This sculptural mid-century planter is a spectacular example of McCoy’s modern Harmony line of 1961. It is dramatically streaked with a rich tangerine over-glaze, letting the yellow under-glaze show through. This planter is marked on the base, “McCoy / USA.” The planter is 6.5″ high at its highest point, 8.5″ wide and about 4″ deep.
The Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Company was founded in 1910 by Nelson McCoy and his father, J. W. McCoy, in Roseville, Ohio. In the 20s, the company became one of the major US makers of pottery and kitchenware. In the late 20s and early 30s they were producing ceramics with blended glazes, dominated by leaf and berry motifs in earthy tones of brown and green. Also in the 30s, the name of the company was changed to the Nelson McCoy Pottery Company.
From the mid 40’s into the 50’s the company began to experiment with new technologies to improve the quality and yield during the mixing, molding, and firing process. When a large part of the McCoy facilities were destroyed by fire in 1950, the company rebuilt with the most modern technology. They were poised to become the largest producer of pottery in the United States, producing millions of ceramics each year by the end of the 50s.
In the late 50s and early 60s the company, influenced by the changing tastes of consumers, added more modern-influenced ceramics. One of their finest designs was the Harmony line, first produced in 1961. The shapes of these vases and planters were flowing and sculptural. The line featured glazes in turquoise, burnt orange, yellow and ivory, colors familiar to mid-century interior design.