Piggy Banks – Marketplace Spotlight
Why are children’s coin banks referred to as “piggy banks”? It is commonly believed that piggy banks get their name from a type of reddish clay used in the Middle Ages called “pygg”. Throughout the Middle Ages, people often made bowls, plates and jars from this pygg to hold small items. The pottery made from pygg clay was not very durable, it was a soft material that scratched easily and it was permeable – unable to hold liquids.
A popular item made from this type of pottery was a small storage pot used to hold coins. Coin boxes and money jars had been around for centuries, but the pygg clay coin holders became very popular in the Middle Ages. It was referred to as a pygg pot or pygg jar. Although the word pygg is actually pronounced “pug”, it did not take long for artisans to take advantage of the pun and make pig shaped banks and coin holders. Pigs have long been considered symbols of good luck in different parts of the world, so making coin banks in pig-shaped tied in well. Similar to modern piggy banks, if the owner of the pygg jar wanted to retrieve his or her coins, they would have to break the container open or slide the coins back through the slot with the aid of a knife.
There have been boar and pig shaped pygg pots discovered that date back to the 15th century. Many European countries have traditions of giving piggy banks to bring luck and good fortune. Even today, children are often given piggy banks for birthdays and holidays to encourage saving money. Many cultures consider strong financial management to be essential to a successful and teach these habits to children at a young age. This makes piggy banks a popular and educational gift to children. As they grow, so do their savings and monetary awareness.
The Past Antiques Marketplace has many vintage piggy banks and other models of coin banks available. Piggy banks always make a great gift as well as teach a valuable lesson of saving money. Visit The PAST Antiques Marketplace at Nature’s Art Village on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut to see our full selection of antiques and vintage collectibles.