New Cookie Jar Copies Holt-Howard PixiewareBy

New Cookie Jar Copies Holt-Howard Pixieware

A new ceramic cookie jar has been made in the same style as the highly collected Holt-Howard Pixieware kitchen novelties.

The original kitchen items featuring winking pixies were first introduced in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Over 60 different shapes were available from condiment pots, bottles, trays, bowls and special serving pieces. Prices for original items, depending on shape and inscription, sell for $45 to $155.

No authentic Holt-Howard Pixieware cookie jar is known. The new jar is a fantasy item; there is no known original counterpart. Any Pixieware cookie jar represented as Holt-Howard is almost certain to be a fake.

Most, but not all, original Holt-Howard ceramic Pixieware is marked with an ink stamp. Smaller items with particularly tiny bases or backs are the most likely items to appear without a mark. Most ink stamped marks included the C in circle copyright mark, ©, and the words HOLT HOWARD. Some marks also include the JAPAN and may also include model or product codes. Some original products were also marked with a only a foil label.

Holt-Howard was founded in 1948 by brothers John and Robert Howard and Grant Holt. At first the company specialized in holiday goods but gradually diversified into kitchen wares. The majority of its novelty ceramics including the Pixieware line were made in Japan. Holt-Howard is also well known for other novelty ceramic lines. Among these are Cozy Kitchen Kittens featuring cats, Santa pitchers and mugs, a rooster-decorated line of dinnerware named Coq Rouge and a large number of miscellaneous whimsical pieces featuring human and animal subjects.

The original founders sold Holt-Howard in 1968 to General Housewares Corporation. The new company began changing and by 1974 the Howard brothers and Holt had left the company. Business continued to decline. In 1990, Kay Dee Designs bought the final remains of the original company. The Holt-Howard name is no longer in use.

The Holt-Howard Pixieware line was so successful that other companies were quick to copy the pixie look in the late 1950s. Only those items with the ink stamped Holt-Howard or which can be verified by shape and decoration in a reference book are genuine.

One of the most common 1950s pixie knockoffs was made by the Davar Company. Davar pixies can be identified by the direction of the painted stripes. Stripes in Holt-Howard pixies run vertically. Stripes on Davar pixies run horizontally.

For more information, Holt-Howard Collectibles by Walter Dworkin. The book contains prices as well as how to separate originals from lookalike products.

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Fig. 1 New 11½-inch ceramic cookie jar. The shape and decoration is virtually identical to a late 1950s and early 1960s novelty line called Pixieware sold by the American company of Holt-Howard (see Fig. 2)

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Fig. 2 Original piece of ca. 1950-1960s Holt-Howard Pixieware. This mayonnaise jar is 5½ inches tall. It is valued at $95-110.

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Fig. 3

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Fig. 4

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Figs. 3-4 Two typical original Holt-Howard marks stamped in black ink. Japan may or may not appear in the mark.