Heads

This is a really fun part of the collection, essentially just heads of cows or bulls (or water buffalo). If you've looked at the Advertising and Souvenirs page, you have already seen some - the Borden's Elmer and Elsie head creamers and sugars, and some Japanese copies thereof. Mostr of these are fully legitimate cow creamers (by the criterion of two holes) which pour through the mouth, but there are also a few pitchers.

Click on any thumbnail for a larger picture.

3 black and red Royal Bayreuth cow head creamers 2 Royal Bayreuth cow head creamers

The nicest of the head creamers are the porcelain ones made by Royal Bayreuth – these come in a variety of colors and styles. These three – actually two cows or bulls (hard to tell sometimes when all you have is the head) and a water buffalo – bear the Royal Bayreuth, Bavaria stamp. The other two cow heads are impressed Deponiert (as are some of the ones with the Royal Bayreuth stamp) but without the crest.

Royan Bayreuth black cow head creamer Royal Bayreuth grey cow head creamer Royal Bayreuth orange cow head creanmer

Here are three more nice examples of Royal Bayreuth cow or bull head creamers. To reiterate a bit of what’s in the Favorite Brands section, Royal Bayreuth has been produced in the same factory in Tettau, Bavaria, since 1794. They have used a number of different marks, usually including the Bavarian coat of arms, two lions rampant and a shield. The crest, name Royal Bayreuth and Bavaria were used from 1870-1919, and some later ones may say Germany or even U.S.Zone from 1945-49. Many made for export also bear an impressed 'Deponiert' which in English translates to deposited. Next, here are some that were either made by Royal Bayreuth for other companies, or at least bear a close resemblance.

2 Mitchell Woodbury cow head creamers Mitchell Woodbury billhead

These two heads are marked for the Mitchell Woodbury Company of Pearl Street, Boaston. I haven't bee able to find a date for their founding, but is was obviously quite some time before the 1899 date shown here on their billhead (source www.historicnewengland.org). They were retailers of china and glassware, with many of their items coming from high end German and Silesian porcelain factories, as well as from Lamberton Works of New Jersey. Sometime in early 20c they moved to Atlantic Ave in Boston - and apparently they weren't the most scrupulous of Boston firms since I have found records of a successful 1930's suit brought against them by Albert Pick-Broth Co. for their actions in not only hiring away employees but encouraging them to being their customer lists and production information. This suit ultimetely made it all the way to the Supreme Court. Mitchell Woodbury was apparently active until the early 1940s.

Royal Bayreuth and Mitchell Woodbury cow head creamners

As noted above Mitchell Woodbury Co. was an impoorter and retailer. As shown here, at least some of their items were apparently manufactured by Royal Baureuth, whose red cow head creamer is shown here next to the one marked MW Co, which was also in the section just above.

Here are two more heads that bear a resemblance to the Royal Bayreuth creamers. The “Blackpool” crested one (which is in the same series as the 3 similar to it that are shown in the Ads and Souvenirs Theme) has the “foreign” in a circle stamp, typical of imports to the UK, and seems to me to be very similar to those from the Royal Bayreuth molds. The gaudy one on the right is unmarked, but obviously from a different mold.

3 Royal Bayreuth cow head pitchers

This is a second form of Royal Bayreuth cow or bull head - in this case they are actually'pitchers' since there is no hole in the mouth. Still beautifully modeled, and in a variety of colors.

Black Royal Bayreuth water buffalo head creamer Grey Royal Bayreuth water buffalo head creamer>

The third type of Royal Bayreuth head creamer looks to me more like a water buffalo, with the long curled horns. These are again 'creamers' with the hole in the mouth.

2 Made-in-Taiwan water buffalo head creamers

Like the other Royal Bayreuth cow or bull head creamers, their water buffalo seem to be popular for copies or at least similar versions. These two lovely examples could easily be mistaken for Royal Bayreuth, but for the 'Made in Taiwan' sticker on the base of the bisque white one. Both are really very well made, and considerably less expensive than their Bavarian cousins.

German cow head creamer

This lovely realistic head is unmarked but is known to be German porcelain, dating from between the World Wars.

3 German longhorn bull head creamers

These lovely German bull heads date from the early 1900s – I know this because the largest of the three came with a note that said his mother purchased it in 1909…for fifty cents! She had a large creamer collection and this was her favorite. They are no longer quite so cheap.  I also believe that they were made in just these three sizes, and it has taken me many years to acquire one of each.

 

German bull head on vase creamer

Here’s another German bull, this time with both head and tail mounted on a vase shaped container.  I would guess it to be early 20c. Although it’s not marked for Germany it does have a mold number near the base, and that plus the quality and humor are a pretty good indication of its provenance.

Large Austrian bull head creamer

This magnificent beast is stamped for Austria under a crown. I have a very similar one marked for "Royal Floretta Ware, Austria". I have seen others for sale with yet additional marks - leading me to believe that these are all faux attributions, although for whatever reason I can't guess.

Quail's Fresian and Jersen cow head creamers

Moving off the continent to the UK, this beautiful Fresian and Jersey hail from Quail Ceramics of Church Lane, Deal, Kent, whose web site notes that they have been in the giftware business for over 20 years, and have their designs made by small family businesses in Thailand. Quail is best known for their animals, birds, and especially (ugh!) cats…they have a range of named cats called “The Moggies” that apparently are quite popular, although why anyone would be the least interested in collecting ceramic cats is completely beyond me. Cow creamers of course are quite a different story. Of these two, the Fresian came first, and bears a simple “Q” as the makers mark on its base, while the Jersey’s mark reads “Quail, 2010”. Perhaps others will follow.

