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Silver

Schuppe (and friends):
As I noted in the brief section on history, the popularity of cow creamers in mid-18th century England is attributed to Dutch silversmith John Schuppe, who moved to London @1750 and registered his mark there in 1753 (albeit the Hugenot silversmith David Willaume II, 1693-1761 is credited with an earlier version of a silver cow creamer). 

I would like to thank Peter Cameron, a London silversmith (of Vault 57 in the London Silver Vaults) for some additional information about John Schuppe, whom it seems is really quite hard to pin down.  He notes that there were some Schuppes of German origin in London at that time, so the assumption that silversmith Schuppe of the cows was Dutch may indeed be mistaken.   Our elusive silversmith apparently worked in the liberty (an area in which rights reserved to the king had been devolved into private hands) of St Martin’s le Grand (at first in Little Dean's Court and then in New Rents), which is located in the City of London between Newgate Street and Cheapside to the south, and Aldersgate Street to the north.  Mr Cameron stated in an email to me dated May 2012 that “I am pretty clear that John Schuppe, the silversmith, had a wife named Mary and that they had a son, John, who was born in 1760 and died in 1823. He was listed as a watchmaker, hardware and toyman in an insurance policy with the Sun Insurance Company in 1804. This last John Schuppe had no children. There were daughters of John, the silversmith, and Mary his wife, as follows: Elizabeth, who married a John Phillips in 1782 and had a son named John Schuppe Phillips; Ann christened 1754 of whom no more as yet; and Mary who married Mathew Hodson in 1781 and had various children. John Schuppe, silversmith, was certainly alive quite late in the year 1773 but his wife, Mary, (then living in London Wall), wrote her will in 1795 when she described herself as a widow. The only hope of finding more detail is combing through the rate books for the period - if I can find the Schuppes listed in them and if they survive.”  He was also kind enough to pass on the following fascinating clipping from the “Gazetteer and London Daily Advertiser” (London), Monday, February 23, 1756; Issue 4504:

Most of Schuppe’s creamers date from around the 1760’s; he died in 1773.  I have two Schuppe’s in my collection (both acquired from I. Franks Antique Silver in the London Silver Vaults), shown in both side and front views, along with their hallmarks: Schuppe’s JS, the lion rampant denoting silver, the leopard head with crown which is the early London assay mark, and the date stamp, here 1764 for the smooth creamer (Hairiette) and 1768 for the chased one (Hairy). 

The fly on the lid – flies being pervasive around cows and milking (and not as disparaged then as now, I’ve heard) – has become traditional on silver creamers, as you will see on much of the rest of the collection; and the scrawny legs have also carried on through the years; butts, however, are a different story, and  differ widely. Schuppe’s seem somewhat more realistic than many others.

I’d like to learn more about John Schuppe and about David Willaume II and his creamer as well, if someone can kindly point me to a source.  www.UKauctioneers.com has a very nice glossary (that they attribute to Reader’s Digest’s “Treasures in your Home”) that notes that “David Willaume I (1658-1741) [was a] huguenot silversmith who worked in London using many techniques and designs which were far advanced. His pieces are individualistic … His son David Willaume II (1693 -1761) took over the business in 1716. For a time the two silversmiths were thought to be one and the same”.  There is nothing about Schuppe, however.


Schuppe’s traditional form remains popular, as these modern versions attest.  These two facing each other, one smooth (Daisy) and the other chased (Doris), were made (and named) by Veronica Shaw (www.veronicashawjewellery.co.uk), who later became a good friend and from whom I commissioned Dalina (the silver creamer featured on the home page), and Bluebell – more about them below.  These two creamers both date from 2002, and thus bear the QEII Jubilee special mark, as well as “TB” (for Tim Birtwell who made the mold and did the pressing), the lion rampant, and the London assay leopard head.  The third creamer, also chased, is also from 2002 and bears the “A&T” hallmark of Adams and Taber.  These are all fine modern copies, and bear a close resemblance to the originals (except for the price tag), as you can see from the group picture.


