Miniatures

Where does one draw the line for miniatures?  Well, doll-house size, 1/12 scale (or smaller) creamers clearly qualify.  I’ve also chosen to place some slightly larger ones in this category, mainly based on the fact that many of them seem too tiny to effectively serve as real creamers, at least for more than a skimpy serving for a very small person.  And, this is a mixture of creamers and teapots.

As a reminder, click on any thumbnail for a larger picture.


cow teaset from New Orleans pitcher from cow teaset

Doll House (1/12 scale) : I have found two types of these lovely little dollhouse creamers. The first is made from china or porcelain or some other version of ceramic, like this ‘tea set’ and the very similar but slightly larger teapot. These can be and often are made in fairly large quantities. The lids of the little teapots here are the tops of their heads and horns. I have seen this set on ebay but I bought mine from the very delightful Black Butterfly Shop on Royal Street in New Orleans in 2000. This shop is run by Myra Landry and her brother Norbert, the 3rd generation of their family to operate it. It survived Katrina, but according to a Washington Post article from their web page, business hasn’t been the same since. The separate cow came from the UK by eBay. I don’t know the maker of either of these. 


Staffordshire style dollhouse creamer Staffordshire dollhouse coow creamer mark

Here is a very special and quite old dollhouse-size (albeit somewhat larger than 1/12 scale) Staffordshire style creamer. I know it's not unique because I have two (forgot I had the first when the second came up).  The seller stated that she discovered this one hidden behind the curtains of the Nantucket  (MA) Fletcher house.  She notes that there is mention in the museum documentation that it is from Holland and from the 1880s, possibly earlier.  I do believe that the Holland attribution is correct, from the sketch of what looks very much like a Dutch girl on the base.  She goes on to state that “This cow creamer was a part of a beautiful Dollhouse created by Cara Van Campen Fletcher, born in 1902. This magnificent house is a copy of the original Fletcher House still standing in Nantucket and built by the Fletcher Family in the 1830s. The estate, farm and caretaker’s cottage was gifted to the Flint Museum of Arts in Michigan in 1957 and Deaccessioned in 2010. The original house measures 58” in length, is three stories tall, ten rooms and a widow’s walk on the roof. The main house was originally built in the 1920’s, Mrs. Van Campen-Fletcher had it shipped to her in 1950 from Nantucket and began the painstaking work of completing the house, farm and caretaker’s cottage”. This creamer is one of several hundred pieces from the dollhouse.


V&V cow creamers with blue dots V&R dollhouse cow creamers with delft

Here starts an area of the page with lovely miniature cow creamers and spill vases from V&R Miniatures ( http://rachelsart.ueuo.com" ). This is the company of Vaughan (sculptor) and Rachel (artist) Williams, who design and make a beautiful line of handcrafted (like these creamers) and other porcelain doll house miniatures. They’re located in Bwlchygarreg, Pontdolgoch, Caersws, Powys, Wales (quite a mouthful). They have a great web site, and do superb workmanship. To quote from the introduction to their site, "Following traditional pottery techniques from original model to plaster mould, slip casting, firing, glaze and on-glaze firings, there are so many stages to completion! Some of the designs were inspired by English Staffordshire pottery circa 1750 to 1850. They are suitable for most dollhouses. As well as the slip cast pieces we also make many one of a kind Staffordshire miniatures. We also make a wide variety of birds, animals and teapots, and we can custom make individual pieces to order." As you can tell from the pictures, these two pairs - decorated with blue dots on the left, and delft-like patterns on the right -- vary similar but by no means identical.


V&R cow creamer w/trees V&R Jackfield cow creamer V&R black and white cow creamer

Three more from V&R. The one on the left is decorated with what looks to me like fuzzy trees - perhaps a Chinese motif. In the middle is one I asked Rachel to make for me, a miniature version of a Jackfield cow creamer. On the right is a shapely black and white cow with what may be a bluebird on its lid (and a bunch of poster putty to hold it on sticking our - sloppy of me).

Each of these three V&R miniature Staffordshire cow creamers has a different base and personality. The one on the right is decorated with a Chinese blue-willow pattern, much like the larger ones shown on the Staffordshire page. I like V&R's work so much I tend to buy whatever becomes available.

