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Quaker Oats Quest

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Question: This cute Quaker Oats canister is made of ceramic or porcelain, and it measures about 10 inches high. There are no chips or cracks, just a few black marks here and there. On the back, a mark reads "Regal China" and "7-2-1" is hand-engraved on the bottom. Was this an actual package in which oats were sold or was it a promotional item? Is it particularly collectible? If so, how much is it worth?

Answer: In 1977, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Quaker trademark, Quaker Oats Co. commissioned Regal China Co. of Antioch, Ill., to produce cookie jars in the form of the boxes of Old-Fashioned Quaker Oats. The canisters measured 9 3/4 inches high, were made of dishwasher-safe porcelain and cost $6.95 each. Regal China, which produced many cookie jars and Jim Beam commemorative decanters, closed in 1992. Quaker Oats issued similar cookie jars in 1997, which were made in China. Although price guides list the value of the older Quaker Oats cookie jars from $60 to $90, they are readily available on Internet sites for much less. One jar sold on eBay for about $24 postpaid a few years ago, but many others went unsold because they did not garner a minimum bid.

-- Tom Hoepf, associate editor of Auction Central News

RESOURCES: eBay, www.ebay.com; LiveAuctioneers, www.liveauctioneers.com.