The Schuppe influence also shows through clearly in these two modern creamers, the one on the left from 1958 and bearing the hallmark “SJS” for S.J.Shrubsole, Ltd; and on the right from 1962, marked with a “2” and “HP” over “LP” Herbert Parsons and Laurie Parsons, trading as Tessiers Ltd.

This creamer, marked for Tiffany & Co., England and date-stamped for 1963, is very similar to the two just above.  It’s interesting in that it has a gold wash.  Tiffany’s produced a number of creamers of this shape – I’ve even seen one with diamonds in the eyes and anus (of all things), but it was a bit too rich for my taste. Interestingly, both the belly and the lid of this cow bear the lion passant and the Elizabeth II lion head for the London assay, but there is no maker’s mark.  Tiffany contracted with quite a few silversmiths for their products, and apparently didn’t feel it important to identify them.

Going back to the start of the 20c, here is a creamer with Schuppe-like legs and fly, but a very different approach to the head, horns, and stylized smooth udder.  It is Hallmarked for Daniel & John Wellby, London 1902 (hallmark entered 1896). This company was founded in 1827 by Joseph Clement and John Wellby. The business was continued by Daniel and John Wellby at 57 King Street, Soho Square and later at Garrick Street, Covent Garden. The firm was converted in 1896 into a limited liability company under the style of D & J Wellby Ltd.  The hallmarks on the belly appear somewhat worn, but there are similar and clearer ones on the lid.

 

Here is a more modern, Dutch version that retains many of the same features including the agate eyes and smooth udder, but with very different and quite flamboyant horns and ears.  Its maker’s mark “H-H” is that of Herbert Hooijkaas who worked from 1943-1980 in Schoonhoven .which is renowned for its silver.  The lion passant with the key is for 833 silver made for export, and the Minerva head bears the M for Scoonhoven.

On the right in these two shots is that same creamer by Herbert Hooijkaas, here with its younger sister. The larger cow bears for a date mark (as shown above) a capital ‘Q’ for 1951, and the smaller cow carries a lower case ‘b’ for 1961. There are a few other very small differences – e.g. the eyes are set slightly differently, but it seems that Hooijkaas’s basic cow creamer shape and pattern remained consistent over the decade.

This creamer and the next are also both made for export, but are considerably older.  This one bears a whole lot of city or makers marks that I haven’t been able to identify, but is (problematically) Dutch because there’s a (blurry) Minerva head on the lid. It’s import marked for London in 1891 by Samuel Boyce Landeck of Campden Place.  I need some expert advice on this one, both regarding the multitude of unidentified marks, and because Landeck is said by one web site to not have registered until February 1902.  On the other hand, the very reliable Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks and Makers Marks notes that Landek was a known imported of Hanau silver, and dates him in London from 1879.  The multitude of marks (pseudo-marks most likely) would imply to me that this cow is from Hanau rather than Holland but again I haven’t been able to identify them.

Here again we have an SBL importer’s mark, although it’s different than the one on the cow above, and instead of London this one is marked for Sheffield, 1899.  It does have the Dutch key on the belly and a nice Minerva head (as well as the Sheffield lion gardant) on the lid, so it’s quite definitely Dutch.  But…were there two SBL’s, and if not did Mr Landeck have a shop in Sheffield as well as one in London, and use a slightly different importer’s mark for each?   Mysteries…or at least, confusion on my part.


Here, the Schuppe influence remains in the scrawny legs, but the bodies, faces, horns etc have assumed quite a different appearance. Also note the variations in the flies – none on the cow on left, and facing rear on the cow in the middle; the flowery decorations remain, but somewhat subdued.  The creamer on the left is German 800 silver and bears a couple marks I can’t identify. I believe it’s fairly new, as opposed to the one in the middle which is also German but dates from 1902.  The one on the right, also German, is marked “sterling” and “925” (plus 3 unidentified marks), and also bears the script name “Cartier”, who retailed it in the US.