These four, also V&R Miniatures, all have milkmaids.In the left picture, the lady on the left must be doing something special to generate the smirk on her pink cow's face. By contrast, the yellow cow looks a bit worried. The matched set on the right (with the poster putty to hold on the lids showing) seemed to me best to display looking at each other. I assume one if left-uddered and the other is right-uddered.


V&R Lady and cow spill vase V&R man and cow spill vase V&R Lady and cow spill vase

V&R also make cow and milk maid/man spill vases. Here are three different examples. The chap with the green basket on his head and the lady on the right with the cow with a foreshortened face would fill through the top of the person, while the one on the left has the fill hole on the cow. There is a whole section of spill vases, and an explanation of their use, on the Staffordshire page

V&R Cow & Calf Staffordshire figurine
Of course V&R also make Staffordshire figurines, like this cow and calf. The lady here appears to be holding a bottle of milk, but since the cow seems pretty teatless, I wonder where she got it. Perhaps she is taking on the responsibility for feeding the calf. This one certainly doesn't meet my two-hole (or even one hole) criterion, but is still a very nice piece and was too tempting to resist.


2 V&R cow creamers without bases 2 British porceialn cow creamers from a country fair

We finish up the V&R part of the miniature collection with the two on the left, a matched set of brown and white and black and white cow creamers without bases or lids. On the right is another matched set, quite similar in many ways to V&R's products, but in this case signed "KCR". I bought them from a stand of miniatures at a British country fair in the UK in 1997 and foolishly didn't get the name of the maker.


2 British porcelain cow creamers 2 British porceialn cow creamers with blue dots

These look like V&R's work, and may indeed be, but I didn't get them from them but rather from other Ebay sellers. The two with blue dots on the right came from a vendor in Kent while the ones on the left were acquired from from Mandy Howarth of 'In the Magpie’s Nest' of Cumbria, UK. She sells a nice range of low priced doll-house items at magpies-miniatures.net (which when I last checked indicated it would go out of business at the end of 2019).

Briwn and whiute staffordahire cow creamer

This brown creamer on the quarter came (via ebay) from Little Obsessions in Commak, NJ. This cow is signed “SM” but provides no other information. I have tried to find these folks on the web and came away with lots of sites about 'obsessions', some big, some little, and some rather unmentionable, but none in Commack NJ.


Valerie Casson and similar doll house cow creamers

Here are two very similar porcelain cow creamers from different artisans. The one on the left is from France, made and signed by Valerie Anne Casson, a miniaturist for over 30 years. Her web site (valeriecasson.com) notes that she was born in Britain but moved to Provence in 2002 and is now a committed Francophile as well as a maker of many lovely miniatures (but only this one type of cow creamer). The one on the right bears a sticker that says “BB”, and came from the estate of Mary Werth, who was ‘Den Mother’ for the worldwide miniature group The Camp. I hadn’t realized that there were as many such groups as there seem to be – but in poking around I found a site for the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts, and they show a map of the US where you can click on your state and find our what clubs are there (none in Alaska!) …or you can also go to the directory at myminiatures.com.

French lady cow creamer in Chair Also of French porcelain is this lady pitcher resting in a chair with her blue shawl around her shoulders.  It was sold on eBay by Karen Aird of Karen’s Dollhouse – a good source for little things. I've also found it sold as a 'pig' miniature, and have my suspicions from the shape of the snout that may indeed be correct. Nonetheless it's on my shelf and not about to go away.
Miniature cow creamer with big red nose

This cute little ceramic creamer with the big red nose actually pours. I suppose one could decide it’s supposed to be a bear or such, but it was sold as a cow and I’m willing to accept that.

Milk Bottle doll house cow creamer

This little milk bottle cow, very reminiscent of its larger cousins found on the teapot page, comes from SP Miniatures. Although hard to read, it even says “Drink Milk” in raised letters on the side.

Miniature Holstein cow teapot

Here’s a commercial version of a Holstein teapot – a bit out of place here because it's made of resin of some sort.  I have no idea who made it, but I got it from Dolly’s Gallery of  Danville, VA.  There are all kinds of doll house things on Dolly's web site.

