text image Craig's Cow Creamers


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.

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

teaset from New Orleans

pitcher from teaset

 

 

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 teapot. Their lids 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 them. 

Staffordshire style dollhouse creamerStaffordshire chramer mark

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.

4 miniature creamersV&R

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.

V&R Delft cow creamers2 black and white V&R cow creamers

Two different sets from V&R. The ones on bases are decorated in Delft style. While most of their cow creamers that I have seen are on bases, these two little black and white ones are on their own.

Two V&R cow and milker spill vases

 

 

These two V&R miniatures are of the ‘spill vase” type. The one on the left with the lady at the stern of her beast has the fill hole on the cow’s back For some reason this cow has a very foreshortened nose. On the right, the man’s fill hole would be in the basket on his head.

 

V&R cow and milkmaid spill vase This is a slightly different V&R version of the cow spill vase/creamer with milkmaid
3 V&R Staffordahire style cow creamers

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.

2 V&R cow creamers with milkmaid V&R Holstein 2 V&R Staffordahire creamers and a figure

A herd of V&Rs...on the left two with milkmaid, in the center a nice little holstein, and on the right three more with milkmaids including a couple with rather wild colors.. The black and white one in the middle of the right hand picture isn’t a creamer, but rather a dollhouse (1/12) scale version of a typical Staffordshire figure from the mid 19c.
Jackfield V&R cow creamer V&R Blue Willow cow creamer

When I was emailing Rachel Williams about some of my creamers, I asked her if they could look through my web pages and perhaps fashion miniatures in some of the other styles.  Here’s a very lovely result, a ‘Jackfield’ cow creamer, complete with the gold embellishments. Its companion in this section is painted to resemble the Chinese ‘blue willow’ transfer printed creamers that were extremely popular in the mid 19c.

2 British porcelain miniature cow creamers
These two high quality porcelain creamers came from a country fair in the UK in1997. I foolishly didn’t get the name of the maker, but they’re signed “KCR”
Valerie Casson doll house cow creamer Miniature holstein on green base

Here are two very similar 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.

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.
Miniature cow creamer with 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 – 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.

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.

Doll house cow creamer from Cumbria Cow teapot and spice jars

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

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 homeof one of my daughter-in- laws who used to live in New Orleans and makes king cakes..
Ann Galvin cremaers
The second type of doll-house items are the ‘one-of a kind’ versions 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,

Ellie Baggs miniature tea sets

 

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

Ellie Baggs holstein miniature

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

Scottish Highland dollhouse cow teapot

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.

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 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.
Acquisto silver doll house cow creamer Kupjack silver doll house cow creamer

Before moving from the 1/12 scale to slightly larger but still small cow creamers, here are my two sterling silver ones. If you’re already looked at the silver cow page you will have seen and learned a bit about them – 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 cowcreamer 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 therefore be much more appropriate for a child’s play dollhouse that the sterling silver ones above.

 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.

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 cown 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 compoany with a nice porcelain souvenir of Jersey.

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 teapos 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.

Cow creamer on a rock

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.

Sitting green cow creamer Small porcelain cow creamer with violets

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

Rion honmdo 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 bu a number of other potteries - including perchance Suwannee. They can be quite often 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 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 and the Rhytons pages.  I was delighted to find these miniature simple clay versions.

Very cute small cow creamer

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.

Multicolored 2 leg Japanese cows 5 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 cuw 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 Mfcg NY bulls in grass Short nose Japanese cow 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 heads Cow heads with Chinese willow marks

Small cow heads here. The yellow and green caricatures are marked Japan. The lwo 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 Head pitcher and 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.

Teapots are not to 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 using a cake as a spout rather interesting also.

 

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