This one also retains some Schuppe influence, and is included because it is a good example of an engraved creamer…in this case, as a present for ““Franklin Frazee Moore II, Born July 27, 1963, Christened 11-10-1963”. The seller indicated that he acquired it from the Edgehill Estate of Deal, NJ; it’s marked “Sterling”, thus is either American or made for the US market. I haven’t been able to locate any information on Mr Moore II, but his father and grandfather were both Presidents of Rider College in Lawrenceville, NJ, their consecutive terms lastingfrom 1898-1969. No wonder this apparent family sinecure didn’t last to a third generation, since FFM II was only 6 when his father gave up the post.


Finally, here’s Pete Acquisto’s (of Acquisto Silver of Albuquerque, NM, www.acquistosilver.com) version…I debated whether to put this here or with the other miniatures, but since it’s his interpretation of a Schuppe (at 1/12 scale of course, as are his other silver pieces) I figured it belonged here. But then I decided that since it’s so tiny, it might as well be in both spots.

No, this one isn’t Schuppe, but I decided to put it here (as well as on the miniatures page) because it was attributed by the seller to Acquisto.  I wrote him to ask for verification, but never got an answer. If it was his, it was (and is) one of a kind, since there’s nothing resembling it in his catalog. At any rate, the seller said that it came with a lot of other old silver items from a ‘gorgeous Tynietoy mansion”.  For those of you who aren’t dollhouse miniature aficionados, there’s a lot of info on the web about Tynietoy. One good source is the Francis Clay Antiques site, where I learned “Tynietoy was a company started by two talented women, Marion Perkins and Amy Vernon in about 1917 in Providence, Rhode Island. They made miniature replicas of popular furniture designs in the styles representing Early American through to the Victorian era. ...Over the years, or decades rather, leading to approximately WWII the women grew the company to include other employees, craftsmen, and a huge line of miniature furnishings. ...The miniature furniture was initially made independent of display spaces, but eventually Tynietoy began making miniature replicas of New England style houses to sell along with the furnishings.”  These days original Tynietoy houses and furniture make my cows seem inexpensive!

Other Silver Cow Creamers

Apparently there was a third silversmith cow-maker at the time, Robert Miller, as indicated by this clipped add for James Robinson’s NY Old English Silver shop, from a 1926 edition of “The Connoisseur”. It’s interesting that Miller’s creamer bear a family resemblance to Schuppe’s…and also, that the Schuppe cow shown here has a heavier chest than do mine. Robinson’s is still in business so I naturally asked them for more information, but they replied that it was too many years ago for them to have any knowledge. What a shame.

 


These still have flies on the lids, and the one on the left has Schuppe-like legs, but they all have lots of different features.  The heavy creamer in the middle with the short horns dates from 1998 and bears the “JMS” hallmark of J.M.Surtees  (plus the lion rampant and the London assay mark) – from whom I bought it, at his shop (Vault 65) in the Chancery Lane London Silver Vaults .  On the left is an “800” silver creamer,  probably German, with two marks, one of which is a crown over “GR” in a heart (help, anyone??).  On the right is a very heavy cast creamer, with a very prominent and hairy chest bearing the word “Sterling”; it was made in the US.    It is nearly identical to the one on the right…”


…in this picture, which bears a “U-“ ‘brand’   on the left rump, as well the marks “Shreve & Co,” and “Sterling”.    On the left is quite a different interpretation – heavy chest, long pointy teats, a tiny circular mouth hole, small lid without a fly.  It dates from @1890, and bears two French marks, one a Minerva head, as well as “800” on the bottom of the left front hoof. 


