Modern Variations

Page 3

Page 3 starts with a country tour - First England, then Japan, Portugal, Italy, France, Germany and Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, Mexico, and finally China...with a couple other countries with single entries thrown in along the way for good measure. Then there are a number of plastic cow creamers and toy cows that give milk one way or another, then non-silver metal ones, and finally just a number of miscellaneous cows (and mistakes), ending with the creamers and sugars from Cow Parade.

As a reminder, click on any thumbnail for a larger picture.
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Emma Bridgewater Holly & Ivy cow creaemr

We begin this page with cow creamers from England. Here’s a 2007 version of an Emma Bridgewater cow creamer in the Holly and Ivy pattern. There's also one on the Favorite Brands page. Emma's web web site says they started in 1985 when Emma was looking for a present for her mum, couldn't find the sort of 'warm and welcoming' china that she wanted, so decided to do it herself though didn't know how. She was pointed to Stoke-on-Trent by a friend, and although the site gives no specifics, she apparently found someone who could help and started her factory on Lichfild St in Hanley, at a site first opened by the Meakin Broithers in 1883. She has certainly been successful - while many others were closing or being acquired, Emma Bridgewater has thrived and claims to make 1.7 million pieces of pottery a year. She also peddles a bunch of other stuff, and now even has a US outlet and web site. Theres's only this one style of cow creamer, though they come in a bunch of different designs.

Here is another cow creamers in the series, the Black Toast (stamped “Toast and Marmalade”). Like the ivy pattern cow above and some of the others below, her cow creamers typically have lids but no bases. As I noted on the Brands page, I fail to understand why Emma makes cow creamers that are unusable for food, especially she charges as much for them as she does. Nobody else seems to have that penchant. I presume one can eat from Emma's plates, but for some reason she seems to think think these cows are just for decoration.

mv Emma Bridgewater Pink Hearts cow creamer on base

These are Emma’s Ms Polka Dot and Pink Hearts on stands. From what the seller said, these were fashioned as trials before they (or she) decided to go with the base-less ones as parts of their china pattern sets. Interestingly, they don’t have the ‘unusable for food’ warning. So does the stand make a difference? Or were these the ones that led to the warning?

Ms Polka Dot cow creamer Emma's Hearts cow creamer

Here are Ms Polka Dots and Pink Hearts (seems to have lost the black hearts) as they apparently ended up accompanying their pattern sets. Again. no drinking! Poor Ms Polka Dot wins the prize for the longest travel time. I bought her on 15 June and she arrived (safe and sound but with a crushed box) on 30 August.

Kitchen Garden cow creamer Kitchen Garden cow creamer belly

Men at work cow creamer Men at work cow creamer belly

It addition to the 'run of the mill' cow creamers (and presumably other pieces as well), Emma produces (according to the sellers) one-of-a-kind versions for the Emma Bridgewater Collectors Club. Here are Kitchen Garden and Men at Work (the 2008 version; it's my only cow that has trucks all over it). Interestingly they don't tll you not to use them, but then I'd expect that 'Collectors' have non-utilitarian interests. The belly shots show another peculiarity of Emma's cows - they have very distended stomachs. Overly fed one presumes. But then they mave very tiny teats, so one wonders whether they were really bred for milk. (And if you hadn't noticed it elsewhere, you will see that I label my cows with a sticky number on the left hond hoof)

4 Enesco Border Fine Arts Sitting up cow creamners from UK

These four are 'chased' to resemble hair. They are from identical molds, but have different paint jobs. As you can see they also come in two sizes - 'pint' and 'half-pint'. They are quite brittle and not well protected in their original boxes and I've had real trouble getting them in one piece; I needed dual shipments from the sellers for all four, and still had to do a bit of restoration.  They are marked for Enesco, LTD which doesn't say a lot about where they were made since Enesco has branches in many countries and its International Headquarters is located in Itasca, Ill. These cows also however have a transparent sticker that says "The James Herriott Country Kitchen Collection, , A7597, Cow Jug", with a smaller round picture of 3 kilns that says Border Fine Arts Pottery Company. A quick trip to the website (a marvelous site to learn about many manufacturers of ceramics as well as toys) says that they are a Division of Enesco LLC located in Kingstown, Carlisle, Cumbria, England. It also gives a bit of their history: "Border Fine Arts was founded in 1974 by John Hammond, whose chance visit to Scotland served as inspiration for the creative company which thrives today. From humble beginnings in an eighteenth-century farmhouse near Langholm, the fledgling company developed quickly. Carefully researched, highly detailed and accurately painted figurines were created, for which demand grew rapidly from a very receptive marketplace.The workforce grew in leaps and bounds to keep pace with the orders that poured in. Middleholm was quickly outgrown and premises were found in the town, which in turn were expanded to accommodate demand. Border Fine Arts has now become a household name and leader in the manufacture of superb, lifelike figurines. So much so, that In 1986, Border Fine Arts was honoured to win the Scottish Business Achievement Award in recognition of the company's growth and commitment to making a quality product." It doesn't say when it was acquired by enesco, but John Hammond is now Chairman of Eneskko UK, LTD, so it's worth saying a bit more about Enesco here, from their web site: "Enesco was founded in 1958 as the import division of N. Shure Company, one of the largest and oldest general merchandise catalog companies. Following N. Shure's sale to Butler Brothers, the import division reorganized as Enesco Corporation, formed from the phonic spellings of the prior parent company's name initials - N.S.Co. Enesco was sold four times, culminating in 2007 when Enesco then became a privately-held company and changed its legal name to Enesco, LLC. Balmoral Funds, a Los Angeles, CA based private equity fund acquired Enesco, LLC in 2015." More than you want or even deserve to know, but once I got started I found it hard to stop.

Two Welsh cow creamers with pour holes on their foreheads

Holes in their head…they must be…?? Only one is marked, and it’s too faded to read. Both came from the UK via eBay, and one of the sellers said he thought his cow was from Beddgelert Pottery (established 1962 and operated by Mrs A, Davey and Mrs P Hancock) which is in Beddgelert, Snowdonia, Wales.  Following the web to Beddgelert’s tourism site, we find an interesting (to me) story, about the village’s most famous historical, feature, “Gelbert’s Grave”.  To quote the site, the headstone reads "In the 13th century Llywelyn, prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gelert, 'The Faithful Hound' who was unaccountably absent. On Llywelyn's return the truant, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. The prince alarmed hastened to find his son, and saw the infant's cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood. The frantic father plunged his sword into the hounds side, thinking it had killed his heir. The dog's dying yell was answered by a child's cry. Llywelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed, but near by lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain. The prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again. He buried Gelert here.”  Following these leads is one of the things I enjoy about my collection (even if they’re wrong – I have seen others like these advertised on eBay with a stamp for a different factory in Wales).

two large mouthed smiling white flowered English cow creamers 2 English smiling cow creamers

A Blue version of these large creamers with the big smiles were featured as distinctly British in the Places section. Three of these examples meet that criterion. On the left the lady with blue flowers is marked for "Royal Crownsford (Honslow) Arthur Wood, England, Safe Harbour', which is a bit confusing because the Safe Harbour cows generally have a distinctive decoration like the one just below, and also the Royal Crownsford label generally doesn't come from one of the Wood studios. The one with red flowers simply says Made in England, and the dark green one on the far right while unmarked is most likey from Arthur Wood since I have seen some like it so stamped. The 'sport' here is the white one with blue decorations in the right hand photo. It's marked as a "Blue Onion" pattern, with a sticker that states it's "Made Expressly for M.B.Daniels & Co., Ics, Made in Japan". Apparently Mr Daniels wanted to take advantage of the popularity of this mold, but found a relatively cheap way to do so.

Royal Crownford 'Safe Harbour' cow creamer, side Royal Crownford 'Safe Harbour' cow creamer, front

Here, from the same mold, is a “Safe Harbour” version, stamped for “Royal Crownford Ironstone” by Arthur Wood, England. I find it interesting that it has the same title, but a different transfer picture, than the kneeling “Safe Harbour” Royal Staffordshire creamer on the previous page.

Smiling cow creamers

Yet two more. The one on the right with the brown flower transfer print is marked 'Made in England', and the one on the left with pink lipstick and multi-colored hand painted flowers is stamped for England and also bears a sticker and stamp for Arthur Wood, an earthenware manufacturer since 1904 at Bradwell Works, Longport, Stoke-on-Trent.

Flow Blue English and Brown Japanese cow creamers of same style, side

Flow Blue English and Brown Japanese cow creamers of same style, front

The blue creamer here is from an identical mold, which seems to be very popular and widespread in the UK. It is marked "Old Flow Blue", from Crownford China, England.  In addition to the variety of colors and styles in which this creamer has been produced by quite a large number of British factories, what I find interesting is that the Japanese apparently took advantage of its popularity to fashion a creamer quite similar to it, here in brown and stamped 'Japan'.  Its features are really much the same - big nose, smile, and all - but it has a much larger back opening, a heavier chest, and a differently shaped bell.

Three more Japanese cow creamer versions, different sizes

Heading up a number of sections with cow creamers from Japan , here in white and with flowers is another example of the Japanese version of the cows in the section immediately above.. The seller, who hails from near Minneapolis, noted, "My husband remembers his mom bringing this out to serve the cream in when they had company. That was in the early 1950's, so this creamer is at least 50 years old. It's been in storage since they moved off the farm in the late 50's".  For some reason there was a lot of competition for this one on eBay, while I was the only bidder on the brown one.  The Japanese seem also to have made a smaller version, with similar facial features though a bit of a different body shape.  Clever and entrepreneurial folks, those post-WWII Japanese ceramicists.

Two purplish and one white and blue cow caricature creamers

Here are another three that are quite similar, but of slightly different size and decoration.  The pinkish one on the right is unmarked, and is the first of these that I bought.  Next came the white one with the pseudo-Delft decoration (it has a windmill on the left side), stamped Taiwan.  The latest to join the herd is on the left.  It’s marked with an open wreath around a three leaf clover over "Japan" which is the mark of Nippon Yoko-Boeki Co.  (I’m told the factory is still in operation).  The seller says that it came from Chadwick Miller, a catalog company (importer) that was in operation from @1950-1970, and that there was a whole set of items that accompanied the cow.