Quali's Hereford bull head creamer

Indeed, just as postulated in the section above, another lovely Quail head did follow the Fresian and Jersey…this is a beautifully crafted and quite large Hereford Bull.

light brown cow head creamner from UK

This is an interesting light brown luster-glazed head that came from the UK via eBay, but is unmarked.  The seller termed it art deco, which doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

Two 19c English cow hear creamers

Here are two very unusual and quite large English creamers from the early to mid 19c. The molds are identical, albeit the white one is ceramic and the black one is made from the red clay typical of Jackfield creamers, and indeed has the Jackfield glaze with gold highlights.  These were both quite expensive and the shipping prices from the UK were high, but they are sufficiently lovely as well as unusual that I couldn’t resist them.  Thankfully the sellers packed well and they made it here unscathed.

Emglish cow head pitcher with verse, front Emglish cow head pitcher with verse, back

This is pretty obviously a pitcher – I probably would have passed it by but for the delightful little verse on the back:  “Drink your milk every day it makes you bonnie and full of play”.  English of course, albeit unmarked.

Three Coventry cow hear creamers

Moving over to the US, these three well made creamers are marked for Coventry, Made in the USA, mold  # 5563A.  I spent some time on the web looking for Coventry, only to find that it’s a quite popular name. There’s a Coventry in Connecticut, and one in the UK, both with pottery makers…but my guess would be Coventry Ware of Barberton, OH, that from what I can tell operated from 1932 to about 1950.  I could sure use some help on this one!

Borden's Elsie & Elmer creamer and sugar heads

Also from the US....here are Borden's Elsie and Elmer, in tgheir oriiginal box. There was a long discussion about them in all their various forms at the start of the Advertising and Souvenirs page but these two being heads, they naturally must also be shown here

Plastic Elsie & Elmer creamer and sugar heads

This is the plastic sugar and creamer version of Borden’s Elsie and Elmer, featured in Ads and Souvenirs.  As noted there, and as with Royal Bayreuth heads, there have been a lot of copies of this favorite cow.

2 Japanese versions of Elmer and Elsie  creamer and sugar heads

Here are two different renditions, both from Japan.

3 Elsie knock-off head creamers


And, here are three Elsie’s that seem to be sort-of look-alikes, the one on the left even bearing her name.  The two variants on the right are both impressed with the script mark “Gayet of California”.

7 Japanese cow head creamers with bells

These Japanese cow creamer heads are fairly common on eBay; they come with many small variations in the bells and coloring; there is one here that probably doesn’t match…third from the left, with the crossed eyes.

5 Japanese cow hear creamers

Here are more Japanese heads.  The ones on the ends have a sticker that reads “Chase, hand painted”.  The one in the middle has “Hand Painted” over a semi-circle, and is part of a set or group that also includes a horse, a mouse, and a sheep.

2 Japanese cow caricature head pitchers

More Japanese versions – but pitchers rather than creamers that pour from the mouth.

2 Japoanese cow head creameres

On the left are yet two more Japanese cow head creamers, and on the right a head from the same mold as the light one on the left.

3 Smiling Japanese cow head creamers

Happy, happy, happy … looking extremely pleased with themselves are three more versions of the small creamer on the far left above.  Like it, they are simply stamped “Japan” (black and white cow) or “Made in Japan” (brown cows)

2 'Moo-ing' cow head and neck creamers

These two both have ‘voice boxes’ fitted into the bottom, so that they should ‘moo’ when tipped up.  I say ‘should’ moo, but they seem to have a bad case of laryngitis, presumably from a combination of age and repeated use.  I have yet to find one where the ‘moo-er’ actually works, and most of them available on ebay have loct the voice box.

two brown and a blue small early cow head creamers

The two brown creamers shown here both came from the UK (via eBay).  The seller of the one on the left said that he had dug it out of a ‘1920-1930’s tip’.  The blue one in the middle came from Australia

Here are two large cow head pitchers, both shown elsewhere. “Cowmen Mooranda” by Vandor, 1988, was shown as an example of a cow pitcher on the "My Story" page, and  Fitz and Floyd’s lovely Heidi Holstein, of 1994, 1 ½ quart size, was also featured in Favorite Brands.

Blue and orange buffalo head creamer Grey buffalo head creamer

These are buffalo - bull buffalo not cow buffalo and thus doubly inappropriate for the collection but they are attractive, come in a variety of colors, and frequently show up on ebay listed as cow creamers. I can claim just an error of interpretation for the first one I acquired but that excuse won't work for the other one. At least they're inexpensive and not offensive.

Light brown bull and cow buffalo head creamers

On the left is another version of the bull buffalo head, and on the right a somewhat different interpretation, perhaps meant to be a cow buffalo. These are both marked “Made in Occupied Japan”, so the buffalo head mold has been around for quite some time.

5 glass two piece cow heads

Finally for this theme, here’s a bunch of glass cow heads that come apart – these are often sold as cow creamers, but I suspect that they were originally designed to hold mustard or some other condiment.