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Your Lenox Spice Jars Could Be Worth a Lot of Cash

They’re the cutest spice jars around.


Spices are essential for home cooks. If you’re the kind of chef who likes to keep her kitchen looking pretty, you probably decant your spice collection into matching jars for the sake of organization and aesthetics. The Lenox Spice Village — a set of 24 spice jars shaped like quaint houses that was popular in the ’80s and ’90s — is a prime example of kitchen storage made pretty (and playful). Curious about what the Lenox Spice Village is, why it has recently made a comeback, and what your collection might be worth today? Keep reading for answers to these questions and more. 

What is the Lenox Spice Village?

The Lenox Spice Village is a collection of 24 porcelain spice jars, each hand-painted, shaped like a house, and sporting the names of the spices contained within. Every house has a different design and color scheme — and when lined up together, they make a sweet and whimsical impression. Lenox has a long history: The ceramics purveyor was founded in 1889 and is still around today, selling all kinds of dishware, plus decor items like figurines, vases, and Christmas ornaments. 

Beth Baer, the Vice President of Product Development at Lenox, told Architectural Digest that the Spice Village was designed to capitalize on a growing interest in home collectibles when it was introduced in 1989. It was initially advertised in magazines as a subscription product: For $14.50 a month, buyers were sent a hardwood spice rack and received a new spice jar in the mail every month for two years. Lenox emphasized the storybook look of the Spice Village in their ads, with enticing copy inviting buyers to “Take a pinch of ginger from a Georgian townhouse. Parsley from a Queen Anne Villa. And a dash of pepper from your Swiss Chalet.” As Baer described it, a “cozy kitchen aesthetic” was popular at the time, and the spice jars were so beloved that Lenox later introduced coordinating kitchen accessories, dinnerware, and wallpaper to match. But an interest in cutesy collectibles waned in the ’90s — and by 1993, the Spice Village was officially discontinued. 

Why has the Lenox Spice Village made a comeback? 

It’s strange to think that spice jars (especially old ones!) could go viral on social media, but that’s what has happened. Recently, the spice jars became popular with Millennial and Gen Z audiences; the Lenox Spice Village hashtag has been viewed nearly 14 million times on TikTok, featuring endless videos of people showing off their prized collections and talking about where they found them.

While the spice jars are definitely cute, you might be wondering why they’ve had such a resurgence among the younger crowd. The answer is likely rooted in a recent fascination with “Cottagecore“: this internet aesthetic was popularized by young people intending to celebrate an idealized version of rural life. The trend began in the 2010s and hit its stride during the pandemic, with more interest in simple and sustainable living. Women touting the “cottagecore” life posted photos of their charming antique houseware, flower crowns, modest prairie dresses, and other ultra-feminine and cozy decor.

There’s also been a growing interest in vintage furniture and fashion among younger shoppers — and the quaint design of the Lenox Spice Village harkens back to a simpler time, offering a welcome contrast to cold modern minimalism. On top of that, the miniature spice houses are perfect TikTok models; the visual satisfaction of the set feels like a comforting respite from the negativity that usually proliferates on social media. 


found this Lenox spice village hiding at the antique shop yesterday. never used, still in the original packaging. 🥺 #lenox #lenoxspicevillage #vintage #antique #thrifted #homedecor #kitchen #UnsealTheMeal

♬ Just a Cloud Away – Pharrell Williams

How much could a Lenox Spice Village be worth?

If you have a Lenox Spice Village, you’re in luck — the spice jars aren’t antiques, but they have grown in value and are increasingly prized by a new generation of collectors. Thrillist reports that prices for individual spice jars vary greatly, and can go from $12 to $95 for a single spice house. But because there are 24 pieces in the Lenox Spice Village, it can be difficult to find a complete set; a full set including the spice rack is currently listed for $850 on Etsy, and on eBay bidding for individual houses usually starts around $10 to $20, while complete Spice Villages tend to have a Buy It Now price of at least $500 to $899 (plus costly shipping fees).

These quirky jars are not only sources of joy; they are still sought after more than three decades later. Perhaps you’ll have the great fortune to stumble upon a complete Spice Village in a thrift store someday — or maybe you already have a coveted Lenox set sitting in your basement, just waiting to be dusted off and sold for big bucks.

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