Q: I have a cookie jar that looks just like the Shawnee Smiley pig cookie jars, but it’s not marked “Shawnee” or “Smiley.” The only mark on the bottom is “USA.” It has red flowers and a red kerchief. Is it real or a reproduction?
A: Shawnee Pottery Co. of Zanesville, Ohio, began making these cookie jars in 1942. At first they were called “Smiling Pig.” There were many versions. The earliest ones were cold-painted or plain and had a triangular rim. Later jars had round openings and were hand-painted or decorated with decals. Decorations included apples, clover, flowers, plums, shamrocks or strawberries and different-colored kerchiefs. Some were marked “Pat. Smiley USA” or “Shawnee Smiley 60,” but many are just marked “USA.” When the company went out of business in 1961, the molds were sold to Terrace Ceramics, which made the cookie jars in plain white without decorations. There are also many fake Smiley Pig cookie jars on the market. Price of a genuine Smiley pig jar is determined by condition and decoration and ranges from $140 to $250.