Sitting miniature cow creamer Dragonfly cow creamer in package

The little sitting cow with the daisies and golden eye came from the UK, but with no information on provenance. The little standing creamer in the package is, as the label says, from Dragonfly International, a “handcrafter of quality dollhouse miniature accessories…for the past 25 years” in Roseville, CA (www.dragonflyintl.com). It has a companion cow butterdish.

Karen Aird doll house 'milk' cow

This one is from Karen Aird Miniatures of Basking Ridge New Jersey. I assume that it says ‘milk’ not ‘cream’ because ‘milk’ fits better.


Miniature cow teapot and spice jars
The little teapot with spice jars is unmarked.


Cow teapot and cup feves Animal teapot and cup feves

Here is a little French teapot with a matching cup. It came in company with these 5 other animal teapot and cup sets.  These were sold as French Porcelain feves, and although I have enjoyed many a King Cake (Gateau de Roi, made for Epiphany on 6 January) I hadn’t caught on to the degree to which these ‘feves’ or ‘beans’ that are put in the cake (whoever gets it in his piece is ‘king for a day’ … and in some circles is responsible for baking the next year’s cake) – a long-standing French and Cajun tradition – had become very popular collector’s items. Indeed, I had no ides how many varieties there were until I visited www.epiphany-figures.com, which takes you to “Faboland – Jean-Marie Collections”. Once there I naturally went to the ‘Themes’ section, and lo and behold there is a whole section on ‘vaches’ including this little “le The de vaches” set.


Pink & white cow feve Blue & white cow feve

Two more porcelain ‘feves’, each about ¾” tall. These are indeed cow creamers since there is actually a little fake hole in the middle of each mouth, even if they are a bit fanciful. They came with plates that (like the other animals above) will migrate the home of one of my daughter-in laws who used to live in New Orleans and makes king cakes..


Ann Galvin cow cremaers

The second type of doll-house items are the ‘one-of a kind’ versions hand-fashioned of polymer clay. These three black and white examples come from multi-media artist Anne Galvin, who runs Elf-World Creations out of a studio-workshop in Sussex, England. These little guys all seem to be quite popular and draw nice prices on eBay. Others in my collection include ...

Two doll house cow teapots by Loredona Tonetti

...these sweet teapots by Loredona Tonetti  (Lory’s OOAK) of Italy,


Ellie Baggs miniature tea sets

...these two doll house 1/12 scale tea sets made by Ellie Baggs of Tottenham, London, and


3 more miniature cow teapots

... two on the left by Catherine Rohal (Keepsakes) of Ohio, and a pig-spouted Holstein teapot with a lamb handle by Ann Galvin.

This little polymer clay lidded holstein was made by the same Ellie Baggs who did the cute tea sets on trays above.


Ann Galvin Scottish Highland cow teapot Scottish Highland dollhouse cow teapot

Here are two interpretations of the shaggy Scottish Highland cow. On the left is a teapot by Ann Galvin of Elf World Creations. On the right, this small Scottish Highland cow wearing a scarf (it's cold in the highlands) came from Marie Palmer of Connie Rose Designs in Derbyshire.  I think the little bubble case was meant to protect it during shipping, but the cow looked sort of happy in there so I left it as it came.

cow-pig-chicken miniature teapot

This cow-pig-chicken stack ‘teapot’ was made and sold by Jeanne Brown of Rotherham, South Yorkshire.  These animals all look a bit frightened – not sure what might have spooked them.

Cow over moon miniature teapot

Not a cow teapot precisely, but so cute I couldn’t resist – a delightful miniature interpretation of the cow jumping over the moon, fashioned by Sharon Howard of Illinois.

smallest cow creamer smallest cow teapot on quarter

And here is the tiniest one of all, a cow pitcher from Pamela Scott of FL, just ¼ inch each way.   We need to keep it glued down, or it would get blown away.