Two UCAGCO cow caricature creamers, side

Two UCAGCO cow caricature creamers, bellies

Continuing this section of creamers that are very similar, here are two that differ principally by the placement of the tail…with a minor anatomical variation underneath as pictured. If you go to the sugar and creamers page, about a third of the way down, you’ll find three more that have similar heads but very different bodies. I’d assume all these came from the same company, UCAGCO, because the pattern on the white and blue (6-teated) one here is the same as on the sugar and creamer set that came with the company’s sticker. But…for those thousands of you that must be wondering … the creamer that goes with the sugar bowl has only 4 teats.

Cow caricature creamer, brown with white speckles

Variations never cease- here’s another tail up 4-teater, but brown with raised white splatters and prominent eyebrows. It’s stamped “Japan”

Black and white cow creamer with big orange udder

Here’s another that’s almost certainly from UCAGCO, although only marked “S932”. The chunky build and bright orange udder with red teats are pretty much a sure sign of that company’s cows.

2 small Japanese brown and white cow creamers

The light brown wide-eyed creamer here is stamped “Japan B568. Its red friend with the shortened horn (a manufacturing defect) bears a gold sticker that reads “A Quality Product, Japan”.

2 more cow creamers made in Japan Both of these lazy but happy cows are simply marked Made in Japan, but I believe they were also designed there, probably in the early to mid 1950s..
4 Japanese 'short horn' cow creamers

Continuing with Japanese made cow creamers, but moving to some more 'vintage' ones, these four are what I call ‘Japanese short-horns’. Another group of them was featured in the Places theme, and there are a lot more to follow here.  Other than the stamp for the country, or ‘hand painted’, there is no information on the maker or importer.

Herd 1 of Japanese short horn cow creamers Herd 2of Japanese short horn cow creamers Herd 3 of Japanese short horn cow creamers

For some reason these attracted me early in my collecting so I have a relatively vast herd of them.
Mid-sized wrinkle-necked Japanede short horn cow creamer

I find this one interesting because she’s sort of a mid-sized version of the ‘short horn’ type – typical large udder and all – and actually quite well crafted.

Japanese souvenir shoirt horn cow creamer

Some short horn cow creamers, especially the small ones, also became souvenirs albeit the only ones I have seen have just had simple printing to denote their location, like this one for Atlanrtic City, NJ; no fancy opictures of any kind.

Two pre-WWII Japanese lustre cow creamers on bases

This is an interesting pair of Japanese luster creamers.  I believe they’re from the same mold, albeit the horns of the yellowish one have been set at a different angle.  The marks are different – the purple one has two concentric circles with a 5-petaled flower in the middle and “Made in Japan” between.  I haven’t been able to identify it, but pretty obviously the piece was made for export.  Thanks to Jan-Erik Nilsson’s wonderful site (which I’ve referred to elsewhere for help with my Chinese teapots), I have been able to identify the red elephant head mark on the yellow cow as indicating Tashiro Shoten of Yokohama.  “Shoten” indicates a shop that sells products from its own kiln; this one was active from the 1930’s, from when this mark dates, till it closed in 1954. There are sugar and creamers from both or these potteries on that page.

Tashiro Shoten lustre bull creamer and mark

Here again is the Toshiro Shoten bull on the right, alongside a companion of slightly different coloring, and a view of the Toshiro Shoten red elephant head mark.

Tashiro Shoten and another lustre bull creamer on bases Tashiro Shoten and another lustre bull creamer on bases, marks

Yet another comparison picture – this time of the Toshiro Shoten bull directly above, with a companion that bears the red mark of a chrysanthemum between two circles and the wording “Hand Paint, Made in Japan”, along with a better photo of their marks.  I include these shots in the hopes that some collector of fine Japanese china can help me determine whether or not these marks are from the same kiln. The bulls, including their coloration and glaze, sure do look alike.

Grey lustre kneeling pre-WWII Japanese cow creamer

The lovely little grey luster creamer with the gold horns only has a red Made in Japan stamp.  The seller said it was originally acquired in March 1941 so I have to assume it was made well before WWII. 

Here are four more luster creamers from Japan. All but the one with orange stripes appear to be from the same mold. Although these are unmarked, I have seen one exactly like the black and white spotted cow that bears a mark attributable the Hotta Yu Shoten & Co. Pottery, which was in operation from 1920 to 1947. I believe these to be from that company and most likely to date from the 1930s.

2 1930s crude Japanese sitting cow creamers Trico Japanese pre-WWII sitting cow creamers

These three Japanese sitting cows seem to be modeled closely after the similar Czechoslovakian ones.  The one on the left with spots has “Galveston TX 1937, from Jewell” written in pencil on its bottom, which would jibe nicely with the presumed dates of the Czech ones.  While these two white and brownish cows are rather crude, the grey luster creamer is finely crafted and marked “Handpainted, TRICO, Nagoya, Japan”.  It’s also almost certainly pre-WWII, and has done a bit of traveling – it came to me from New Zealand.  From the marvelous site of we learn that Trico is one of the names used by Tashiro Shoten of Nagoya, which company also made the other luster creamers above that have the elephant mark.

Two Portuguese faience-style cow creamers

Skipping over to the European continent … here are some more (in addition to those in Places) Portuguese cow creamers.  These two fancy ones are hand painted in faience style. Written on the bottom of the larger one is “515, Berardos, Made in Portugal, Handpainted, SECXVIII, MY”.  Ceramica Berardos is one of 9 independent ceramics factories in Condeixa, Coimbra. The writing on the smaller one reads “117, Ceramica Conimbriga, Sec XVII, Hand Painted Portugal, Lena”.  From the website Portugal Ceramica, we learn that “Recovering a vanishing tradition, Cerâmica de Conímbriga settled in Condeixa-a-Nova in 1960, converting this small town in the centre of Coimbra's traditional Portuguese ceramic. Through the hand of the artist who conceived it, Vaz Lameiro, the art of hispano-arabic ceramic and traditional Portuguese faience (15th through 19th centuries) was developed, creating a prestigious name and establishing itself as a school.”  From Portugal2U, we further find that “The Pieces are reproductions of the Decorations of the 15th and 17th Centuries faiences …This ceramic it’s the only in Portugal, that represents the east tradition, and mainly the influence of Chinese and Arab style. .. Carlos Tomas the artist behind this factory, iniciated its activity as a painter at 11 y.old in the famous and extinct "Ceramica de Conimbriga";, and maintains not only the quality this factory was famous for, as well as the Moulds that are unique to that Fabric, being able to reproduce identical pieces to those ones!”

These two, which we bought in Lisbon, are very similar to the ones just above. The smaller one cost me 9000 escudos, but for some reason I didn't record the price of the larger one.

 Portuguese cow creamner

This one is quite similar in shape, marked "515, Ceramica Conimbriga,Hand Painted Portugal, Sec XVII, Lurdes". I liked it because because of its smirk, as well as the fact it has a rabbit on one side and a squirrel on the other. Besides, I was so delighted with all the cow creamers I found in Lisbon that I could hardly pass up any of them.

Two purple headed Portuguese cow creamers

Here are two in a very similar style, very much alike but for the difference in size and the placement of the horns and ears. Both are marked “320”, presumably for the mold, and “Made in Portugal”. The larger one is marked for Berardos, and the smaller for Filcer of Conimbriga..

Casa Fina Portuguese cow creamer, side Casa Fina Portuguese cow creamer, bottom

It seems that just as many of the English cow creamers' molds have been used by a number of potteries, the Portuguese also pass them around (or snitch them). This pointy horned cow is essentially identical, except for the decoration, to the Filcer one above, but is pretty obviously "Made for Case Fina". I have two of these and each bears a different number, presumably indicating the number made and not the mold itself.

Portuguese cow creamer with blue flowers

Although unmarked, this one is also definitely Portuguese based on the shape and style.  What I found interesting about it was the blue flower decoration which is quite different from any of my other creamers from that part of the world.

Portuguese 17c copy cow creamer, side Portuguese 17c copy cow creamer, belly and blue udder

This is another Berardos creamer, slightly larger and nicely decorated over the white base coloring.  As it states, it’s a copy of a 17c piece. I really didn’t need another one of these, but I couldn’t resist the blue udder.

Large white Casafina Portuguese cow creamer

I couldn’t resist this one either – same mold but pure glossy white, marked with a picture of a house over “Casafina, Made in Portugal”.. Apparently Casafina is appealing here to the kitchen/utilitarian trade rather than souvenir seekers.

 2 Portuguese cow creamers

Two more, in blue and white - the larger kneeling cow is a modern version and simply says Made in Portugal with a mold number 678 (and resebbles some of the kneeling Este Italian cows a few sections down), while the long low one is another of the XVIIc copies, marked for 5-Ribis Hand-Painted, Coimbra.

Two Portuguese modern caricature cow creamers

Not all Portuguese cows are so fancy or tell such interesting stories.  Here, the plain white heavy ceramic cow with the yellow horns is stamped “By Martan for Hess’s, Portugal”, and its partner, from the same mold but with flowers, is simply stamped ‘Portugal’.  The website shows a Martan/Safaril Ceramicas, S.A. that manufactures “vitreous plumbing fixtures”…I’m not sure it that’s the same place, or if somehow this cow is a plumber.  Hess’s was a Department store chain based in Allentown, PA that was established in 1897, but it was liquidated in 1994, so again I’m not at all sure of the relationship.

Brightly colored cow creamer from Spain

Portugal's neighboir Spain seems not to be quite so 'into' cow creamers, albeit there are a few on other pages as well as some Toro Ibericos on the Rhytons page. This wildly colored version – on a fairly standard mold – that comes from Art Trencadis S.L. of Granollers, Badajoz, Spain. Their web site is decorated much like this cow – as are many of the other articles they make.

Two cow creamers on bases from Italy

These two are from Italy, with the country name and numbers – ‘1723-176’ for the one on the left, ‘1514-334’ right – that presumably relates to the mold and maker.  There are similar ones without the bases.