On the left is a Dutch creamer from @1880.  The seller, on Portobello Road, said that the previous owner was a UK doctor who thought it was French, and had taken it to Australia (and back to London) with him.  A well-traveled cow.  The smaller creamer in the middle bears the marks “Sterling, Germany, 925”, and what looks like a “1”.  On the right is a fully chased cow with a round mouth and a buckled belt for a collar, Dutch from @1890.  The lids on these are interesting – the two on the left have a pommel or knob on the front to help with opening, and the one on the right has a tiny fly which serves the same purpose.

Here’s a creamer that’s very similar to the one in the middle above, to better show the pommel on the lid.  It’s also marked “Sterling, Germany, 925”, but in addition has a mark that looks like a dagger on its tail.  It is considerably lighter than the one it closely resembles.

 

This is a modern Dutch .833 silver creamer, with exceedingly clear marks. It was made by Zaanlandse Zilversmederij, E. Schoorl/G. Schoorl-Peetoom, Amsterdam, who operated from 1920 – 1990.  It was assayed in Amsterdam in 1927

This cow is also modern Dutch, and although there is no maker’s mark, the rest of the hallmarks are sufficiently clear that it’s a good example of Dutch hallmarking.  The lion passant with the ‘2’ (which became a Roman II after 1953) is the symbol for .833 purity. The Medusa head with an impressed letter indicates the assay office –  A for Amsterdam in this case – and the letter in the circle is the date, in this case a slant M for 1947.  The sword mark on the tail – this style sword  was used from 1906-1953 – is a standard or purity mark used on pieces added to the base figure, or too small for the lion.  There also is one on the inside of this creamer’s lid.  All this information (and much more) comes from the very helpful On-line Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Maker’s Marks, www.925-1000.com


Here’s a quite different style – more realistic -- albeit retaining the traditional fly.  The modern (1998) creamer on the left bears the “RHL” hallmark of Richard Hugh Lawton (plus lion rampant and London assay).  The one on the right, with the pommel on the lid, has a tube sticking out of its mouth to serve as a spout.  It bears the marks “Sterling 925 Germany 4”; it came from Freigericht Neuses, via eBay.


These two bear a resemblance to the modern Lawton creamer, but are considerably older.  They also have their tongues sticking slightly out of the middle of their mouths, as well as prominent rib marks and long pointy teats. The one on the left is hallmarked for Maurice Freeman, London, 1909.  The one on the right with the red glass eyes and neck wrinkles is Dutch from 1890, and bears the maker’s mark “MC”.   

When I bid on this creamer I thought I might be getting a near duplicate, but it turns out that it’s apparently a smaller version of the Dutch creamer above, shown again with the smaller one here for comparison.  It appears to have the MC maker’s mark, and certainly the aft-facing simple fly, face, teats, garnet eyes, and body markings are remarkably similar.  It also has a very clear lion passant with key (meaning .833 silver, made for export) and there seems to be (I need a better magnifying glass!) a tiny mark under the lid that I believe to be an M, which would date this little fellow to 1922. 

This is another realistic Dutch creamer, marked for Dortrecht, and probably from around 1890.  It also bears a couple of fancy, pseudo-hallmarks that I haven't been able to identify.

A knowledgeable seller kindly informed me that although I thought this was Dutch, it is most likely from "Hanau, Germany, by B.Neresheimer & Sohne...Hanau makers used elaborate marks (pseudo marks) to stamp their silver. "

This is another Neresheimer cow, a lovely small example. This firm was noted for the quality of its reproductions.  It’s readily identifiable as theirs by the script ‘n’,  and the chevron pseudomark; chevrons were part of the Hanau crest as well as the older Hanau city mark.  I don’t have any idea about the third mark – the one that looks like a sideways capital “D” – it could be a date mark, but then there were a variety of those in different countries, and I’ve not heard that Neresheimer had its own set.

This is another Hanau cow, stamped German 800 silver, also bearing both the German moon and crown, and the  pseudo marks of Johann S. Kurz & Co., active 1870-1960s. The seller states it dates to late 19c or early 20c.

