A portrait of the late John Desmond by Biddeford artist Robert Dohar and a few pieces from his collection of piggy banks and cookie jars are shown. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

A portrait of the late John Desmond by Biddeford artist Robert Dohar and a few pieces from his collection of piggy banks and cookie jars are shown. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Almost any collector could find something to tickle their fancy in Iona Desmond’s collection of piggy banks and cookie jars she inherited from her late husband.

There are banks and jars in the shape of animals, others in the shape of cars and still more shaped like buildings. Some are whimsical, some more elegant, some are holiday themed and others representing a popular brand name, television show or movie. Some are ceramic, some plastic, some metal. All of them are special, and many are likely to make a person smile.

In total, there are about 400 items, and most of them will soon be for sale, with the proceeds benefitting animal charities, to honor the wishes of her late husband, John, said Desmond. 

John Desmond loved animals and helping the community, said Iona Desmond. When he died in December at the age of 68, those making memorial contributions were asked to give to Old Orchard Beach Community Animal Watch, according to his obituary.

The couple was married for nearly 39 years. 

“We had nine dogs in our married life and I don’t know how many cats,” said Iona Desmond. “A cat makes a house warm and cozy and a dog is a good companion.”

John Desmond was a landscaper who also enjoyed word working. He enjoyed making note holders that were unique shaped. Iona Desmond, an artist and former art teach, would help him design them and he would sell them and donate the proceeds to charity.

John Desmond was also an avid collector of things, especially piggy banks and cookie jars.

“I always joked he didn’t have money, so he collected piggy banks, and he wasn’t supposed to eat cookies so he collected cookie jars,” said Desmond.

Desmond said her husband found piggy banks and cookie jars at thrift stores, yard sales and estate sales and took home “anything that caught his eye.”

“He’d get them everywhere,” she said.

Desmond is selling the banks and cookie jars from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 9 at 19 Cottage Ave. in Old Orchard Beach. Proceeds from the sale will go toward Old Orchard Beach Community Animal Watch, Animal Welfare Society and the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected] 


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