A look at the design, market and legacy of Victorian pottery

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Brush McCoy Corn Ware Majolica

If you've done any substantial traveling around the United States, one of the most common types of majolica you're likely to encounter in antique shops is a specific line of corn shaped wares made by Brush McCoy known as Corn Ware or Cornline.

Designed in 1910 by McCoy designer John Cusick, who signed his wares at the base of the pitcher handles, Corn Ware was created at McCoy but fully flourished after McCoy's merger with the Brush Pottery in 1911. An expansive line, Corn Ware was made with pitchers in six sizes, ale pitchers in 24oz and 18 oz sizes, butter canisters in two pound and three pound sizes, cereal, salt and tobacco containers, wall pockets, condiments, a teapot and mugs. It was made in two color glaze as well as --after 1918-- in solid green. It is believed to have remained in production until about 1925 when the McCoy name was dropped from the Brush McCoy pottery.

I have to admit, I've rarely seen a line of ware that inspires more adamiss among collectors than this one. Many majolica collectors absolutely despise these wares though I've never been exactly sure why. Both McCoy and Brush made majolica jardinieres and pedestals in the early years of their existence so majolica was long part of their output. From what I have seen, collectors of Victorian majolica generally do not include these majolica wares in their collections possibly because of the late production dates or general nature of this majolica which was rather rustic and not as finely detailed as the earlier majolica. But make no mistake about it, this pottery is the Twentieth Century successor to Victorian majolica and should still be considered in the same classification.

Price wise these are generally inexpensive pieces with most selling for less than $100. They are also easy to find so they are a good pattern for beginner collectors who are looking to add a little majolica to their decor.