These three were sold to me as a ‘set’, by a chap who had inherited them from his grandfather who had acquired them on a trip to Germany, presumably in the early 1900s (before WWI).  The pseudo-marks again identify them as from Hanau, although in this case I haven’t been able to identify the maker.  For those with further interest, I can suggest three sources. The first is the Online Encyclopedia of Silver marks, hallmarks, and makers marks,  www.925-1000.com,  which has a special page devoted to Hauau pseudo marks. The second is articles by Dorothes Bustyn on “The Antique Silver Industry of Hanau”, which can be found on the web site of the Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver, www.ascasonline.org. The third is the section on Hanau hallmarks on the related site, www.silvercollection.it.  Quoting briefly from there, “Mark stamping as practiced in Hanau would have been completely illegal in France or England, or for that matter in any other German city where a guild supervised the marking. But Hanau had a long tradition as a free-trade city. With the production of "antique silver", Hanau found a market niche, which brought its silver manufacturers enormous prosperity and worldwide reputation. The 'father' of this industry was August Schleissner. The other leading firm of Hanau was Neresheimer, founded in 1890 as a partnership of August and Ludwig Neresheimer with Jean Schlingloff.”

Switching countries, here is a 925 silver cow stamped on its tail for Italy, with "Cartier" in script.

Here’s another Italian creamer, 800 silver, marked for “Coppini & C.” of Florence.  I can’t locate any information on this company, except that there was a firm of Fratelli Coppini in Florence from 1740 on.  What’s most interesting about this one is that instead of a fly, its lid bears an open-work butterfly studded with small gems.

This very heavy and extremely ornate creamer with the very large and detailed fly was made by Garrard & Co. of London in 1997; it bears their “G&Co.Ltd” hallmark and the lion rampant and leopard-head London assay, as well as the Garrard stamp.  This company was founded by silversmith George Wickes (1698-1761) in London in 1735 and underwent several name and partnership changes before becoming Garrard & Co @1802.  Queen Victoria bestowed the honor of Crown Jeweler on Garrard in 1843, a responsibility they retained until 2007.  They amalgamated with the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Co. Ltd in 1952, which was taken over in turn by Mappin & Webb (established in 1797) in 1959. www.antiquesilverspoons.co.uk notes that in the early 60’s Mappin & Webb combined with Walker and Hall and Elkington  & Co. and are still active today as retailers under the auspices of British Silverware Ltd.”  Interestingly, Wikipedia has a somewhat different version of their recent history, noting that Garrard demerged in 2002, then was acquired by the US private equity firm Yucaipa Cos. in 2006 (which may explain why they are no longer the crown jewelers…).  Can someone correct or verify all this??  Oh, the tangled webs of recent M&As!.  Whatever, it’s a lovely cow creamer, albeit a bitch to polish with all those protrusions!

These are extremely large, heavy, and exquisitely crafted German 925 creamers.  I believe they are late 19c, but they certainly date from after 1868 when the Germans standardized the national hallmark to be a crescent moon and crown (Halbmond und Krone).  They bear these and the 925 mark on the tail, as well as a standing lion.  One of them is also stamped for “Germany”, presumably meaning it was made for export (I got the one without that stamp directly from Germany – so some of these apparently stayed home).  I’ve searched diligently through the main (and excellent) web sources on German hallmarks -- the “Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks and Maker’s Marks”,www.925-1000.com, and “A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu”, www.silvercollection.it, but can’t find anything that looks like the makers mark on these.  Perhaps some expert can help me.

This is another quite large and heavy German creamer with 925 and the Halbmond und Krone, but no makers mark that I can find.  It came straight from Germany so most likely was not made for export.

This is an unmarked sterling creamer, said by the seller to most likely be German from around 1890. 