Two kneeling cow creamers by Este, Italy

These two are also Italian, both bearing the maker’s mark of a castle in a circle with “ESTE” below.  Este is an ancient  town in Padua province in northern Italy that has a history of ceramics production that dates back to prehistoric days. There’s an interesting column about its ceramics by novelist Anita Nair, at   This company evidently produces for high end retailers, since the creamer with bees is marked ‘decorato a mano’ and GUMPS, and the one with flowers says ‘Made in Italy for Tiffany’s’.  Both are apparently from mold A11.

Kneeling Este cow creamer with yellow flowers

Here is another of the larger (5 ½” x9”) Este creamers from the same mold – this time with a raised daisy-like flower on the left side. It bears the Este stamp and “Made in Italy” among with the A11 mold number, also ‘62’ which may be the year of manufacture.

Smaller Este cow creamer made for Tiffany's, side Smaller Este cow creamer made for Tiffany's, base

I hadn’t realized that ESTE made these in more than one size until this lovely one, same shape but distinctly smaller, joined the herd.  It inspired me to go back to the web and do a bit more digging, where from Walter Del Pellegrino writing in I found that “The factory 'Este Pottery and Porcelain' was founded in 1893 by the merger Brunello di Giovanni Battista with the factory of Varion Franchini, both active since the mid 18th century, with the same type of production based on pottery tableware, figurines and monumental centerpieces . Este porcelain established itself as an internationally important porcelain firm in 1956 when Giovanni Giorgini Battista re-opened the factory after the end of World War II. The factory is located in the same building occupied by the original 'Este Ceramiche Porcellane' created in 1753, thus making Este one of the oldest ceramics factories still in use in the world. Today, the factory is owned by Giorgini's grandson, Giovanni Battista Fadigati.  Este's products are found in exclusive, high-end stores around the world but the majority of its export ends up the U.S. The Este mark shown [here, on my cow] dates the piece from the late 1950's through the 1960's”.  For yet more information, I can recommend V.O.W. No36 on, where there is a nice write-up and also a really neat movie about the factory and its products.

Smaller Este cow creamer decorated in green

Here’s another version of the smaller ESTE creamers, all decorated in green.

Two kneeling Italian cow creamers with raised flowers made for Meiselman

These lovely creamers – a couple of my favorites - are quite similar in overall shape and style to the two from ESTE, but are clearly from a different mold, and have raised decorations.  The marking on their base indicates they were made in Italy for Meiselman Imports of New York.  From the little I can find on the web, Meiselman specialized in rather fine ceramics and china, mostly made on the continent.   One web site indicates it was also known as Ben Har Imports of NY (registered on 4 Jan 1965 and listed as inactive – dissolution – 21 Sep 1981) and was active in the 1960s. Meiselman and Ben Har apparently are no longer in business, like so many other high-end ceramics firms.

small Meisselman Italy cow creamer

This little guy with the pointy black horns and large black nose is also by Meisselman - not as fancy as the two above, and almost looking Portuguese.

Small Italian cow creamer with flowers by Modigliani

This bright little guy is also from Italy - his belly says in script “Modigliani, Via Condotti, Roma” and Hand Made, Italy.  They have a nice multi-lingual web page; apparently most of the design work is done there in Rome, but their pieces are manufactured in  Florence, Venice, and other locations in Italy.

Two large Italian cow creamers on bases, filled below

Another Italian pair, from the same mold but with different marks (and coming to me from very different parts of the US – CA and IN).  The white one has an impressed “Italy” plus in black handwriting what is either the mold or maker’s identification, and the unusually colored blue one with the green base has written in black a mold mark, “Italy”, and “Raymor”.  A web search indicates that Raymor was an American distributor of domestic products, in business from around 1941 to the 1980s.  After WWII they apparently imported a range of Italian and Scandinavian ceramics from a large number of artists and manufacturers.  From what I’ve found on the web it seems that most of their items had a Raymor paper label, so whether this cow was actually brought to the US by them is somewhat problematic.  Whatever the case, it was fun to find such different versions.

Two differently decorated French cow creamers from similar molds

These two French creamers are from identical molds, but apparently different makers.  The one on the left sports what I’ve been told is a ‘Rouen’ design, which I guess isn’t too surprising since it’s marked in handwriting, “Fait Main De’cor Rouen, D, 6483”.  The milk of the farm cow is similarly marked G.F., "Fait main”, and also has a circle with a cross.

Red French cow creamer with cloisonne flowers Blue French cow creamer with cloisonne flowers

These two creamers are fashioned from rather common molds, but with quite brilliant and lovely ‘cloisonné’ enamel coatings. The seller says he got them in a market near Bordeaux, as “La Louviere, in the style of Longwy. La Louvierre is located in the Belgian Wallonia province of Hainaut. It is the home of Boch Freres Keramis, founded in 1841. Longwy lies on the French side of the three-point border with Belgium and Luxemborg, and its pottery Workshop was established by the Huart family in a previous Carmelite monastery in 1798. From the Emaux de Longwy web site we learn that “after the siege of 1815, J. A. Nothomb, together with his partner Christine Boch, perfectionized the clay-past. Their grandchildren, Hyppolite and Henri-Ferdinand d'Huart reacted brilliant on the overwhelming attention for the ceramics from the Middle East. The added the Cloisonné technique to their objects d'art and that was a shot in the rose (sic).” They substituted black clay for the metal cords normally used in the orient to contain the different colored enamels, and that is the technique used on these creamers. Apparently artists changed jobs between the potteries in La Louviere and Longwy, which explains the transfer of techniques and thus the attribution of these creamers to the former.

Four German realistic vintage porcelain cow creamers

From France we go to Germany.  The group of four – three grays and a red -- all have the “Germany” impression and a number on their lower sides; the one on the far left (item 1498 again) also has a stamp with a gold crest, for “Gerold Porzellan, Bavaria”, and “Made in West Germany” (this is the third of their creamers in this pattern in this theme section).

Two reddish brown German realistic porcelain cow creamers

These two realistic hard bisque porcelain interpretations aren’t legibly marked but are almost certainly German. They appear to be from the same or very similar mold, albeit the one in front here is much more finely rendered, down to the very pointy teats.

Three German realistic porcelain cow creamers from similar nolds with different coloration Here is another view of the beautifully molded German porcelain creamers, including the brown one from above, a slightly larger black one, and one with Delft-like coloring.
Brown German porcelain cow creamer

This lovely German porcelain creamer is from the same mold as the Gerold Porzellan ones above, but it has no marks or stamps, and the paint and glaze seem somewhat different.

Light brown German porcelain cow creamer marked Schwarzburg Schwarzburg cow creamer and two similar

These three German porcelain beauties seem to come from similar if not identical molds…but the smallest one is unmarked, and the middle dark brown one simply bears the word “Germany”. The lightest of the three, also shown by itself, has a mark that includes a shield with a German double-eagle over “Schwarzburg”.  That mark was used between 1904 and 1924 by Porzellanfabrik Rudolstadt Straus & Sohne A.G., which operated from 1882-1930.  This company started as Lazarus Strauss & Sons in 1869 in Rudolstadt, Germany but was sufficiently successful to become US based in 1882 as the New York and Rudolstadt Pottery, and it eventually established additional factories in France and Austria.  I would imagine that all three of these creamers came from the Rudolstadt factory, and probably date from the early 1900s.

Smaller of above German porcelain cow creamers, and similar in white with grey same with witch

Here is the smallest of the three above again, joined by a version in white and grey, as well as a black and white one carrying a witch that is enjoying a stein of beer. The witchy one was on page 1 of Modern Variuations, but it's well worth letting her show up here with her cow's companions as well.

Four German small cow creamers with mnold mark 3872

These four all bear the mold mark “3872”.  Actually I have six of these, but I figured four was enough to show the variations.  These were popular for souvenirs – the Niagara Falls one was also shown in the Ads and Souvenirs section – and note that even Canada gets into the act with the little black and white guy from Windsor.  He (they’re udderless and elseless – steers I guess) is actually a bit smaller than the others – and differs somewhat in that while the other three have “II” under their mold number, he has a “2”.  I’d guess it would take someone from the manufacturer to explain the difference.

Blue and Grey German cow creamers

Two more fine German cows, albeit the blue one came over to the US from England with the seller’s mother. These don’t bear a number, and the “Germany” impression is different from all the others in that it’s crosswise on the belly just behind the front legs.

Three German cow creamers, similar molds different sizes

This group of three – two browns and a black – would appear both by look and feel to be from the same factory, but only the large one (which is missing an ear) has maker’s identification: “Dresden” under a shield that has two horseshoes above and one below some stripes. I have elsewhere remarked that this is one of my favorite molds or shapes for cow creamers, and I have a small herd of them. There are many with transfer pictures on the Advertising and Souvenirs page (and some others further down this page), so I'm not the only one that favors them."

German cow creamer from one of my favorite molds, with Delft decorations, side German cow creamer from one of my favorite molds, with Delft decorations, mark

Shortly after acquiring the brown and black creamers above, I got this blue delft-pattern version which is the same shape, but a slightly different size.  I’ve included a copy of its mark which I haven’t been able to identify – to me it looks like crossed golf clubs with the letters  “SHC” below "Made in Germany", but I have no idea what porcelain maker, in Dresden or elsewhere, is that much into golf. Can anyone help?

German cow creamers with Delft patterns, side German cow creamers with Delft patterns, bellies

Here again is the above delft patterned cow, along with its cousin that is almost identical - it differs only in the picture (minor variation) and the mark … the one on the right says 'Delft', which I take to refer to the pattern, not where it was made..

Lovely German cow creamer souvenir of Truro

This lovely souvenir creamer would appear to be from a mold very similar to those just above – her head, body shape, etc are all the same, only the teats are different. She bears a picture of Truro Cathedral N.E., and came to me from an eBay seller in Cambooya, Queensland, Australia. Truro is in the far southwest of England, not far from Land’s End, so although the seller didn’t say, I’d bet this cow made its way down under early in the 20c as a prized reminder of the home town of a British émigré.

