Modern Variations

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

Here’s another 2007 version of the Emma Bridgewater creamer (see Brands), this one in the Holly and Ivy pattern.  As I noted on that page, I fail to understand why this company makes these to be unusable for food.  Nobody else seems to have that penchant.  Especially when they charge as much for them as they do.

And here are the other two in the series, the Black Toast (stamped “Toast and Marmalade”), and Polka Dot patterns.  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. 


Here are Emma’s Ms Polka Dot and Pink Hearts on stands.  From what the seller said,
these were fashioned as trials before they 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?

These two are one-of a kind versions that were made for the Emma Bridgewater Collector’s Club day and sale … the one on the left is in the ‘Kitchen Garden’ pattern, the one on the right (the 2008 version) “Men at Work”.   Not surprisingly, it’s my only cow that has trucks all over it.

These four are 'chased' to resemble hair; they are from identical molds, but different paint. As you can see they 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 from Enesco.

These two large creamers with the big smiles are definitely British (as are the ones similar to them in the Places section).  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.

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.

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.

Here in white and with flowers is another example of the Japanese version. 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

The best I can tell, these are from precisely the same mold and factory, and differ only in the picture (minor variation) and the mark … the one on the right says ‘Delft’, albeit the one on the left is clearly marked ‘Made in Germany’…as you can see even better a few sections further down this page, where it is shown with others of the same style but different sizes.

This appears to be a widely used mold, and the decorations and coloring of the cows are sufficiently different that I didn’t realize they were similar until the one on the right arrived and I started comparing.  What makes them interesting to me is that the mold is apparently used both by individuals and by companies, and with different materials.  The Carnation one on the left was featured under ‘Advertising’, and has a maker’s impression that I can’t read and “N1296/2000”, presumably its serial number of a limited run of 2000.  The blue and white sponged one is from Hudsonware of Vermont (she’s also on page 2 of Modern Variations).  The two on the right would appear to be ‘homemade’; the polka dot one is unmarked ceramic, and the light yellow one is thin porcelain, and “Rose Arons 1990” is written on the bottom of the left front hoof .  Maybe Rose will read this and tell me more…

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”.

These fanciful and colorful but unmarked creamers came via eBay from the UK.

Here’s another 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.

There are no markings on this heavy ceramic cow  with red ’blue-willow’ type markings all over, but after I got it (for a while there were bunches of them on eBay) I noticed that   it’s the same but for color was the blue and white one, and also bears precisely the same ‘fake’ blue willow markings as the little head.  Chinese made, I have to assume.


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 as souvenirs. When I was living in the UK, however, a ‘half pint’ more often came from a tap than from a cow.

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!”

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..

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.

 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.

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 to the kitchen/utilitarian trade rather than souvenir seekers.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

This bright little guy is also from Italy - his belly says “Modigliani, Via Condotti, Roma”.  They have 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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

Here is the smallest of the three above again, joined by a version in white and grey

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.


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.

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.  After that picture was taken I acquired the blue delft-pattern version, which again 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”…but I have no idea what porcelain maker, in Dresden or elsewhere, is that much into golf…can anyone help?

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

These three similar creamers are all marked for Austria. 

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.

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 . The llittle guy with the round face is marked “Siena” on the side.

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

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 found any purely ‘Czech’ or ‘Slovak’ cows from after the peaceful dissolution of the two countries on 1 January 1993.  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.

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.

Here is a much more modern Czech creamer, indeed the only one I have from the Czech Republic.  It bears the crown mark and wording for Leander Porcelain, and you can learn a lot about this factory from their web site, It notes 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!

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.

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…

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. 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 above) is the abbreviation for gesetzlich geschützt, meaning a registered design or patent. Pretty obviously some folks didn’t pay much attention to that.


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.

 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.”   

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.

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…

“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.

Continuing on across the Pacific, these four are what I call ‘Japanese short-horns’, another group of which was featured in the Places theme.  Other than the stamp for the country, or ‘hand painted’, there is no information on the maker or importer.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

These three Japanese sitting cows seem to be modeled closely after the similar Czechoslovakian ones.  The one in the middle, 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 the two 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.

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…

To end this world tour, here’s a small version of the 5 creamers that started it, back on page 2…it’s unmarked, but the hand painted scene places it pretty surely in China.

Switching from cows from around the world to just plain old miscellaneous cow, 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)

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.


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!

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 weight about 5 pounds.  I seriously doubt it was designed for anything other than display (and rather ostentatious display at that), since full of liquid it’d be very hard to handle.

Here is another of his large cows – this one similar in size to the middle one above, but in sort of a light green with striped horns.  It 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.

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


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).


The 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; I have to assume it was made before WWII. 

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

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.

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.

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

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”

These two have to win some sort of ‘ugly contest’ prize.  They are however cows, and thus much beloved…they bear only a stamp that says Made in Germany in small red letters – guess I can’t blame the maker for not wanting to be identified. 

This is another lovely creamer about which I wish had more information, other than the rather non-informative stamp, “Made in Germany” between two circles.  A very cute nursemaid, which came to me via eBay from the UK as do many of the nice English and continental ones.

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 just above the Monk cows because it came from the same seller from whom I got the Monk in the blue robe.  

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.

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.

This one isn’t marked either, but is of somewhat less concern, in spite of the fact that’s it’s a sprightly little cow…it’s here by itself largely because it was a late addition, arriving after all the other pictures had been taken. 

Closing out this subsection, here is Sakura, Inc’s Made in China Animal Collection pitcher, © Warren Kimble.  Sakura makes consumer dinnerware for sale through department stores, mass merchandisers, and private labels, and was acquired by Oneida Ltd (for $40M! I guess they must make more than cows) in 2000. Poking around on the web, I found there were a lot of companies using the name sakura…not surprising, I’d guess, since it’s the Japanese word for cherry trees and their blossoms (it’s thus also popular in anime and manga).  Warren Kimble is a folk artist from Brandon, VT, and you can learn all about him at his web site.  He draws big bodied cows with little heads.

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.  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. 

Here is one more of the Whirley Moo-cows, shown for comparison with this other plastic cow with a yellow head.  Its base 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.  I still like my story better even if it is wrong!

Here is yet another ‘knock-off’, again shown for comparison next to an authentic Whirley moo-cow. In this case, the ‘copy’ has a somewhat narrower bottom, the head is quite different and sports a bow tie, and it’s 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.  As the Whirley founder said of the one above, ‘we sold 10 million and they didn’t sell any!”  Nevertheless, it’s sort of fun to discover the imitations.

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.

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.


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.getting to be an old cow, even older than me! 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!

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.

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.

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.

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…

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.

Metal cow creamer on base Base of metal cow creamer

Here begins a segment of the page with (non-silver) metal cow creamers. This is without a doubt the finest as well as the most unusual 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.

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. 

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.

Even though it meant getting a third of the ‘Old Colony’ cows shown just above, this one is so unusual, even remarkable, that I couldn’t resist.  It’s chased all over to resemble hair, has a huge looping tail, and a very amazing fly as well as embossed flowers on a lid that lifts off. . Per usual, the seller was unable to give me any information about it. It’s certainly very special, even if it is sort of hidden way back here on the bottom of page 3 of Modern Variations. It’s probably misplaced because I suspect that it isn’t modern at all.

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.

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’.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 “stated 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.

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.

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.

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’, 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. 

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.)


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.

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.


Party Cow

Devine Bovine

Bess Bovine

Zow Cow and Lightfoot

Striped Cow and China Cow

Hugs and Smooches, and Wrestler

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