Here is a finely done, modern chased cow creamer.  It bears a London import mark and 1961 date mark, both “sterling” and .925, and a very nice maker’s mark for “J R & Co Ld” in a four-leaf clover shape.  The seller indicated that he thought that might be for John Round, but that’s very unlikely given the date. I have however been unable to identify the maker. Help would be greatly appreciated.

Bulls too!


Apparently some bulls give cream if treated properly.  This hefty, hairy, short horned, well endowed chap is 925 German silver, and hales from Freigericht via eBay.  Then there’s this elegant pair, she and he, bearing marks that include an Old English “m” as well as “STERLING, handmade”.  The bull has an open back, but does indeed have a mouth hole so qualifies even if he’s intended to carry sugar.  His lady friend has a lid with a simple aft-facing fly and indented floral decorations.

These two – which I acquired in an on-line auction from Heritage Galleries, are marked on the tail “B&Z, 800, GERMANY”, and an unidentifiable maker’s mark. B&Z stands for Bucholz & Zelt, US importers located at 22 W 48th St, New York (an Otto Bucholz & Co  of 1170 Broadway traded as early as 1904, and was still around – advertising in the Jeweler’s Circular – in 1920; I haven’t yet found out when the name changed, or rather when Mr Zelt became a partner and the B&Z firm was established, and whether it was Otto or some other Bucholz that joined with him.  B&Z imported a lot of Hanau silver, much from J.D. Schleissner & Sohne, but the maker’s mark on these, as well as the other one I have from B&Z, is badly blurred [& Schleissner used a whole flock of different ones].  The McKinley Tariff Act of 1890 required the name of the country of origin to be stamped on imports…and in 1914 this was amended to include the words “Made In”.  My best guess therefore is that these are Hanau silver, certainly imported prior to WWI

Here’s another little 800 German silver bull with the post-1866 crescent moon and crown mark, but interestingly no maker’s mark that I can find. He’s a nice little bull, so I’m not sure why the maker didn’t want to identify his work.

 Then there’s this elegant pair, she and he.  The bull has an open back, but does indeed have a mouth hole so he qualifies as a creamer even if he’s intended to carry sugar.  His lady friend has a lid with a simple aft-facing fly and indented floral decorations. Both of these lovely creamers bear “STERLING, handmade”as well as an Old English “m”, which is the mark of William B. Meyers (1887-1958).  I learned a bit about him from a November 2011 article in Antiques and Auction News which discussed the forthcoming sale of his personal collection of his work, including dollhouse miniatures. That article notes that he “was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the first of five children born to a German father and Polish mother, and moved to New York City with his family when he was ten. He exhibited artistic ability as a child, and with the encouragement of his art teacher, he initially considered a career as a designer for a wallpaper company until it was discovered he was color-blind. He also had ambition to be an actor and after graduating in 1907 from City College of New York, he toured the deep South with a dramatic company and developed a vaudeville act. He returned to New York after impassioned entreaties from his family, and upon his return, he began a four-year apprenticeship with a German silversmith in lower Manhattan.” He became interested in sales as well as design while working for the Wilcox-Roth Company in Newark, New Jersey. In 1913 he bought the company and changed its name the William B. Meyers Company. It remained in business for over 50 years. He started making miniatures for his own pleasure in the late 1920s, and continued doing so till his wife died in 1947 at which time he focused on religious sterling hollowware.  I have no idea of the date of this pair of his creamers other than they must be from before 1947, but they are extremely well done.

blue bella dalina

Commissions from Veronica Shaw


I started corresponding with Veronica Shaw after I bought one of her Schuppe copies on eBay. After a number of emails, I asked her to design and make a silver cow creamer for me.  The result was “Bluebell”, a heavy Modigliani-inspired “Auroch”-like lost-wax cast creamer, standing on a heavily enameled base plate (which also, please note, bears the fly).  The patterning under the enamel is designed to make it look like watered silk, and the cow is heavily chased.  The base bears her “VJS” (Veronica Jane Shaw) makers mark, the lion rampant, 925 (it’s actually 958, Brittania Silver), the Leopard Head assay, and the Queens Head special mark for 2002. The cow itself was assayed in 2003, and bears simply the maker’s and assay marks.

