Monday, December 10, 2012

Birds of a Feather

Grandma's Planter ~Royal Copley? probably

 As I was watering this week, I realized I have  a large number of bird planters. Most of them are antiques, the above one from my Grandma. She had an Opuntia growing in it on her South windowsill for as long as I can remember. I inherited it and immediately removed the cactus. I still have that, as well, but in a different container. I feel that antique plant pots really shouldn't have plants in them. Of course, that's just my opinion. Many of them are worth some money, and putting dirt and water in them really hinders keeping them in pristine condition. I don't plan on selling them, so I guess it really doesn't matter. The little bird from Grandma was my first bird planter aquisition and I've been collecting them since then. I love birds and plants, so why not collect something that combines both. 

McCoy nest with birds.

McCoy pottery

Royal Copley?
Our Grandmas had such great containers to choose from. We have some also, but the colors from the 40's and even earlier are so muted and soft. McCoy, Shawnee, Royal Copley, Hull, and Red Wing are just some of the names one might find on the bottom of their container. Then again, some have no names at all on the bottom.   I mostly have McCoy and Royal Copley. I have many pots that have the common shape of a planter and saucer, buy by far, my favorites are the planters with a little whimsy, birds being my favorite. 
Wall pockets. McCoy, Shawnee, and Royal Copley.
McCoy cuckoo clock wall pocket.

Czechoslovakian bird.

Czechoslovakian nest wall pocket.

Shawnee wall pocket~a little damaged.

How cute is this cockatiel on a stump?
Royal Copley

Green swan.

Various swan planters.

 Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Co. was founded in April 1910 by J.W. McCoy and his son Nelson in Roseville, OH. In the late 20's and 30's berry and leaf motifs dominated and Mr. Bauer was the head designer. In the mid 30's Mr Cope came to the company and became the head designer. His designs were the many of the quirky planters. In 1990, McCoy pottery ceased operation. You can still find many affordable pieces today.
The Shawnee Pottery Company was in existence from 1937-1961. They were named after the Shawnee Indian Tribe.  A lot of their pottery sold in "five and dimes" such as Woolworth, Kresge, and Ben Franklin. Sears also had them make a line for them.
Royal Copley was around from 1930-1960's. I've found in my search, that most of my planters are Royal Copley. They were based in Sebring, OH. Birds were the most popular figure and over 500 dozen were made each day. Most were made to hold plants and soil, so many are stained, crazed, and have spider webbing.

Robin planter in my favorite color!


Robin planter.

Royal Copley Mallard planter.

Royal Copley Red-Winged Blackbird planter.

Rooster planter

This is a newer piece, but cute for Easter.

Chicken planter.

Shawnee wall pocket.

The unfortunate problem with all of these planters is the lack of drainage. One would have to be a very good judge of the water needs of their plants to avoid overwatering. If you don't mind changing the value of your piece, a masonary bit and a drill would solve that problem.
Even if birds aren't your thing, there are many types of containers out there that you might be interested in. Go to your local antique shop or E-Bay to find the ones that talk to you and start your collection.

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