear," and "Donald Duck."
Some of the most common jars today are "Cookie Boy' and "Coffee Pot" that can be found under $25 today, while the harder to find jars such as "Olive Oyl" or "Sweet Pea" have known to command prices in the $2,000 to $3,000 range.
After years of decline and a sagging market American Bisque was sold in 1982 to Bipon Mizra, who operated the plant as American China Co. for the sole production of Airline Chinaware. However, in 1983 the company closed its doors for good.
Here is a list of American Bisque cookie jars and what they sold for recently at auction:
- Cheerleader (flasher), $200.
- Davy Crockett (coming out of woods), $275. Readers, American Bisque produced two different versions of Davy Crocket.
- Rubbles House, $203.51.
- Sweet Pea, $850.
- Rocketship Spaceman, $493.
- Elephant with Ball Cap, $139.
- Seal on Igloo, $112,50.
- Girl Pig Cookie Jar, $110.
- Truck, $100.
- Santa Claus, $61.
- Pot Bellied Stove, $40.
- Cat on Beehive, $75.
- Cow Jumped Over Moon, $371.66.
- Puppy on Cookie Jar, $65.
- Elephant w/a sailor Hat, $69.
- Cowboy Boots, $55.
- Jack in the Box, $75.
- Farmer pig, $63.
Other jars are out there somewhere around Washington and Wood County worth big bucks. Over 450 different jars were produced by American Bisque.
Larry Koon is the author of several price guide books on antiques and collectibles. His column appears every Monday on Life. Send letters to Treasure in the Attic, c/o The Marietta Times, 700 Channel Lane, Marietta 45750; or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. When writing, send a complete description of the item, along with size, color, any markings on the item along with condition the item is in, and how the item was obtained, and any other information. If possible, send a photograph. Letters will be answered through this column.