Lovely German cow creamer from Margate

Here is a companion piece to the Truro souvenir cow, same mold of which I am very fond.  It bears a very nice photo-transfer (see about half-way down the Advertising and Souvenirs page for a description of the process) of “The Lightship Memorial” at Margate.  One reason I like these early souvenir cows is that I get to learn about new places and events. In this case, Wikipedia informed me that “Margate is a seaside town in the district of Thanet in East Kent, England…[it] was recorded as "Meregate" in 1264 and as "Margate" in 1299, but the spelling continued to vary into modern times. The name is thought to refer to a pool gate or gap in a cliff where pools of water are found, often allowing swimmers to jump in. The cliffs of the Isle of Thanet are composed of chalk, a fossil-bearing rock.The town's history is tied closely to the sea and it has a proud maritime tradition. Margate was a 'limb' of Dover in the ancient confederation of the Cinque ports. It was added to the confederation in the 15th century. Margate has been a leading seaside resort for at least 250 years. Like its neighbour Ramsgate, it has been a traditional holiday destination for Londoners drawn to its sandy beaches. Margate had a Victorian pier which was largely destroyed by a storm in 1978. Like Brighton and Southend, Margate was infamous for gang violence between mods and rockers in the 1960s, and mods and skinheads in the 1980s.”  Further searching took me to where I learned that the memorial relates to a local surf boat tragedy of December 2, 1897, in which 9 men lost their lives while joining an R.N.L.I. lifeboat in an effort to help rescue passengers from a ship that had gone aground on the Margate Sands after a collision.  Margate lifeboat crews  much later won praise for their heroic efforts ferrying British and French  troops from the beaches of Dunkirk during the 1940 evacuation.

Lovely German cow creamers from Hannover, Berlin and Keil

Yet more – These three are all ‘big city’ cows, representing Hannover, Berlin, and Keil.

Three East German cow creamers

Three East German cow creamers, marks

Here are three lovely East German porcelain creamers. I had trouble identifying the maker’s marks until I got the lying down cow that says “Made in GDR”; the other standing cows somewhat misleadingly read “Dresden China, Germany”. Thanks to PM&M ( I learned a bit of their history. The mark indicates that they were made by Porzellanfabrik Friedrich Eger & Co. which is in the village of Martinroda (part of the town of Vacha since the end of 2013) in Thuringia, Germany.  This company was founded in 1901, reached its peak ~1930, had to stop production shortly after the start of WWII, and then restarted in 1946.  Thuringia became party of Communist East Germany – the German Democratic Republic, GDR – in 1949, but the factory remained privately owned until 1972. At that time it was nationalized and renamed V.E.B. Porzellanwerk Martinroda as part of the V.E.B. Zierporzellan Lichte combinate. Production was stopped in 1977 when the factory was changed into a V.E.B. decoration division. After German reunification in 1990 it took back its original name and struggled to get back into the market.  Since my standing cows read “Germany” not “GDR” I believe they were made prior to nationalization, i.e. sometime before 1972, and that their lying down cousin was produced after nationalization.   The term “Dresden China” was confusing since Dresden is in Saxony, much further to the east.  A couple sites (including however have pointed out that Dresden China, or Dresden Porcelain, refers less to the city and more to an ‘artistic movement’ and the use of ‘white gold’ or hard paste porcelain, the recipe for which – previously the exclusive knowledge of the Chinese -   was discovered in Dresden during the reign of Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony, around 1708. Once the recipe was known quite a number of porcelain manufactories grew up in the area, most notably Meissen, and apparently the art and the name of the material carried over into neighboring Thuringia.

Brown German cow creamer with removable head, standing holding a pitcher

This is a well made hard bisque German creamer whose head serves as a lid.  It was sold as Schafer and Vater, but based on materials, style, and glaze I believe it is from some other factory in the same Rudolstadt area of Germany, where such fanciful but high quality items were very popular.  I debated where to place it, but decided to put it above the Monk cows because it came from the same seller from whom I got the Monk in the blue robe.  

blue cow w/head as lid blue cow w/head as lid, l

Here is a light blue delft-ish version of the same cow with its head for a lid, nicely decorated with sailboats on both sides and a windmill on itts belly. It was also sold as S&V, and the fact that there is both a colored and a blue version lends some credibility to the clam. I still doubt it however, since S&V wasn't known for using Delft like marks, there is no mark on the base, and the base is indented and partially glazed. Also it went for a very non-S&V price (thankfully).

Three lovely Monk cow creamers

Here are three beautifully made Monk cows. Like the cow above they are unmarked and while sold as Schafer and Vater I don’t believe they are (different glaze, different bisque, not typical S&V features), although they also most likely came from some other maker in the Rudolstadt area of Germany, probably dating to post WWI.  I first acquired the small light brown one after some furious bidding on Ebay.  My second acquisition was the large dark brown one. I have seen one like it in the Rice collection at Taylor University – and although larger at 6 ½” tall, it was considerably less expensive.  Then I managed to acquire the middle-sized one in the blue robe – as a still lower price.  I’m wondering how many more versions there may be, and if the price will keep dropping.

2 small monk cow creamers

Another take on the Monk cow, this time with their cowls raised and carrying keys – nowhere near as imposing, but still quite cute. Both of these came to me from the UK, unmarked, and again I’d guess them to have been made in Germany.

Cup-like cow creamer with black head and tail

This hard-porcelain ‘cup’ like creamer with the cow head spout has a stamp that’s a double red circle with “Made in Germany” between. Other than that I know nothing about it.

Cup-like cow creamer with brown head and tail

Here is its brown cousin.  Normally I’d take a picture of the two versions together, but these creamers happen to live on opposite ends of the country.

Two German strange cow creamers

I used to think that the one on the right would win some sotrt of ‘ugly contest’ prize. Then its couin showed up, sharing some facial feathues and the "Made in Germany" stamo on the base. This pair is also on page 1 of Modern variations, but is repeated here so I can note that they are hard bisque porcelain, and much in the style of, if not by Schafer & Vater. I have heard that there were a number of factories in the Ronstadt area of Germany that made uch 'whiumsies' in the early 20c and indeed I have included a gost and elephant on the S&V page that I suspect came from the place that made these two, likely NOT S&V although they were sold as such.

German Nursemaid cow creamer

This is another interesting cow creamer about which I wish had more information, other than the rather non-informative stamp, “Made in Germany” between two circles.  This very cute early 20c nursemaid in a Cornish dress came to me via eBay from the UK as do many of the nice English and continental ones. I later got unmarked ones reading "A Present from Gt Yarmouth" and "A Present fro Southend-on-Sea" which can be found on the advertising and souvenirs page.

Two kneeling vintage cow creamers

These two are unmarked, but are almost certainly German/Bavarian, early 20c

Kneeling cow creamer in Delft style

This realistic cow is also most likely German – painted in Delft style.

White & brown Bavarian cow creamer

This one looked familiar when I went to buy it, but I couldn’t quite place it. Once it arrived, I figured out that it’s a smaller cousin of one that’s way back in the Advertising page, along with other souvenirs from Europe, that’s marked for Wörgl- Tirol, an ancient city of some 12,500 souls some 20 km from the German border in the eastern section of the Austrian Tirols. That one was marked for Apel, Bavaria, and this smaller one bears a blue crown over “AA”. Per usual, I’d appreciate help further identifying their provenance.

 Paperproducts Design 'Pebbles' cow creamer

There are no marks on this spotted white cow, but it came in a nice plastic box that on the bottom reads, “Milchgeisser, Creamer, Pebbles, Paperproducts Design GmbH, am Hambuch…Meckenheim”.  Its web site, is mostly in German with just a few words of English thrown in, so I can’t tell you much about them.  I’d guess the cow is named Pebbles, however.

Orange and brown porcelain cow creamers

I didn’t realize that these two were from the same mold until after they had both arrived several months apart. I initially thought the orange luster one – which has been well used as evidenced by the rub marks and a few surface scratches – was Japanese, but they are both porcelain and have air holes between the legs which to me implies that they are most likely from Germany. They are of a rather simple but quite nice design.

Western Germany glass cow creamer with metal head

To finish off Germany, here’s a very unusual one – glass body, and a metal head that fits snugly down onto the neck, thanks to some interior plastic pieces that include a spout coming out of the mouth. From the lettering on the box it was quite clearly made as a creamer, and for sale across Europe. The box also states that it was made in Western Germany.

Three similar Austrian cow creamers These three similar creamers are all marked for Austria. 

Head and squat Austrian cow creamers Squat Austrian cow creamer bottom with mark

The large head shown here is identical to the one on the Heads page that is marked for Royal Floretta Ware.  This one however has only the simply crown and “Austria”, as shown here on the base of its squat little buddy.  I have unsuccessfully scoured the readily available pictures of Austrian backstanps to no avail. Help please?  These are both very well made pieces and it would be nice to be able to identify the maker, albeit adding to the mystery is that I have also seen a version of the head marked for “Royal Bruxonia”. Like Royal Floretta there are lots of similarly marked pieces for sale, but no information on the company – though I have seen one comment that it is likely a fantasy name.

Polish cow creamer from 'Andy' Polish cow creamer from 'Cergor' Polish Cow creamer by Ihmieldihec

Poland: There were several Polish creamers similar to these, and a bit of discussion about them, in the Places section. Here are a few more – The standing one with blue flowers and weird horns comes from “Andy”, a small family owned workshop just outside Boleslawiec, and was apparently decorated my “B.Wozny”. The sitting one is marked for “Cergor, Gorczyrcki”. The one with two large flowers on the side and red horns says “Hand Made, Unikat, 43a, R. Ihmieldihec .

Polish white coiw creamer wiuth spots Two tone Polish cow creamer

The one on the left here that looks sort of like the Andy cow above is Hand made in Poland from Zaklad Ceramiki Artystycznej “TYRCZ” in Boleslawiec. Probably a friend of Andy's. On the right is a two-colored version with little branches and balls that's from Zaklad Ceramiczny Stanislaw “WIZA” which is in the village of Parowa, about 13 km west of Boleslawiec. It's from the same firm that made the one just below where you can learn more about them.

