Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A-maize-ingly Corny!

Yes, I did just manage to stuff two really bad puns into my poor, unsuspecting, never-did-anything-to-anyone title. But it seemed an appropriate way to introduce one of my favorite collections: corn pottery. I've been picking up pieces of this kitschy pottery for years and, like nearly all of my collections, I do my best to pay very little for it. Most of the corn pottery I've bought comes from my favorite semi-local auction, where I've picked up lots of several pieces for as little as $5.00. I've also gotten a number of pieces at the Golden Nugget Antique Market and at various antique shops over the years. I admit that it's a point of pride for me when I see something that I paid $5-10 dollars for selling for $50 or more at a flea market booth or antique store. Yup, I'm cheap and proud of it!

Most of the corn pottery pieces I have were made from the 1930s through the early 1960s. Some of the pieces I have were made in Japan, but others were made by several American ceramics companies. The best-known of these is probably Shawnee Corn King and Corn Queen lines. In general, I've found that the easiest pieces to find are the ubiquitous salt-and-pepper shakers. They come in all shapes and sizes, and are both easy to display and useful. Corn holders are also fairly easy to find and come in an array of shapes. More difficult to find are plates. I have several styles, and although they're on the small side, I'll sometimes use them for lunch or salads. I've also picked up several pitchers, and one very nice casserole dish, all from the auction. I think my very favorite pieces are the miniature sugar and creamer. They're small (a lot of my favorite things are) and just adorable. Now I just need to find a matching tiny corn teapot and I'll be all set!

I don't know why I like corn pottery so much. Maybe it's the happy yellow color, that looks like summer sunshine. Or maybe it reminds me of summer picnics when I was a child, of the fresh corn on the cob that Mom used to pick up at a local farm stand near where I grew up. Whatever it is, it makes my heart happy when I look at it.

Linking to Vintage Thingies Thursday on The Coloradolady's blog.


  1. THIS IS FANTASTIC! I have never seen it before...but I am loving this! I can see why you love it so much

  2. @Tootsie

    Thanks, Tootsie! I adore my corn pottery, and I'm glad you like it too. I suspect it's probably a very American thing, which may be why you've nver seen it before. I've read a few articles on it here and there, and you can usually find it on eBay, though it often goes for a lot more than I'm willing to pay. I've been very lucky to find as much as I have at auction. For some reason, I'm often the only bidder on it. I think I've heard that it's more popular in the Midwest (I live in NJ), which I guess makes sense, since they grow soooo much corn out there.

  3. We used to have a lot of these pieces of the corn pattern. I still see them on occasion in antique malls.

  4. Hi Laurie, wow, what a beautiful collection. I haven't seen so much all in one place before. Thanks for sharing, and thank you so much for visiting my blog.

    Take care and God bless,


  5. So very pretty. I love Corn King and Corn Queen pottery that Shawnee made. I have a big bowl, salt and pepper shakers (that I paid very little for)and a small pitcher. I think they made a cookie jar, I would love to have that piece. Thanks for sharing your collection.

  6. Love your post. Well done, even the puns!! I was given a Shawnee pitcher when my aunt and uncle moved to a retirement community. Felt it was lonely so have added 3 salt and pepper sets and a cream and sugar. Found a white corn holder at the local dumpster site. It's marked Calif. USA. Thanks for sharing.