We started collecting John Wayne’s Mugs many years ago. At the time, occasionally you would see one of the lesser value ones sell at auction for less than $500. In rare instances, you might even see one listed on Ebay by someone who had no idea of its value. There’s always the chance of coming across a bargain at a garage or estate sale but this day in time that rarely happens.
There is also disparity in values from mug to mug. Like everything else, the rare ones are more valuable than the most common. There is hardly a month go buy that a McQ mug is not listed on Ebay. This is because this was one of Duke’s last movies and not one of his most popular. It also hurts the value that many were produced and there was even a knock off mug made that was sold in gift shops. The knock off can easily be distinguished but it still affects the value. On the other hand, there are some we have never seen or maybe only once or twice offered at an auction. As you can imagine, these are very valuable. Another factor that greatly influences the value of the mugs, is who they were given to. First of all, a personalized mug is usually more valuable that a “Good Luck” mug. As you can imagine, Jimmy Stewart’s mug from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is more valuable than that of a stage hand you’ve never heard of. And of course for every mug, there was one made for John Wayne himself and these are always highly prized. They can be identified by just his name on the back, usually “Duke” but sometimes “John Wayne”. So star power has a great effect on the mugs values.
“Collections” may also be valued differently collectively than merely the sum of the individual values. For example, if someone had all of Maureen O’Hara’s mugs(and they don’t), together they would be worth more. From the Antiques Road Show: “So altogether I would put an estimate on these of $25,000 to $35,000. And they could even bring more.” This was in reference to a collection of eleven mugs, shown to the right.
We hesitate to give “our” values on the mugs because even though well qualified they are still our opinions. We do show however the results of some of the actual sales at our site as there is no more accurate value than a price agreed upon between a willing seller and buyer.