Polish cow creamer by WIZA

I’m particularly fond of this one with dark brown horns and a row of white flowers on a green background along the side, because my wife got it in a local gift shop for my birthday; very rarely can we still find one that way.  It’s marked “WIZA, Hand Made, 50” and a large W.  From www.american (of all places) we learn that “CERAMIKA ARTYSTYCZNA WIZA" was started in 1963 by Stanisław Wiza. The factory was rebuilt on the site of two previous potteries "Tuppak" and "Silesia". Initially it was a very small concern with few employees and few small electric kilns. The pottery flourished due to careful attention to design, both in body shapes and patterns. The manufacturing process was also improved, new kilns and better clays plus more attention to detail. All this achieved results both at home in Poland and abroad. At present Wiza employs about 120 people.”  To learn more about Polish pottery from a number of factories, as well as other Polish handicrafts, try

two Poliosh copw carcatures

A trio of these were on the Places page - pretty awful in my opinion but indeed very Polish, hand painted, 'unikat', and from the pottery center of Boleslawiec. These caricatures were among the first of the Polich ceramic pieces to become popular in the US, and thankfully much nicer ones like those above have followed. The Places page has a bit about Boleslawiec, but if you want more go to Wikipedia whish starts its tale with "Bolesławiec celebrated its 750th anniversary in 2001. The name is derived from the Silesian duke Bolesław I the Tall. The castellany of Bolezlauez in Lower Silesia was first mentioned in a 1201 deed. According to tradition, its citizens took part in the Battle of Legnica during the Mongol invasion of Poland in 1241...(and) For its long-standing pottery-making tradition, Bolesławiec is celebrated as Miasto Ceramiki or "Town of Ceramics".

Zaklady Polich cow

As Polish pottery has become more popular, it has become more expensive. This little guy - sort of a Polish version of the 'cute' cow creamer shown in various forms on page 2 - is from the "Zakłady Ceramiczne "BOLESŁAWIEC" Sp. z o. o" factory. Or at least I think it is - it is one of their molds, but is missing the markings, which is perhaps why it was relatively inexpensive. On eBay these days this shape in various decorations of often adverstised as :Blue Rose" Pottery, which is actually a South Carolina company that offers pieces from the five largest Polish factories, all I bekieve in or near Boleslawiec.

Artyczyczna Polich cow

Another modern one, this time from Artyszyczna of Boleslawiec. Like the one above, tthe eBay seller asked a decent price so I had to have it. Very cute.

Four sitting Czechoslovakian cow creamers Two standing Czechoslovakian cow creamers Czechoslovakian bull pitcher and cow creamer Three kneeling Czechoslovakian cow creamers Two Czechoslovakian cow creamers

Czechoslovakia:  Most of these are marked on the base with either a red or a black circle with “Made in Czecho- Slovakia” inside.  Although there are web pages with information about Czechoslovakian marks, I have yet to identify the factory that used this one. Since they say “Made in” (a common practice in many countries it seems) they were pretty obviously made for the export trade.  With the exception of the large bull pitcher and the one with polka dots (stamped simply “Made in Czechoslovakia” with no circle), they seem to be fairly common and are frequently on offer on eBay.   Interestingly, I haven’t yet found any purely ‘Czech’ or ‘Slovak’ cows from after the peaceful dissolution of the two countries on 1 January 1993 (later note: Finally found some).  Since Czechoslovakia didn’t exist as a sovereign nation until October 1918,  and was partially incorporated into Nazi Germany from 1939-1945 and then came under Communist control until 1990, I’d have to guess that these creamers date from sometime in the 20s or 30s…which also makes sense since creamers of this sort were popular during that period.

White standing Czechoslovakian cow pitcher

This is an interesting and unusual ‘Czecho-Slovakia’ variant – it bears a stamp not just for the country, but for Erphila, the mark used by Ebeling and Reuss, a giftware importer and distributor founded in 1886 in Philadelphia (thus E…R…Phila) and sold to Strathmore Corp in 2002, on porcelain and art work imported from Europe. I first encountered Erphila via a teapot I bought in London, and many of their imports were from Germany. This is the first of theirs that I have encountered from Czecho-Slovakia.

Leander Porcelain Czech cow creamer

Here is a much more modern Czech creamer, indeed the first one I have from the Czech Republic.  It bears the crown mark and wording for Leander Porcelain, and you can visit their shop at their facebook page, From an earlier version of their web page I learned that “A porcelain manufactory was established in 1907 in Loučky. The factory produces top-quality white and pink porcelain. LEANDER products are exclusive from the point of view of shapes and decorations. Artists of the factory who possess high professional skills and creative approach create truly unique and original porcelain items. Prestige of the company and exceptional quality of its products are evidenced by fulfillment of exclusive orders for the Parliament of the Czech Republic, the Senate of the Czech Republic and for the President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel.”  It goes on to give a history of the factory, and notes that since 2006 when it was sold to CS Investment Czech holding it produces porcelain under 3 trademarks – Leander, like this one, is mass-market; Leadnder HoReCa for hotels and the service industry; and Rudolf Kampf for ‘exclusive premium-class handmade porcelain.’  From my perspective it’s nice to know that the Czech Republic hasn’t entirely given up on cows!

Handmade Czech cow creamer from Vanda & Valerie

Of course as soon as I say I have only one new modern, post-split Czech cow, along comes another. This one is both unusual and cute – obviously hand-made -  from the atelier of ‘Vanda and Valerie’ of Prague who make a very nice line of modern pottery.

Czechoslovakian and homemade legless open top cow creamers

Now, this fascinates me.  The brown creamer with the raised cow and milkmaid is, yet again, Czechoslovakian, with the red circular stamp.  The white one is unmarked.  It is made of very heavy ceramic, and would appear to be a hand made version of the brown one.  Did someone break a beloved original and make a replacement? Was some artisan practicing for an audition at the Czech factory?  This cow came from West Virginia (via eBay), and I’ve asked for more information (later note: and never got any)…

German porcelain open top cow creamer

Whatever may be the solution to the riddle of the heavy white creamer above, it would appear that both it and the one from Czechoslovakia are modeled after this grey one from Germany (which is why it's here rather tyhan with the rest of the German cow creamers). Its features are much finer, the material is high quality porcelain, there is an open space below the horns, and in addition to a mold number it is marked, in script, “ges gesch” which (as related elsewhere) is the abbreviation for gesetzlich geschützt, meaning a registered design or patent. Pretty obviously some folks didn’t pay much attention to that.

3 German cow open top cow creamers

Three more of the same shape, sifferene makers and coloration. The one on the left is unmarker and has a broken horn tip but was worth a throw at $10. It's interesting both for the coloration and that the horns are compoletely above the body of the cow. The one in the middle is marked for Austria, and the smaller one on the right is stamped for Germany and mold 5329/9. I overpaid for it, as is not too unusual for early in my collecting days, before eBay came along and there was no easy way to tell how common things were.


Here’s a Dutch cow, signed on the bottom “G.F” and ‘fait main’ – at least I assume it’s from the Netherlands given the spelling of Melk (and the way it was advertised on eBay).  If so, it’s the only one from that country in my collection that doesn’t fall in the Delft category.

Cute handmade Danish cow creamer by Susanne

Here’s a cute handmade cow from Denmark, signed “Susanne, Danmark”


Two Talavera cow creamers from Mexico

 Back across the Atlantic, to Mexico. These dark blue and light green creamers, I'm told, are Talavera. Poking around on the web, I find from the Talavera Shop’s web site that “Authentic Talavera pottery is the ceramic ware produced by certified workshops in the state of Puebla Mexico following the traditional process introduced by the Spaniards (of Talavera de la Reina) in the 16th Century. In 1997 the State of Puebla obtained the Denomination of Origin stating that only the pottery produced in the geographical region of the State of Puebla or Zona de Talavera (Talavera Zone) and that follows the standards set by the Consejo Regulador de la Talavera (Regulating Council of Talavera) can be called Talavera. In order to be certified these workshops have to pass an inspection and verification process every six months. So, just as Champagne is only produced in Champagne, France, Talavera can only be produced in Puebla, Mexico.”  

Talavera cow creamer with big sun on the side

This cow with the smiling sun is from an identical mold to the two Talavera cows above, so I assume it’s from the same area.

Creamer from Edith's

This little cow is from a mold very similr to the Talavera cows, but it has a couple other tales to tell. First, it's prominently marked for Edith's Cabo San Lucas. Their web site "" comes up in English, giving you a good indication of the locale of most of its clientelle. It procklaims "Edith's is a vivid combination of the Cuisine of Baja California with a Guerreran flair, featuring a regional fusion of steaks and seafood with local ingredients. A loving, privileged view of Medano Beach and the world famous Arch of Cabo San Lucas, candle lights and palapas set the atmosphere for an unforgettable culinary experience." It notes that "Edith was born in Jalapa, a little town in the mountains of the mexican State of Guerrero, where she learned the flair of grandmother María Morales, and with it a deep understanding of the flavors and aromas of Guerreran cuisine...She arrived to Cabo San Lucas in 1977 and fell in love with Baja California Sur... Edith worked in this restaurant from her arrival in Cabo, which was previously known as "Esthela's by the Sea". At age 15, she was a waiter. Today she owns it and named it after her in 1994.". She is obviously a very emterprising (and lovely from her picture on the site) lady.