When I met Veronica during a quick trip to London a year or so later, she showed me a creamer she had made for another patron (it’s on her web site).  I liked it so much I asked her to make a similar one for me, and the result is the Dali-inspired Dalina, bearing a Schuppe head and modernistic body, again on a beautifully enameled silver stand.  Dalina was assayed in London in 2004, and enjoys looking at her dangling fly.  Later, my wife and I had the pleasure of hosting Veronica during her trip to the US.

A Herd of Little Silver Creamers

I’m particularly fond of the small ‘single serving’ (or maybe two servings) creamers, that I assume one would set out at each place at a fancy dinner party.  Here’s an overview of my herd of them…all about 3” tall or less, and in these herd shots accompanied by the little doll house Schuppe model from Peter Acquisto that was described above and in the Miniatures page.  Following are some pictures and descriptions of the ones not already depicted, and their marks.

 

This cute little (3" tall) gal is significantly different from all of the others.  She's Italian - cast 925 sterling from the firm of Giuseppe Belfiore of Florence, which was founded in the late 1940s.  She is chased, has polled horns, and a very fancy lid with a forward-facing fly and the hinge on the front end.    I obtained her from New Orleans Silversmiths' Paul Leaman, who stays in touch with Giuseppe's son and daughter who now run the firm. 

This stately small steer was sold as French, but I’m not sure.  The markings are very unusual in that they’re spread out… what is most likely the maker’s mark – JR ? – on the tail; what looks to me to be a lion with one paw out in front (back parts blurred) on the belly; and  a sort of fuzzy blob that the seller thought might be a Minerva’s head under the lid.  No fly – so for sure it’s not English, and it must live in a very clean pasture.  I could certainly use some help with this one.

This is the first little silver one I bought – in 1997, from I. Franks in the London Silver Vaults, the same store where I got the Schuppe’s.  Mr. Franks said it was ‘European’ from around 1890.  These marks are also interesting – one appears to be a bunch of grapes, and I don’t quite know how to describe the other. You may also notice that I’m reflected along with my camera on the cow’s side…the same problem occurs on many of the others. The next few cows are quite similar to this one albeit each is a bit different – it seems to be a rather popular style.

This cow also came from the Silver vaults – the shop of Stephen Kalms (dangerous place, the silver vaults…).  He claimed it was German. It’s clearly 800 silver, and the other mark appears to be a different version of the bunch of grapes. 

I got this one from a company named Britannia of Chesterfield, Ohio, through eBay in 2000.  Its markings are a lot of fun…In one direction there’s a “KS” surrounded by three dots for Karl Schatz of Hanau who was active in the 1st quarter of the 20th century (info courtesy of the Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks…), and 930 silver.  The German crown and crescent mark are absent although they were supposed to be compulsory after 1888, presumably because it was made expressly for a British importer.  The marks in the other direction show that it was imported into the UK (the ‘u’ in the circle is the British import mark used since 1906) in 1912 (that’s the “r”)  by “R.L” (which is right in the middle of the camera reflection), whom I can’t identify, and it is considered sterling by the Brits (925).  Someone has also scratched “O8W” – or more likely “M&O” into the bottom.  No idea what that is…

Just after I bought the Britannia cow on eBay my wife and I went to the Baltimore Antique fair, and lo and behold they had a booth there, where I bought this creamer.  It’s clearly another German 925 sterling silver export, but this time to the US.  I don’t know what the ‘5’ represents, and there’s no maker’s mark that I can find. 

Here’s another creamer made for US import – thus the word ‘Sterling’ as well as the ‘925’.  I can’t identify the maker’s mark that appears to me to be a combined l and x, but it and ‘925’ are repeated under the lid.