There is actually a third version of doll-house cow creamers, namely sterling silver ones - although there don't seem to be too many of these. Here, before moving from the doll house scale (these actually seem smaller than 1/12) to slightly larger but still small cow creamers, are the two in my collection. If you’ve already looked at the silver cow page you will have seen and learned a bit about them – the little 1/12 Schuppe model (doesn't look like Schuppe to me but that's what the maker calls it) that’s available from the catalog of Peter Acquisto of Albuquerque, NM, and a similarly scaled cow creamer (actually a bull it seems from the underpinnings) attributed to Eugene Kupjack, which spent some time in a Tynietoy mansion.

Plastic silver doll house cow creamer

This cute little 1/12 scale cow creamer on a base is also ‘silver’, but only in color since it’s made of plastic. I think it would be much more appropriate for a child’s play dollhouse that the sterling silver ones above.

 Small Guernsey and Jersey souvenir cow creamers

Let's start the 'slightly larger' miniature cow creamers with these two. Like their bigger cousins, miniatures are often used as souvenirs. Here are ones for Jersey and Guernsey. These are much too small to be very useful, but as opposed to most of the the 1/12 scale doll house ones they do have two real holes.

5 small striding cow creamers

In this shot of five with a similar shape, the reddish and white ones are from Germany and the largest, on the far right, from Japan. The other two are unmarked. I have heard these referred to as ‘salesmen’s samples’ as well as doll house toys, and as with many of my creamers, I have paid a wide range of prices for them (usually the most for my first example). eBay has been somewhat helpful in determining what is and isn’t REALLY rare (although usually after the fact), in spite of how folks peddle things. In this case, it's the tiniest that I believe to be most scarce.

Czeck & Jersey small cow creamers

On the left is a slightly larger version of the creamers above – about 3” tall. It's similar in concept but obviously from a very different mold. It bears the circular “Made in Czecho –Slovakia” stamp. It is keeping company with a nice porcelain souvenir of Jersey.

Two small German cow creamers on bases

These two little porcelain cows with wide open mouths standing in grass up to their bellies are impressed with “21945 Germany" on the bottom.

Cardew miniature teapot, and tea set pitcher

On the left is a little pitcher I borrowed from a china teaset. The whole set is on the Teaset page. On the right is a doll house version of Paul Cardew's cow teapot. There are many examples of his delightful work on the Teapots page.

Now we’re getting to creamers that are a bit larger yet. Still only a couple inches tall, but not at all designed for doll houses, best I can tell. Rather, just small creamers for those that like such things, including some souvenirs for the tourists with tiny suitcases (and common sense).<

Christmas ornament cow creamer

Let's start this area with the only cow creamer I have that is designed to be an ornament - it has a little string loop so you can hang it on the Christmas (or whatever) tree.

Robust Italian cow creamer

This robust little guy is from Deruta, Italy.  The web (www.derutaitaly.com ) informs us that “Deruta is a small town placed in the middle of Umbria, famous all over the world for its classical and modern ceramics. Its artistic tradition dates back to Etruscan period, but it is in the Renaissance that Deruta reached its artistic perfection.”  The town seems to be most famous for its majolica ware. This interesting web site contains quite a bit about the history of the area, but alas says nothing about cow creamers.  Maybe some plate-maker just had a bit of clay left over.


Miniature Cow creamer on a rock British cow creamer on green base

On the left, the lovely little dark brown and white cow on a stand that looks like a rock came (via eBay) from the UK.  It doesn’t have any markings, but the quality of the pottery and the shape of the head and ears makes me think that it might be German. The one on the right is also from the UK, again with no markings for maker or locale.


Sitting green cow creamer Small porcelain cow creamer with violets

Both of these are unmarked, but I strongly suspect they are from the UK or Europe. The little sitting green cow is fairly heavy ceramic, and its very different neighbor here is a porcelain calf decorated with violets.


Rio Hondo cow creamer & friends Cute little sitting cow creamer

These are all American. The one in the middle in the left picture bears a silver sticker for "Rio Hondo Potteries, El Monte Calif, Made in California". Rio Hondo made figurines from 1939 to the mid-1950s, according to the list of California Potteries in Wikipedia. This was apparently a popular mold, used by a number of other potteries - including perchance Suwannee. They can quite often be found for offer on ebay. The cute but pensive little cow on the right is unmarked but from the nature of the ceramic and the expression, it must almost certainly be from the US. I have never seem another like it.