The second story is about the cow;s maker - it's clearly marked for "Estanzuela, Pintado a mano, Mexico". It's web site informs us that "Cerámica Estanzuela was founded in 1986 with the purpose of creating jobs for the Estanzuela region, municipality of Tlalpujahua Michoacán, so that people who belong to this region would not have the need to look for work in Mexico City or abroad, by having a stable and formal source of work, close to their homes. This is how we started with a small factory that over the years has been growing and innovating to satisfy the national and international market."...and these dauys they have some 60 employees and several offices across Mexico. I wonder if Edith uses their ceramics in her restaurant...gusss I'll have to visit next time in Baja.

white cow

The little white cow has a less impressive pedigree, but serves very effectively to advertise the Restaurant Bar Elvira that’s in the town of Zihuatanejo, south of Ixtapa. It has received mixed reviews on the web…

Sta Ma Curnavaca cow creamer, 'Lady'

“Lady” here is also Mexican, so it seems to me she should called Senorita. She is marked for “Sta Ma, Cuernavaca”., which stands for Ceramica Santa Maria, operated by expert craftsman Jose Sanchez and his family for since the 1970s. Cows from this pottery but very different molds are shown in the Mexican area of the Places page, and there are also a couple of sugar and creamer sets from them.

Gold Maitland Smith cow creamer with Chinese decorations

We end this world tour with China, although the ones shown in this and the next couple sections could more properly be called South Asia because the desuigner shopped around for makers. This large gold creamer with the Chinese decorations has a sticker which says “Designed and painted in Hong Kong by Maitland Smith”. From eBay’s Popular Items selection, I found that “In 1979, a prominent London antiques dealer and designer [Paul Maitland-Smith] founded the company in Hong Kong. It reproduced eighteenth century decorative accessories and furniture. Highly-skilled artisans and quality raw materials were easily available to produce fine vintage furniture and accessories. The company shifted to Philippines in 1981 and started the first wholly-owned manufacturing facility. This facilitated greater emphasis over quality and a wider product offering. Later, a new facility was built in Indonesia in the early 1990s to further expand its in-house designing and manufacturing processes.” Digging further, from a 1996 Securities and Exchange Commission 10-K filing, we find that Maitland-Smith Inc. has a number of Asia holdings, but was itself (along with many others) a subsidiary of  Lifestyle Furnishings International, Ltd.  They in turn started divesting themselves of furniture companies in 2002, and now Maitland-Smith is one of the brands of Furniture Brands International, Inc., which according to their web site is “the largest furniture manufacturer in the United States (and) was once the largest footwear manufacturer in the United States called the International Shoe Company.” It also has an intriguing history, starting in 1898, which can be found on its web site. Amazing what you can learn from a cow! I am also leaning a lesson in pricing from this gold one - I now have 3. The first came without a lid and cost about $140. The one shown here has its lid and cost $18. Then recently I spotted one on eBay - lousy picture and the seller had no idea whet it was - thet I got for 99 cents. Oh well...

Very large black and white Maitland-Smith cow creamer Maitland-Smith black and white cow creamer 3 Maitland-Smith cow creamers and a Goebel one for size comparison

Here are two more Maitland-Smith cows, and a group shot including the gold one and a white Goebel creamer (that’s 4½”x6½“) to better depict size.  The BIG guy – by far the biggest in the collection – is over a foot tall and long, and weighs about 5 pounds.  I seriously doubt it was designed for anything other than display (and rather ostentatious display at that - not a surprise for Maitland-Smith) , since full of liquid it’d be very hard to handle.

Light green Maitland-Smith cow creamer White Maitland-Smith cow creamer on red base

Here are 2 more of his large cows, similar in size to the middle one above, but in sort of a light green with striped horns and light grey on a red base.  The greenish one bears a gold sticker that reads “Hand Made in People’s Republic of China, Designed by Maitland Smith LTD”, and is dated 17 March 1992, while the greyish one bears a similar gold sticker that says Hand Made in Thailand. Mr Maitland-Smith spreads his business around, I guess. These two look pretty much alike but there are significant differences beyond simply country of origin.

Small cow creamer with Chinese scene

This small one is unmarked, but the hand painted scene places it pretty surely in China.

Cow creamer with 'red willlow' decorations Three cow creamers with willow markings

And finally, it's appropriate to end China with a few cheap modern mass market ones. So many modern ones are made there that I haven't bothered to gather them all up into a 'country' categors, albeit there are a couple teapots named for China on the 'places' page and a nice older white 'blanc chine' one on page 1 of Modern variations. There are no maker's markings on these heavy ceramic cows with ’blue-willow’ type markings all over, but from the shape as well as the decorations I have to assume they were made in China, and this is as good a place as any for then. For a while there were bunches of them available on eBay. Both the standing ones and the little 'head' (I was tempted to use it as a model for pawns in a chess set) bear the same modernized blue or red willow markings.  

Next, here are a bunch of plastic cow creamers - starting with the famous Whirley Moo Cow. There are still millions of them kicking around the US. From the way they appear on Ebay, some folks must have accumulated a whole passel of them. And even though they aren't 'creamers' per se, I have had fun finding (and in one case disecting) a number of other plastic (and rubber) cows that take in and give out milk (or water or probably whatever liquid you may want).

Two Moo Cow creamers in boxes Moo Cow creamer and sugar Moo Cow Gift Set in Box

As promised in the Ads and Souvenirs theme section, here are some more of Whirley’s Moo Cows – they must have been made in the millions, and lots are still around. Plenty of folks are trying to sell theirs through Ebay, at all kinds of wierd prices.. I’d imagine that someone, somewhere, has a collection of hundreds of these with different colors and front plates.  I’ve settled for only a dozen or so.  Attesting to their popularity are the various gift sets that were available – here a simple one with just the creamer and sugar on a tray, and a fancier one that has a cover and salt and pepper – and lots of helpful suggestions on the box about how to use it in different ways. 

Knock-off of Whirley's Moo Cow Hong Kong Moo Cow creamer and box

Anytime an item sells like hotcakes, there is bound to be a knock-off. Here are two. The base of the one on the left is very similar to the Whirley ones, although the legs are depicted differently on the sides, the handle is different, the front plaque is blank, and there is no mark on the bottom.  The head is very different, and actually sort of cute.  It’s the only one of its kind I have ever seen, and I bought it because I initially thought that it might have been a version that was designed by Whirley Chief Engineer John Downey before he came up with the one that they actually manufactured.  It would make sense that they tried out a few variants before settling on one to mass produce.  So I wrote and asked the company’s founder and apparently my guess was wrong because he assured me it was just a knock-off, and ""we sold 10 million and they didn’t sell any!”  Nevertheless, it’s sort of fun to discover the imitations.  I still like my story better even if it is wrong!

On the right is another very similar knock-off, actually in two variants. These copies have a somewhat narrower bottom, the head is quite different and one sports a bow tie, and they are simply molded in two pieces rather than the several that make up the Whirley version. In addition the head has interlocking tabs to connect to the body, instead of the simple fit of the original. Both are marked n tiny letter on the back of the head "Made in Hong Kong". The box and the one with the white front also carry "8133, Copywrite J.S. NY, 1974". How one can get a copywrite on a fake Whirley patant pending cow creamer is beyond me - but then it might just be the marking, not the reality. Apparently this knockoff version sold at least two...

Milky the Marvelous Milking Cow

Milky's box and booklet

This large plastic black and white beauty is ‘Milky the Marvelous Milking Cow’, make by Kenner in 1977 in cooperation with General Mills, as a promotional toy (cereal…milk…get it?)  You put water in the trough, pushed her head down into it, and pumped the tail. Milky would drink the water, then her head would come up and she’d ‘moo’.  Next you put the bucket under the appropriate part of Milky’s anatomy, pulled on the plastic teat, and cloudy (from a powdered milk substance that came as tablets) water would come out. Neat! Surely some of you must remember this… As shown here, Milky came with a placemat, detailed instructions, and a story booklet entitled "The Adventures of Marko & Melissa Milkdrop with Milky the Marvelous Milking Cow".   From several web pages (e.g., or a wikipedia article), we find that Kenner was started by Albert, Philip and Joseph Steiner in 1947 and named after the street in Cincinatti, OH where its offices were located..  It was acquired by General Mills in 1967.  They merged it with Rainbow Crafts in 1970, then in 1985 spun off their Kenner and Parker divisions to form Kenner Parker toys, which was bought by Tonka in 1987; Hasbro then bought Tonka in 1991, and shut Kenner down in 2000, merging its products into their brand line.   Milky is of course no longer made, but is still very popular; she sells well on Ebay to folks that played with her as a child and want to get a version for their own kids.

Milky instructions p1 Milky instructions p2

Milky comes with a complete set of instructions
Milky's insides Milky's insides

Ever wonder how Milky worked?  Well, I did, so I bought an inexpensive and inoperable (but well used) version and did a bit of dissection.  Very clever arrangement of bellows to suck up the milk, and gears to raise the head and invert the ‘moo-er’.  Quite an impressive design.  And VERY hard plastic!  Milky was not at all easy to get open.


Milka-Moo by Ideal Milkamoo instructions

Here's a much simpler approach - in a plush-toy cow with plastic horns and a pink bow with flowers.  You simply take out the plastic plug on her back, fill the tube with milk from a dropper, and as the instructions read, "Milking is done realistically - by squeezing the udder" (well, I guess that's somewhat close to realistic though I wouldn't suggest trying it on the real thing). As her tag says, this is "MILKA MOO, the Milking Cow" made by Ideal ("Made in U.S.A. by Ideal Novelty and Toy Company, Hollis 7, N.Y.").  From Wikipedia we find that "Ideal Toy Company was founded as Ideal Novelty and Toy Company in New York in 1907 by Morris and Rose Michtom after they had invented the Teddy bear in 1903. The company changed its name to Ideal Toy Company in 1938. In 1982, the company was sold to CBS Toy Company, which itself closed down. Certain brands and toys have been continued through other companies, most notably the Magic 8-ball and Rubik's Cube."  That's nice to know because it helps date MILKA to pre-1938.g Getting to be an old cow, even older than me (though not by much)! interestingly, she isn't listed on the Wikipedia page among the toys and novelties made by Ideal. I guess I'll have to make my first Wikipedia contribution some day soon!

