Is this cookie jar the real deal?

We think the cookie jar is Aunt Jemima. There is a big "B" on the base underneath.

Collectors are interested in the various types of "mammy" cookie jars that were made by many companies across America. To name just a few, there was Brayton Laguna, McCoy, Metlox, Weller, Abington and Pearl China, among a number of others.

The mammy cookie jar in today's question is supposedly the product of Mosaic Tile Co. of Zanesville, Ohio.

Mosaic Tile stopped making faience tile in 1959 and tried to stay in business by making miscellaneous pottery products such as boxes, bookends, souvenirs, wall panels and the mammy cookie jar in today's question.

Mosaic Tile's mammy cookie jar is rather rare, and in certain color varieties is extremely rare. The original mammy cookie jar is 13 1/2 inches tall and is found most often wearing a yellow dress with a turban-like head covering. This would appear to be the type that the owner has.

This yellow-dressed Mosaic Tile cookie jar mentioned above is worth up to about $600, but if the dress is blue the price jumps to $700 or $750. But if the dress happens to be peach and green, peach and blue, or blue and yellow, the value is three times more than the common yellow-dress examples.

Our problem with the cookie jar pictured here is that the owner reports that it is marked with a big "B" on the base. Unfortunately, the original Mosaic Tile example is completely unmarked. Further examination and comparison with genuine examples reveals what we believe are subtle differences between the real Mosaic Tile mammy cookie jars and this one.

Primarily, the smile on the one shown here is jovial and inviting while the smile on the originals are, well, different — more forced and less welcoming. But when all is said and done, it is the big "B" on the base that strongly suggests to us that this piece is just not right.

We feel this piece is a reproduction, and reproductions of this cookie jar sell at auction for about $50.

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Helaine Fendelman and Joe Rosson are the authors of "Price It Yourself." Contact them at Treasures in Your Attic, P.O. Box 27540, Knoxville, TN 37927. Email them at treasures@knology.net.

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