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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, largely 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.

 

 

Doll House (1/12 scale) : I have found two types of these; the first is ones made from china or porcelain, like this ‘tea set’ and the very similar but slightly larger separate ‘teapot’;  their lids are the tops of their heads and horns.  I have seen the 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 them. 

Here is a very special and quite old hand made dollhouse size Staffordshire style creamer.  The seller stated that she discovered it 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.

 

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

4 miniature creamers

The black and white and two blue and white creamers in the picture on the left, and the two other blue and white ones standing on the quarter, come from V&R Miniatures (http://vrminiatures.website.orange.co.uk/). This is the company of Vaughan and Rachel Williams, who themselves design and make a beautiful line of Staffordshire-inspired (like these creamers) and other porcelain doll house miniatures. They’re located in Bwlchygarreg, Pontdolgoch, Caersws, Powys, UK (quite a mouthful).  They have a great web site, and do superb workmanship.   The brown creamer on the quarter on the left came from Little Obsessions in Commak, NJ. Their web site seems a bit dated, but indicated that they sell doll house miniatures made by artisans from around the world; this cow is signed “SM” but with no other information.

 

 

Here are a couple more from V&R miniatures, this time with decorations in the Delft style.

 

Here are two more lovely doll house creamers from V&R.  Rachel was kind enough to let me know when they came up for auction, and I was delighted to add a couple more of their superb miniatures to my collection.

 

 

 

Four more from V&R Miniatures.  Two are miniatures of the ‘spill vase’ style.  The one with the lady at the stern of her beast has the fill-hole and plug on the cow’s back, while the man’s fill hole would be in the pot on his head.   The little pink cow is typical of the older Staffordshire cow creamers with milkmaid (though most of them aren’t smiling), while the black spotted white one isn’t a creamer but is both so cute and so typical of Staffordshire earthenware figures that I couldn’t resist.

 

This is a slightly different V&R version of the cow spill vase/creamer with milkmaid

 

 

Each of these three hand-fashioned ‘Staffordshire’ creamers from V&R Miniatures has a different base and personality.  The quality of the V&R pieces is so high, and their prices so reasonable, that I tend to buy any that come up on eBay.

When I was emailing Rachel Williams about the creamers above, I asked her if they could look through my web pages and perhaps fashion miniatures in some of the other styles.  Here’s the first and very lovely result, a ‘Jackfield’ cow creamer, complete with the gold embellishments.

This one is painted to resemble the Chinese ‘blue willow’ transfer printed creamers that were extremely popular in the mid 19c.

These two high quality porcelain creamers came from a country fair in the UK in 1997.  I foolishly didn’t get the name of the maker, but they’re signed “KCR”

Here’s one from France, made and signed by Valerie Anne Casson, a miniaturist for over 30 years.  Her web site seems to be not working at the moment.

 

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.

This cute little teapot is also French, or at least I found it on a French eBay site.

Here is a duplicate of the little teapot, this time with a matching cup, and 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.

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

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.

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.


Ann Galvin cremaers
The second type of doll-house items are the ‘one-of a kind’ versions usually made of polymer clay. These 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 …
Lory Creamer

 

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

3 more creamers

 

the 2 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 comes from Ellie Baggs of Tottenham, London, who also made a couple cute little tea sets, shown on that page.

Here’s a commercial version of a Holstein teapot – 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 their web site.

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

This small Scottish Highland cow teapot 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.

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.

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.

mini creamermini creamer

The little creamer standing on George’s nose comes from Mandy Howarth of In the Magpie’s nest of Cumbria, UK, who sells a nice range of low prices doll-house items.  The little teapot with spice jars is unidentified.
smallest creamer
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.

silver doll house creamer

 

 

If you’re already looked at the silver cows you will have seen and learned a bit about these two – the little 1/12 Schuppe model that’s available from the catalog of Peter Acquisto of Albuquerque, NM, and (standing on the quarter) a similarly scaled cow creamer attributed to Eugene Kupjack, which spent some time in a Tynietoy mansion.

Jersey advertising creamers

Like their bigger cousins, the miniatures are often used as souvenirs. Here are two advertising Jersey (the one on the left has “7128” impressed on the lower right so I believe it’s German porcelain), and one from Guernsey. Much too small to be useful, but as opposed to the 1/12 scale doll house ones they do really have two real holes.

mini creamers

The smaller of these two striding brown creamers measures 1¾x2¼, is stamped “Germany” on the belly, and has the impressed number 10950 on the lower right side.  Much, much too small to be of any real use. The larger one which measures 2½x3½ is stamped “Japan”.  

In this shot of four with a similar shape, the one on the left is again from Japan, the second German (5148), the third again most likely from Japan (and it has a price of $.59 marked on a hoof [don’t I wish!]), and the black one on the right is unmarked (and has a misshapen head, poor thing).   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 the 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.

Here’s a slightly larger version – about 3” tall – that’s similar in concept but obviously from a very different mold. It bears the circular “Made in Czecho –Slovakia” stamp.

These two little porcelain cows with wide open mouths standing in grass up to their bellies are impressed with “21445 Germany” on the bottom.

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).
mini creamers

Here are many styles, all very small.  They come from the US, Japan, and China.  You may note I snuck in a red clay water buffalo (1st picture), and a pitcher (third, red head on the left), but the others are all legitimate and fully functional  ‘cow creamers’.

These two little guys 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 many Peruvian homes, and of course as souvenirs.  You will find some bigger ones both on the Places page, and in the ‘Rhyton and other liquid dispensers’ area at the bottom of the Pitcher’s page.  I was delighted to find these miniature versions.

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.

This lovely little 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.

3 mini creamers


These fanciful wild eyed creamers with front and back legs both glued together side to side are all from Japan, and probably date to the late 1940s or early 1950s.  Lots of variations on essentially the same idea, and most likely from the same maker.  Note that one of them has a souvenir decal, now somewhat obliterated.

Here’s yet another small early Japanese interpretation, basically all the same shape but with a variety of positions and colors. 

This is about as far as I want to ‘stretch’ the miniature theme.  Note please that several of these have been used as souvenirs – Italy, Spain, UK (you probably can’t read it but the white one lying down with the picture, which bears the mark of Gemma [a British specialist in crested china],  is entitled “Scotch Fishwife”), and my favorite little Swiss creamer, which was also featured in the Ads & Souvenirs theme page. The two sitting up cream colored ones in the back right of the first shot are pretty definitely from the US – one sold as from Rio Hondo of El Monte, CA and the other possibly from Shawnee Pottery Company.  Per usual, I’d appreciate help or confirmation.

Here are duplicates of a couple of Japanese miniature creamers standing in a field with pink flowers. The cuter one is marked for “© Pioneer Mdse Co, N.Y., Japan” inside a keyhole shaped emblem; The one shown sideways is obviously a souvenir of Niagara Falls, and its front-facing mate is  marked on its side for “Biloxi Miss”.  The sort of ugly ones – I refer to this style as Japanese short-horns – are unmarked.

It turns out that the little Swiss creamer in the right hand picture above has cousins. Silly I know, but I think this mold is quite cute (and inexpensive) so I bought a couple others.  The larger of these two (no spots) has Japanese markings on the base.

And teapots are not to be left out…there’s a gradation in size across these three, but the one on the right, 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 using a cake as a spout rather interesting also.

 

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