Jersey Jessie by Thomas Toy Jersey Jessie & Tudor Rose version Browh and white small plastic milying cow toy

In addition to huge Milky, there are some tiny plastic milking toys.  I have three versions of these.  First is “Jersey Jessie the Milking Moo-Cow”.  Jessie was made by Thomas Toy. The placard around her neck says, “Lift my tail and I’ll fill the pail”.  Jessie is a lot simpler mechanically than Milky – you simply rotate her udder, remove it, fill the little rubber bulb above it with water or milk, and put it back in; lifting the tail compresses the bulb and presto!  In the second picture, the little black cow standing tail to tail with Jessie is very similar, albeit the neck is longer and the buckle on her collar is on the opposite side.  Her side imprint reads “Tudor Rose”, and on the other side, “Made in England”.  This company also made ramp walking cows that had the same body and head shape.  Other than that, I haven’t been able to find out anything about these little guys – not even who copied whom. In the third picture, the little brown and white cow with the curved horns and black bell operates the same way, but is obviously from a different mold.  I have no information about that one.

Red Jersey Jessie in cardboard placard

Here are a couple more Jersey Jessies, one with its original cardboard placard. Jersey Jessie was one of innumerable plastic toys made by Thomas Manufacturing Corporation of Newark, NJ. The company was started by Islyn Thomas in 1944, after he had worked for Consolidated Molded Products Corporation and the Ideal Plastics Corporation starting in 1940. . The company lasted until 1963. If you want to learn more about this company or about other plastic toys of that era, go to, a marvelous and informative website by Bill Hanlon of Castro Valley, CA.

Milking cow plastic toy in placard by Loui Marx

Here is another version of the same idea, complete with its original placard – Toy #J-3019, Milking Cow, from Louis Marx & Co, Inc.  There’s a great write-up about this company on Wikipedia – see  , but basically they were founded in New York City by Louis and his brother David in 1919.  Louis sold the company to Quaker Oats and retired (a rich man) in 1972 and they in turn sold it to Dunbee-Combex-Marx of the UK.  The Marx brand disappeared in 1978, and the company went bankrupt in 1980; the rights to some of the toys were sold and some are apparently still in production.  Not this cow though, at least not recently.

Old rubber squeeze milking cow toy

Same idea, different approach:  This old and much-loved cow is rubber; you squeeze her sides, stick the nose in water, release and she fills up.  Then there’s a little detent on a spring in the middle of her udder that you depress to have the liquid come out the other end.  I have no information about this one – it isn’t marked, but it’s certainly been well used since the fuzz is completely rubbed off the side where you’d squeeze her. Age? Well, I’ve seen another advertised on eBay as having been found wrapped in a 1932 newspaper…

Fisher Price big nosed cow water squireter

What was I thinking of when I bought this one? It is fetching as a weird caricature, and it does have two holes, one for in and one for out…but no it’s not a creamer although I guess it could be used for that, but rather a Fisher Price Barnyard Basics water squirter.  I suppose I should be rather embarrassed by it, but actually I have grown quite fond of it and keep it close to my desk to ward off interlopers.

Chined=se water bottle back of box

I coulsn't resist. This little plastic cow "water fountaim" has a water bottle on top of ts head - insert batteries in the back, press the lever, and the little cup will fill wilth whatever you may have put in the bottle. I'm tempted to try it with martinis at my next party. This came direct from Shenzhen China, and I think it must have been made for the domestic market because all the intructions on the box are in Chunese. Cute idea.

Now for some (non-silver) metal cow creamers. Some of these are quite lovely, others strange, and some undoubtedly not creamers per se, albeit they do meet my two hole rule.

Metal cow creamer on base Base of metal cow creamer

This is without a doubt one of the finest as well as the most unusual metal one I own. It is very well molded and heavily chased to represent its coat, stands on a nice base, and has red eyes. From the looks of the bottom of the base, at one time it apparently was gilded. The only thing I know about it is that it came from the estate of a lady in North Wilkesboro NC. I don't even know what type of metal it is. It does seem to have some sort of lining to protect the contents. I need to do some more research on this one.

This is another exceptionally fine non-silver silver cow creamer. It's German, likely late 1800s or pre-WW1 1900s, and as the seller says it is German silvel or nickel silver, made of 60% copper base with 20% nickel and 20% zinc - 'silver' only by its color. It is bery realistic, large, and beautifully crafted. I wanted it so badly that my esnipe bid was 10x the actual selling price. I'm amazed but delighted that other collectors didn;t jump in more heavily.

Old Colony Pewter and Japanese silver colored cow creamers

Pewter is tin and lead, so it’s not exactly the best material for storing drinkable liquids, unless i is somehow treated. Thus the pewter cow with the lid is lined with silver plate.  It’s “Old Colony Pewter Ware” and bears their name and mark of a lady in a bonnet inside the lid.  Its companion is Japanese, and appears to be silverplate on the outside, with some sort of a white enamel coating inside. 

Two pewter cow creamners

Here are two duplicates of the ‘Old Colony Pewter Ware’ cow – but unmarked.  From the number I’ve seen available on eBay (at various prices) these appear to be one of the more readily available older pewter cow creamers. I bought one several years ago, and ended up with a third because it came with the very unusual pewter creamer shown just below.

Universal Pewter cow creamer on tray with pail

This little guy in the pen with the bucket is pewter pure and simple; it’s made by Universal Pewter and bears their mark of an intertwined U and P in a circle, and is stamped to be 95% tin. A search on the web shows that it’s available from Pierre Deux for $38 (they imply it’s French Country of course), or from Shirley Pewter Shops of Williamburg VA for $74 (they say it’s imported). About the only thing I can find out about Universal Pewter Corporation through Google is that they were in Houston, TX (of course that doesn’t say where their items were made), and that there have recently been a couple of tax confiscation auctions of their properties.

Orchid Designs UK pewter cow creamer

This very modern pewter creamer is hallmarked for 95% tin and the maker, “Orchid Designs” of Derbyshire, UK.  Their web site states that they are a family ‘Trade Only’ business established in 1986, “Designers, Importers, Exporters and Wholesalers of Collectable and Antique Reproduction Giftware and Home Accessories”. This cow is from their “in the country” collection of  ‘designs in fine metals’.

Vagabond house sitting pewter cow creamer

This little sitting very furry cow creamer is pewter from Vagabond House – I guess it’s sort of a sister to Mabel who is featured at the top of the Sugar and Creamers page. This one didn’t have a sugar companion. It bears the marks “VH”, a horsehead in a circle, and “95”. And it wasn’t inexpensive.

2 electroplated nickel silver cow creamers by PT&Co, front 2 electroplated nickel silver cow creamers by PT&Co, mark

I bought one of these via eBay, and a friend found another that was part of a house clearance at an antique fair in England, so I now have two. They are electroplated nickel silver, marked PT&&Co.

2 similar small metal bull creamers or?

These two bulls have some remarkable similarities – flat nose, chest ornamentation, tails curled around against their hindquarters, and scalloped markings on their forehead. There are also some significant differences – the larger one is ‘fully (if minimally for a bull) equipped’, the smaller lacks such distinguishing features, and the smaller one has saddle markings and a loop on the top of its head.  The sellers gave very different information – the smaller one was said to be sand cast Mexican silver, and it polished up nicely after a bit of elbow grease.  The larger one was sold as likely Persian from late 19c, based primarily on the near eastern collection from which it came.  It didn’t shine up very much, but at least is cleaner for my efforts. Yet another mystery…perhaps eventually I can get some museum curator or collector to advise me. Several years after getting these, I purchased a sterling silver bull with many of the same characteristics - chest ornamentation, saddle, etc, said to be Peruvian. It's with the other bulls on the silver page. -

Bronze cow creamer

I have no idea where this one originated – the seller got it at a flea market – but it is an interesting copper or bronze cow with saddle markings, and a lid that is carefully secured by a two link chain.  It was sold as a creamer, but I would imagine that it was intended for some other liquid – thus should perhaps belong in the ‘Rhytons and other liquid dispensers’ area. But it looks nice here, and bears some similarities to the Mexican silver one above.

CBK aluminum cow creamer

This chubby guy is aluminum, copyrighted in 1992 and made in Taiwan – modeled I believe after a ceramic teapot, but placed here with my other metal cows. It’s marked for a company called CBK, whose web sites inform us that it was founded in 1979 by Robert Kirkland who “started his business by renting space over a bank in downtown Union City”. It’s a “one minimum, one source vendor for the independent retail channel”, and from its humble beginnings has expanded into a 10 acre facility, plus showrooms in Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and Las Vegas. Mr Kirkland retired in 2002 (presumably as a wealthy man!) and sold CBK to Blyth, Inc which says it’s a “leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of candles, home fragrance products and accessories”. And, I’d guess, of aluminum cows, since I’ve never seen another.

Small Taiwanese brass and pewter cow vessel with lid

This little cow has taken some hits – a bit dented in the side, with the base slightly pushed in, and I haven’t yet forced off the lid.  I believe it’s pewter or some other silver amalgam, with brass head and fittings.  It does have a hole in the mouth so was obviously made to pour something. If it was Indian I’d be tempted to call it a nandi, but it’s clearly impressed “Taiwan” on the brass strap around its middle. I expect it was used for some ceremonial or religious purposes, perhaps to hold oil.  This is another case where I would certainly appreciate some help.

metal half cow

My one and only half cow creamer. Made as a wall hanging, I'd say it was just supposed to be a cow, but there is a semi-circular cut at the top indicating it was definitely (I think) supposed to represent a cow creamer.

To complete this page and close out the Moderen Variations theme, we start with a bunch of miscellaneous cow creamers, some but not all of which are very fine. Then there are a number of 'sports' so to speak, that violate most if not all of my rules but for some reason I found appealing (or got snookered). Then, way down at the bottom to close things out are the few creamers and sugars from Cow Parade. I supose I should be thankful that they haven't made creamers out of the hundreds of fanciful Cow Parade cow figurines, or for sure I'd need yet a third house to store them in.