This is its close cousin, again with 'Sterling', '925', and a couple makers marks I can't make out, on the left side of the tail.

For the last of this set of somewhat similar small cows, here’s a German 800 silver one imported by Bucholz & Zelt, thus the “B&Z”.  It would also appear to bear the half-moon & crown, but that’s a bit hard to distinguish and it could easily be  Hanau pseudo mark  A couple more imported by B&Z follow…apparently small silver cow creamers were popular in New York City in the early 1900s. 

Here are the other two B&Z creamers – similar, but one with big red eyes and the other with them either missing, or done differently…smaller in any event, but what it lacks in eyes it more than makes up for with teats.    Both tails are marked “Germany” and 800, and have an indistinguishable blob which I’m guessing should be the crescent moon and crown.

This is an interesting very small cast sterling creamer that the seller, in Germany, indicated was probably from the 1930s.  It has the crown but no moon…and again the word ‘sterling’ implying it was made for US import.  I’d guess there was a bell on the loop in the front of the big collar at one point.

This creamer came from the same German collection, but several years later.   It is marked in an unusual place, inside the right rear leg.  In addition to the ‘925’ it bears a maker’s mark of a J, a swan, and a k in an oval, for Johan S. Kurz & Co. of Hanau.  The Encyclopedia of Silver marks says they were active from c1870-1960s, and “worked in the antique style”, whatever that means.

This very tiny but delightful little guy is a bit of a cheat for the collection since instead of having two holes, his head is on a hinge. He’s so cute however that I couldn’t resist.  I’d guess he was probably a snuff box.  His marks are interesting since they’re both outside on the neck and on the inside rim.  Outside, the F is the British import mark used from 1867-1904.  The lion passant stands for sterling, and the T=1894.  These are repeated and the English Leopard head added inside, and on the other side is the mark of the importer, DB for David Bridge, General Manager of John George Smith & Co., Manufacturers, who imported a lot of silver items, many from Germany although there is no definite indication of origin here.

My wife bought this lovely hammered silver pitcher for me during a visit to Dublin in 1997.  The marks show a London assay, 1979.  The maker’s mark is HM, but there were a lot of HM’s and I haven’t been able to identify this particular silversmith.  I learned from a similar one that recently came up for sale on eBay that these were made for the Centenary of the Jersey Cow society of the UK, which was founded in 1878.  Their web page notes that “Jersey cattle originate from Jersey, the largest Island in the Channel Islands and just some 14 miles away from the French coast. There are fewer than 6000 Jerseys on the Island in total with nearly 4000 of these being adult milking cows. The purity of the breed on the Island is maintained by a strict ban on imports. This ban has been in place for some 150 years. There are no other breeds of the cattle on the Island. The Jersey shares a common ancestry with not only the Guernsey breed but also those cattle found on the Normandy and Brittany coasts. This type of cattle is believed to have originally travelled up across Europe from the Middle East. Jerseys are known to exist in the UK mainland since 1741 and probably well before. At that time they were known as Alderney's .”  The folks that live on the island are rightly proud of their breed and Jersey cow creamers, appropriately labeled but of many styles, are (or at least were) popular souvenirs. You’ll find a small herd of them on the Advertising and Souvenirs p

I almost hate to put this lovely creamer last, but it is significantly different than the others, in that it’s silver plated rather than solid silver. It’s well marked for the maker, George Richmond Collis, who in 1835 took over the firm of Sir Edward Thomason at 28 Church Street, Birmingham, moving in 1868 to Cambridge Street. In 1854 Collis opened a branch at 130 Regent Street, London. The firm was absorbed by S.W. Smith & Co in 1888. This creamer is clearly marked for the London address, and I need to do more homework to interpret the rest of the marks and gain more information. I’ve shown it next to an electroplated nickel silver one by PT&Co (no further info) since it bears a family resemblance although with clear differences.