Vintage Cookie Jars

There are 2 things I do every night before going to bed.  It’s my ritual.

The first thing I do is point our television converter  into our neighbour’s window and change the channel on their television.

Then I laugh my head off and eat a couple of cookies.  It used to be chocolate chip, but I’ve moved onto Gingersnaps.  Chocolate chip cookies incidentally were invented in 1937 by Ruth Graves Wakefield of Whitman, Massachusetts.  She and her husband owned and ran The Toll House Restaurant.  One night while making cookies, Ruth realized she was all out of Bakers chocolate so she substituted bits of a Nestle chocolate bar in her cookie recipe.  She figured the chocolate bits would behave the same way as the Baker’s chocolate, melting and turning the whole cookie chocolate.  They did not.  Instead the Nestle chocolate bits just sat there in the cookie, getting soft but keeping their shape.  The Nestle Toll House cookie was born.

I have a similar story that involves lumps that won’t  melt away in my gravy, but so far it hasn’t caused an international craze.

Since I have a thing for eating cookies every night, I also have a thing for cookie jars.  I only have 2  jars, so it isn’t like I have some huge collection, but I definitely think everyone should have at least 1 cookie jar.  For one thing they hold cookies.  For another, they can add personality to a kitchen.  And I don’t mean to be judgemental here, but from what I see in magazines, a lot of kitchens could use a little dose of personality.

Because it’s personality that I’m after, I’m partial to vintage cookie jars, even if you have a sleek, contemporary kitchen.  It’s always good to have something a little “off” in your house.  Something that people will look at and think, Huh?  Something that proves you, are NOT boring.  YOU are full of personality!  YOU screw around with your neighbour’s television every night!

I found my cookie jar at a garage sale several years ago.  It was at the very back of the garage, on the floor, covered in dirt.  It didn’t have a price on it, and I’m still not convinced it was actually for sale, but when I offered them $5 for it, they accepted.  The Monk and I drove home where I gave him a bath.  For the next week.

Monk Cookie Jar - Made in Japan


He has a little signature on his nose that appears to say “S.V.”. This indicates the piece was hand painted.

I’ve never seen/found this particular cookie jar before so I can’t give you a price reference.

There are hundreds and hundreds of vintage cookie jars around but these are some of the most popular from over the years.  You’ll always be able to find them at antique stores, on Ebay or other online auction sites.  Or of course if you’re really lucky you’ll find one at a garage sale or in your mother’s basement.

The cookie jars I’ve selected here do not have a history of being copied or reproduced, so if you find one, chances are it’s original.

Thumbelina by Lefton

$50 – $150

This one is for sale on Etsy for $129.


Miss Cutie Pie by Napco

$100 – $300

This one is being auctioned on Ebay right now.


Dutch Girl Cookie Jar by American Bisque

$35 – $50

This one is on Ruby Lane right now.  It also happens to be the other cookie jar I own. It belonged to my grandmother.

This cookie jar is “cold painted” which basically means it isn’t fired after painting, so the paint wears off.


Miss Priss by Lefton

$75- $150

This one is for sale on Ruby Lane right now.


Dainty Miss by Lefton

$150 – $250

As you can see, vintage cookie jars don’t come cheap.  But if you’re willing to accept a small chip or hairline crack you’ll be able to get it for less than half the price in most cases.   And the way I see it is, if it already has a chip in it, I don’t have to worry about chipping it myself.  Right?  Right.

Add that to my list of money saving tips I guess!  Buy stuff that’s already broken if you know if the future you’re going to break it anyway. And most things eventually break.

My neighbours, for instance?  They have an almost brand new television and they tell me that after only a few months it’s already acting crazy.  Go figure.



  1. Trysha says:

    My aunt and uncle had the monk cookie jar. I haven’t seen that cookie jar in 15 years.

  2. Charlene says:

    I just found your blog. Love your sense of humour. I was reading your old posts. I have the Dutch Girl cookie jar also. My mom and dad bought it at an auction back in the 60’s. I have seen the Dutch boy cookie jar also. I’d like to get my hands on that one!

    • Karen says:

      Charlene – Thanks! The problem with the Dutch cookie jars is the paint wears off! Sometimes this looks nice. Ya know? Quaint. Other times it just looks like a mess. I’ve never seen a boy one in real life! Cookie jar I mean. ~ karen

  3. YOU are hilarious. I think we are all funny in Canada. We kinda have to be, don’t we? Way to represent though :)

    You have me waxing nostalgic for my childhood cookie jar, a sweet little tiger with a red hat for a lid that had a tiny blue bird on top that was the little knobby thing. I remember he broke and my mother, not being the type to glue things, threw it out and I CRIED hysterically. I AM the type to glue things together and wish like crazy that it was still around. I have kept my eyes peeled for thirty years, but to no avail. Sigh.

  4. Terri says:

    See? This is why I live in the country – neighbors change your TV channels! :)

  5. Of course, I am LOVING the Vintage Dutch Girl cookie jar! I may have to get me one of those :)

  6. sarah says:

    Once I got my own apartment I was determined to find the perfect vintage cookie jar. And I couldn’t be more pleased with my purchase!

    He’s this clown-like hobo dressed in brown with a big nose and a hole in his shoe, handkerchief in his pocket… he’s adorable and totally makes me smile.

  7. Your changing the neighbor’s channels reminds me of the time I hid a 2nd remote in the couch cushions and periodically flipped the channel when my hubby wasn’t paying attention. It was a great way to mess with his mind! BTW, love the cookie jars!