Small Toritos de Pucara

These three little bulls are Torito’s de Pucara – little bulls of Pucara, from Peru.  This form dates from the days of the Spanish colonization, since there were no bulls in Peru until the Spanish brought them.  In their normal size they serve as ritual elements for cattle branding ceremonies, as prosperity and good luck charms found on the roofs of many Peruvian homes, and of course as souvenirs.  You will find some bigger ones and more information about them on both the Places and the Rhytons pages.  I was delighted to find the miniature simple clay versions on eBay. The little black one that came from Novica is by Maribel Posso Olivares who with a friend now heads a workshop with about 12 artisans, creating ‘alasitas’ which are tiny items reflecting wishes. These three little toritos are all shown in the company of their larger colleagues on the Rhytons page.

Very cute small cow creamers

I think this form of cow creamer is extremely cute. I initially bought one that was a Swiss souvenir, and it turns out that it had cousins. The larger of these two (no spots) has Japanese markings on the base.


Long necked cow creamer latte cow creamer Sitting up cow creamer with ribbon

Three very different ones here - on the left, the long necked cute creamer with the big eyelashes is artisan-made, bought in an antique shop in Salisbury MD. It bears a flower like symbol and "B 'by P" The 'latte' creamer has a mark that says from“ZOPPOLA, PN, M.G.R.”, with something around the outside and “Made in Italy”, albeit I got it at an antique and collectibles shop in Shrewsbury PA. The little patriotic one on the right is simply an inexpensive eBay purchase. There's a similar blue and white one further down the page.


Multicolored 2 leg Japanese cow creamers 5 small Japanese standing and lying cow creamers

Moving to Japan, here are five fanciful wild eyed creamers with front and back legs both fused together side to side. They probably date to the late 1940s or early 1950s.  Lots of variations on essentially the same idea, and most likely from the same maker. One of them has a souvenir decal, now somewhat obliterated. On the right is a somewhat less fanciful but still multi-colored Japanese interpretation, featuring both standing and lying down cows.


Sitting and Standing Japanese cow creamers Japanese sitting bulls

More Japanese interpretations. Another sitting/standing pair, rather crudely fashioned, and two squatting bulls. These bulls also come in larger sizes as shown in Modern Variations. They must have been very popular in their day, presumably due to the story of Ferdinand the Bull, because they proliferate on ebay.


Two Pioneer Mfg NY bulls in grass Short nose Japanese cow creamer in grass

On the left are a couple of Japanese miniature creamers standing in a field with pink flowers. They are marked for “Pioneer Mdse Co, N.Y., Japan” inside a keyhole shaped emblem and are souvenirs of Niagara Falls and Biloxi Miss.  The sort of ugly one on the right, also in grass – with a foreshortened nose and no horns – is also pretty obviously Japanese, but unmarked.


Green & yellow square faced cow head creamers Cow heads with Chinese willow marks

Small cow heads here. The yellow and green caricatures are marked Japan. The two little ones with what looks to be 'Blue Willow' decorations aren't marked but are most likely from China. At one time I considered using them as models for pawns and commissioning a silver cow creamer chess set. My wife thankfully talked me out of that expensive folly.


Blue and white sitting cow creamer Small ugly Japanese cow creamer Cow Head pitcher and cow face jug

The left and middle pictures are of Japanese cow creamers. The middle one is much earlier - presumably from the post-WW II 1950s or so, when Japan was producing some rather unsophisticated ceramics for the foreign market. On the right is a reddish head pitcher from Japan, accompanied by a tiny American cow "face jug". Neither of these are creamers per so, but I got the pitcher because of its similarity to larger ones, and couldn't resist the ugly but typical little face jug even though it doesn't pour.

Three miniature cow teapots

Teapots should not be left out. There’s a gradation in size across these three, but the small one in the center, the farmer holding the milk bottle, wouldn’t have a chance of holding a regular sized tea bag, let alone any real tea.  “Collectibles” I suppose.  I do find that using a cake as a spout a rather interesting idea.

 

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