5 odd cow creamers

Here's an odd bunch.  The one on the left is very crude and heavy ceramic, Japanese, as is the little one next to it.  I’d suspect the brown one in the middle is also.  The two on the right are slightly different interpretations of creamers shown elsewhere – the white sitting up cow with the large head is similar to a couple in the Pitcher theme, and the little green one has the same blanket and raised flower garland as three shown earlier in this section (he just lives on the opposite side of the US, which explains why he wasn’t pictured with the others)

Horton Ceramins cow pitcher Black and white cow head creamer

These two are also of unusual shape. The brown one is actually a small pitcher.  It comes from Horton Ceramics, started by Horace Horton in West Texas in 1946 just after he returned from WW II.  His wife Geraldine was the artist – and they stayed in business until they sold the company in 1964.  The unmarked black and white one is indeed a creamer – there’s a hole in the mouth; not sure I would want to really fill it up.

Two unusual short-legged cow creamers

As unusual as these two are, the only mark says "hand painted", so I have no idea where they came from.

square bodies cow creamer wityh ivy decorations

This is another interesting and unusual inperpretation, nicely done. It has an illegible small circular brown stamp which is no help in determining its provenance.

Two souvenir 1/2 pint cow creamers advertising Isle of Mann

It’s hard to tell where these creamers were made since they aren’t marked on the bottom, but it’s equally hard to miss where they were sold. When I was living in the UK however, a ‘half pint’ came from a tap not a cow. These two also show up near the bottom of the advertising and souvenirs page, where they purvey some information about their lovely Isle. On that same page there is a creamer from the same mold offering a 1/2 pint in Skegness. Brits do love their beer, no matter how it's served.>

Heavy ceramic kneeling brown cow creamer on thick green base

I don’t know what to make of this one, and the seller --from Ontario - could only tell me that it was old and acquired from a family selling off their aunt’s things.  Very thick, heavy, and hard ceramic, missing a lid that apparently was incised into the back (like some of the very early Staffordshire ones).  Unfortunately one of the horns got broken during shipment to me;  whatever material that it’s made of doesn’t like super glue, so the tip remains wrapped in tissue in the creamer until I can get some professional restoration.

Pfaltzgraff 'Timbuktu' cow creamer

Now this one comes with very positive identification, if a somewhat suspicious aspect. It’s clearly stamped “Pfaltzgraff copyright, made in China, dishwasher & microwave safe, Timbuktu”. And yes, I’m told, it definitely is supposed to be a cow. The pattern was released by Pfaltzgraff in 2005-6, and retired in 2007.

susie diuncan creaner back

I acquired a large pitcher version of this cute bulgy blue-eyed cow quite a while before I found this companion creamer.You kniow it's for cream because that's what it says on the udder They are shown together with more iunformation aboiut the maker, Susie Duncan, on the Pitchers page.

Folk art cow creamer from Ontario

This cute, ‘folk art’ cow also hails from Ontario.  Much more modern, but also of a very dense, sandy clay with a heavy glaze. 

Folk art cow creamer marked for P.W.+Co

Here’s another folk-art creamer, again very heavy and hard ceramic with I believe a salt glaze, that the sellers say they bought in Wisconsin. It has hand-scribed marks that read “P.W.+Co.” and “Crotte 100”

Cup spahed creamer from Northern Ireland

This beautifully fashioned cup-shaped cow or bull creamer is my only piece from Northern Ireland. It sold very inexpensively on ebay, which is a shame for the maker since it is such a delightful little cow.

artisan b&w cup shaped creaner w/small head

Here is another artisan made cup shaped creamer, this time with a caricature head. It has a small impressed mark that seems to read "sava" but I have no more ionformation.

Small clay cow pitcher or creamer with handle

This nicely fashioned handmade red clay cow pitcher or creamer with handle came without attribution, but I would guess it's southwest US or Mexico.

Small cow caricature creamer

This sprightly little cow isn’t marked. It's an interesting interpretation, wherever it's from.  

I’m not quite sure what these two are.  We bought the one on the left in the gift shop of the ‘Airport Garden Hotel’ in Beijing, our last night in China (after a couple drinks). It looks sort of like a cow (it looks more like a cow after a couple drinks), albeit the horns are exceedingly long.  The one on the right came via eBay from Australia; it has what would appear to be double horns – small pieces that stick up and longer ones that sweep back, and it’s exceedingly hairy.  Some strange sort of Australian marsupial cow, perchance…

Japanese cow creamer and pitcher German cow pitcher and two small goblin creamers Two 'girl' cow pitchers

This is a bit of a mixture, and I’ve thrown in a couple ‘ringers’: green and yellow porcelain German goblins that somehow got mixed in with the cows. The two little girls are unmarked, the others are Japanese.

Publix non-dairy creamer cow

Now, this one violates all the rules but one… no two holes, no ‘pitcher, etc…but as the box clearly says, it is indeed a cow creamer (or rather a 'creamer cow'), as long as you’re willing to count that non-dairy stuff.  For 99 cents I couldn’t pass it up.  Clever of Publix to push its powdered creamer this way. 

Small white Japanese cow with large hole in butt, side Small white Japanese cow with large hole in butt, bottomn

Another rule-breaker that I just couldn’t resist…this little white one standing on a base has a very strange stamp on the bottom, and only a single hole – a large one – in the top of its rear end. It’s obviously meant to hold some sort of liquid, but I have no idea what. I originally posted this picture asking for help with a translation, and ‘Silver Silver Okaami’ kindly provided one, writing: “The bottom of it says:  Line 1: Suteki, in Katakana, usually reserved for words of foreign import or simple writing for children, means, "Beautiful, wonderful, dreamy." Line 2,  Pifuko, is in Hiragana, a more complex alphabet usually used for native words.  I get Pifuko is the company, or Pifu, and the first line is a small note.  Nifty cow, I think she's cute =)”  Many thanks for the help!

Small green cow with hole in butt

Here is another with a hole in the butt that was sufficiently unusual and inexpensive that it snuck into the collection. It was sold as possibly Zanesville Frankoma art pottery – which is unclear since (from I learned that “Frankoma Pottery was originally known as The Frank Potteries when John F. Frank opened shop in 1933. The factory opened in Ada, Oklahoma, then moved to Sapulpa, Oklahoma in 1938… John Frank died in 1973 and his daughter, Joniece, inherited the business. After financial problems, Frankoma was sold in 1991. The pottery operated under various owners for a few years and was bought by Joe Ragosta in 2008. It closed in 2010. The buildings, assets, name, and molds were sold at auction in 2011.” On the other hand from, another good source of information, we find that “Zanesville Stoneware Company, (ZSC), Zanesville, Ohio. In business from 1887-2002. … this company did not like to mark their pottery because imported pottery had to be marked with the country of origin, therefore, Zanesville felt it was not necessary to mark their pottery since it was American made.” Well, at least I learned something from it.

Rutherford's Blended Scotch Whiskey Scottish Highlands cow, hole in head

From a hole in the butt to a hole in the head.  This is a shaggy Scottish Highlands cow . I found out long after I bought it that it’s actually a container for Rutherford’s Blended Scotch Whiskey. I’ve now seen a bunch of these on eBay in both brown and black, but for some strange reason they all seem to be empty.

hole in head no lid

This stocky bull with the head hiole also pours through the mouth. Too bad the lid is jmissing - but it's the only one I have seen so it joined the herd.

Two SylvaC cow with lids

Snookered twice, I guess.  I bought these some 11 years apart, having forgotten about the first one (white) when I bought the second. Both were sold as creamers, but on close inspection they have no hole in the face.  The back hole is quite large however, so I suppose that they could be used as pitchers.  The seller of the black one contended that they were rare and were from SylvaC, which I have learned from Wikipedia was founded in 1894 by William Copestake and William Shaw, and “is a brand of British ornamental pottery characterised primarily by figurines of animals and Toby Jugs. The SylvaC company briefly ceased production in 1982 although production of SylvaC pieces was resumed in 1998 by the current trademark holder Norman Williams.”  The article states that they are neither rare nor high art but are ‘collectible’.  There is an extensive catalog of their pieces for those who may be interested.  These cows bear the number ‘66’ in an interesting spot – the back of their udder, between the hind legs.  Whether they are actually SylvaC or not I really don’t know, but in spite of their deficiencies from my collection’s standpoint they are quite interesting.

Two cow water warblers

These little cows with a long tube for a tail also don’t meet the ‘two hole’ rule – they have three, one being in the top of their heads. They are ‘water warblers’ … you put water (or cream…) in them, blow into `the mouth piece, and it sounds like some very strange kind of bird (cow-bird?). Cute, huh?  (Direct from China, of course.)


Clay cow (maybe) whistle with blue nose from Uzbekistan

My wife and I took a trip through Central Asia…lots of real cows of course, and they drink fermented horses’ and camels’ milk there and make super ‘cheese balls’ from cow’s milk…but nary a cow creamer in sight.  This is the closest I could come…a cow (maybe) whistle – two holes – from a ceramic shop on the outskirts of Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

Cow Parade 'Fruits of Summer' creamer and sugar

Cow Parade 'Where's the Beef' creamer and sugar

I’m closing out this theme section with a number of creamers from Cow Parade. Cow Parade bills itself as ‘the world’s largest public art event’.  The concept originated in Zurich in 1998, and the first show was in Chicago in 1999.  There have since been shows in some 40 cities around the world, and it has spurred a number of public art events featuring other animals, e.g  bears,  horses, and fish, as well as a whole line of figurines featuring some of the wilder designs.  At one point the company that produces the figurines made a number of creamers and sugar-and-creamer sets from some of the ‘simpler’ designs.  These are all from the same molds, but bear the decorations associated with their names.  There are also teapot versions of these two, Fruits of Summer and Where’s the Beef.  I’d imagine that somewhere there’s a record of the name of the artist that did each cow, plus information on where the full size one was located, but I haven’t found it.

Cow Parade 'Leopard' creamer and sugar


Cow Parade 'Party Cow' creamer and sugar

Party Cow

Cow Parade 'Divine Bovine' creamer and sugar

Divine Bovine

Cow Parade 'Bess Bovine' creamer and sugar

Bess Bovine

Cow Parade 'Zow Cow' and 'Lightfoot' creamers

Zow Cow and Lightfoot

Cow Parade 'Striped Cow' and 'China Cow' creamers

Striped Cow and China Cow

Cow Parade 'Hugs and Smooches' and 'Wrestler' creamers

Hugs and Smooches, and Wrestler

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