  8. Evalyn says:

    My cookie jar is a little stone crock with a lid. As for something “odd” around the house – that’s what boyfriends are for.

  9. Jenna says:

    I hope you’re telling the truth about the channel-changing. That is brilliant. Mwuhahaha.

  10. Alisha says:

    My mum has THE cookie jar. She’s leaving it to me in her will it’s that cool. It’s a dark brown owl with big orange eyes and it has a face on both sides. She bawled when my brother broke the lid on the cupboard. Then promptly glued it back together and it is now on display in her kitchen. I covet it.

  11. marilyn says:

    karen i love the vintage cookie jars! wish i could afford the thumbellina for my sister, it’s her birthday today and her house is called thumbellina cottage! it would be perfect! alas it is not to be xo

    • Karen says:

      Marilyn! I used to have an Antique booth and in fact sold a Thumbelina cookie jar! :( That was a while ago though so … The Thumbelina cookie jar is actually quite small in real life. Appropriately. :) ~ karen

  12. lori says:

    My mom has, or did my sister take it,a big strawberry. I’ll have to ask her about it next time we talk. I sure would like it.

    • Karen says:

      Lori – If it’s old it might be a McCoy cookie jar. Or a fake McCoy cookie jar! McCoy had a lot of their products copied over the years. Who cares though. As long as it’s cute. ~ karen

  13. Bill Grigg says:

    I’ve got one that is a big red apple, but it never gets used, other than as a display item. I hadn’t realized that cookies could last more than one day. I take it from this post that cookies can also be eaten cold? How strange!

    • Karen says:

      Bill – I am sad to say I rarely make homemade cookies. I’m not much of a baker. I can do it … but I’d much rather make a chicken stock or roast beef dinner. Maybe I’ll make some cookies! What a novel idea. :) Tollhouse! ~ karen

      • Bill Grigg says:

        Give it a shot, Tollhouse are always good, and pretty easy to make. I’ve a hankering for peanut butter, myself. The smell of baking cookies is fantastic, especially on a snowy day like we have in Kelowna today.

  14. Vila says:

    Nice cookie jars…but where’s the recepie for cookies?? :)

  15. giggles says:

    Hi Karen, Now I have the best cookie jar. My husband bought it for me and it does hold lots of cookies. It is the head of a chef with grey mustache and sideburns, yellow and black dotted bow tie, and a great white chicken sitting on top of his head and the chicken is craning her neck to look him in the face and he is sticking his tongue out. I love it! I have not seen another like it. On the bottom it has 1984 Animals & Co #102, a signature can’t decipher, and 14-5-91. He is a great item for various comments.

  16. Amy Schmucker says:

    That monk guy is a bit creepy to me. we had a cookie jar when I was a kid. The lid broke so many times from me dropping it. Mom reglued it every time. But here is the thing.. they don’t keep the cookies fresh. I think I just don’t eat the cookies fast enough for a useable cookie jar, just a “sit and look cool on the counter” cookie jar.

  17. These are adorable :) I love how retro and fun they are – is it wrong that I’d display them in my bathroom and use them to house Q-Tips? LOL

    *Tania @

  18. Jen A says:

    Karen, Those are creepy. I wouldn’t want to eat cookies out of any of them. Eegad. I’m going to have nightmares.

  19. My mom had the Dutch girl cookie jar when I was growing up. I’ll have to ask if she still has it.

  20. Pam'a says:

    I have the ubiquitous fat white pig in overalls and kerchief, with matching salt and pepper shakers. I also have an Aunt Jemimah-type jar from a friend, but it’s a knock-off, and it’s just not the same somehow.

    They rarely hold any cookies, alas, because around here cookies are usually Hoovered up as soon as they’re cool enough to pick up. Really, I have to dive and growl like a she-wolf to get a couple.

  21. Erica J. says:

    Hmmmm…Let’s hope your neighbor is a boring lack-of-personality type person who can’t be bothered reading your absolutely wonderful blog (since only super great people are here reading) so the antics can continue. Have fun!

  22. nancy (aka moneycoach) says:

    What’s freaking me out is that I’m certain the face of Miss Cutie Pie is the same as my favourite sleep-with-every-night little doll when I was 7, 8, 9 … (stops there uncertain. when DID I stop going to sleep with this doll?). Anyway, now I’m wondering how my favourite doll’s head ended up holding someone’s cookies? And what happened to her body? Karen! This is the stuff of nightmares!

    • Karen says:

      Nancy. Re: her body. You bring up a good point. I never thought I had reason to fear these cookie jars but … you might be right. ~ karen

  23. Sharon Woo says:

    Well Helloooo Monk! Just went from six to midnight all over again with this stupidly cool cookie jar. I just love him. Im going to be keeping my eyes peeled for his little monk brother. Your canadian monk and my future southern california monk can virtually get together for prayer occasionally.

    • Karen says:

      Sharon! The best part about this cookie jar is he came with 6 matching shot glasses. I swear. If I think of it I’ll take a picture of them in the morning and post them on my Twitter/Facebook. They’re hilarious. ~ karen

      • Sharon Woo says:

        Hold the freakin phone, are you telling me you have monk shot glasses! Amazeballs! There really is nothing like some delicious monk cookies and a few shots of milk to chase it all down.

      • KarenB says:

        Mmmmmm! Cookies and shots of whiskey! Why didn’t the girl guides think of that!

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