By Judith Coebly, Plank Road #236

Fakes will always be with us. You can ignore the problem or be a true Quester and research how to identify the real from the fakes, copies, reproductions and reissues. The McCoy name is one of those names in antiquing that has been forged, reproduced and reissued. Here are some suggestions to help you determine if you have the real McCoy.

Size: Since copies are made from creating a mold from a real McCoy, the ceramic shrinks making the copy smaller than the original. An example is the Uncle Sam vase. The new and original have identical marks but the new vase is 6 ½” tall; the old is 7 ¼”. Another size difference is the cookie jar. The original Mammy cookie jar is 11”; the repro is 10 ¼”. Don’t listen to roundup measurements. Measure yourself.

Color: Study McCoy reference books. New pieces won’t be found in them. Many new pieces are made in colors never found on originals. Example: the original mailbox came only in green; the original Lake in Bonnet wall pocket is white. If you find any other color, it is not the real McCoy!!

Trim Points: Original McCoys generally have painted trim over the glaze. With repros, the trim work is applied under the glaze.

Raised Designs: Look at the details. The original will have sharpness in the details. The copies won’t have the perfection in their details.

Style: Some items were never made as McCoy – even though they have the McCoy mark. A frog sprinkler with a handle marked McCoy is a fake – a frog planter without the handle is the real McCoy.

Weight: Copies tend to weigh less than the real. If you are fortunate to have 2 McCoys with different colors, weigh them.

Once again, the bottom line is in research. For the Quester who researches books and online sites, it would be easy to know if you have the real McCoy. You don’t need to get fooled.

It is rare to find an undocumented real McCoy!!! BE AN INFORMED QUESTER!!!

Source material available upon request.