My collection has close to a hundred silver cow creamers, ranging in age from two by John Schuppe dated 1764 and 1768, to a few from the late 20c and early 21c. Silver cow creamers aren't all that rare, but they are getting quite expensive so I am very careful about which ones I buy. They seem to remain fairly popular thanks in part to P.G. Wodehouse's 1938 book, The Code of the Woosters and the related 1990s TV serial about Bertie Wooster and his valet Jeeves, in which the first episode of the second series was Jeeves Saves the Cow-Creamer. I also believe that although my overall cow creamer collection is one of if not the largest in the world, there are likely several collections of silver cow creamers (and the old Staffordshire cow creamers) that are larger than mine.

I have a few that I commissioned, although most of these were just made for the 'trade', most probably by working the silver around a mold. For an introduction to the traditional method of crafting a cow creamer (now seldom used), by carefully hammering out the body by hand, view from the workshop of master silversmith Bruce Russell of Guernsey.  You can find more about him, and the cow he made for me (Snowflake) , at the beginning of the “Other Silver Cow Creamers” area which is about 3/5 of the way down this page.

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

Silver cow creamer by John Schuppe Chased silver cow creamers by John Schuppe

Silver Cow Creamers and John Schuppe
From C. Bernhard Hughes’ fine historical accounts in his 1957 book Small Antique Silverware, we learn that “A quaint conceit of the third quarter of the eighteenth century was the milk jug modeled in the form of a cow.  Although the name of John Schuppe” (a Dutch silversmith who moved to London ~1750 and registered his mark there in 1753) “is particularly associated with these jugs there is evidence of hall-marks that David Willaume the younger” (a Hugenot silversmith, 1693-1761) “was making them before Schuppe, who remains an obscure figure, dying in 1773.  Silver cows, as they were listed at the assay office, were made in sections. The sides of the head and body were made separately as were legs and hooves, horns, ears, and the tail handle which looped upward over the haunches. The top of the hollow body was fitted with a curved hinged lid, like a saddle, either plain or bordered with chased flowers and foliage, and with a lifting knob in the form of a large fly modeled in the round. The jug was filled through the lidded opening, the milk being poured into the tea-cup from the animal’s mouth.  Head and body might be tooled to represent the cow’s hair, but others were left smooth-surfaced except for some tool work representing hair between horns and eyes, and along the back bone, this being applied with the intention of concealing joints…Silver cows approximate 4 inches in height; an example by Schuppe sold at Christie’s weighed 4 oz, 15 dwt. In modeling, as in general design, the style is naïve but lively.  Many were gilded and a crest might be engraved on the side of the body.  In some instances the neck was engraved with an inscribed collar.”

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 side,front, top and butt 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). 

Two silver cow creamers by John Schuppe, front Two silver cow creamers by John Schuppe, top Two silver cow creamers by John Schuppe, butts

Assay & Schuppe's maker's mark, plain Assay and Schuppe's makers mark, chased

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 creamers as well, if someone can kindly point me to a source. 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.

2 Schuppe copies by Timothy Burtwell, side

Schuppe’s traditional form remains popular, as these modern versions attest. One smooth and the other chased, both date from 2002 and thus bear the QEII Jubilee special mark as well as the lion rampant and the London assay leopard head, plus the maker’s mark “TB” for Timothy Joseph Burtwell of Tring, Hertfordshire who apprenticed with William Comyns. He made the mold, did the pressing and assembling and had them polished, chased and assayed. These are very close copies of Schuppe's originals - hard to tell the difference except for the marks. For comparison I show the same shots as of the originals. I purchased these two lovely cow creamers from Veronica Shaw who named them Daisy and Doris (and from who I later commissioned Bluebell and Dalina, see below.

Burtwell smooth creramer marks Burtwell chased creamer marks

Adams and Tabor cow creamer Adams and Tabor cow creamer butt Adams and Tabor cow creamer

Here's a fifth Schuppe duplicate, not quite as faithful to the originals as are Tim Burtwells'. This one is by Adans & Tabor, dated 2003. It's a bit scunched down in the hindwuarters, and has a distinctly different rear end, albeit still functional.

5 Schuppe & dup cow creamers, fronts 5 Schiuppe & dup creamers, tops

Here are all five of the above creamers - will the real Schuppes please raise their right foreleg?

butt of silver cow creamer Silver Dutch Schuppe cow creamer marks

Another Schuppe copy, not that I really needed one … but I was curious about its possible maker and age and it was reasonably priced. The only marks are under the lid – “xxx” in an oval, and two unidentifiable symbols. There are quite a number of Dutch silversmiths who used xxx as their mark, generally with some other symbol added, so I assume (proibably incorrectly) it’s from Holland. The only one I could find that used just the letters in the shape this one has is Diederik Willem Rethmeyer who worked in Amsterdam in the early 1800s.  This cow is shiny and looks new – and was relatively inexpensive as these things go, so I doubt it’s by him – presumably some enterprising chap is turning them out in large numbers given their continuing popularity.  One distinctive feature that differentiates it from my other schulle copies if the smooth unfunctional rear end.

Modern unmarked Schuppe-like silver cow creamer

Yet one more, but with a simpler fly, tail hanging in the air and horns pointed forward rather than curled, but with Schuppe-like body, head and leg shape. This one is unmarked, and of quite heavy silver.  This 'classic' form seems to be extremely popular with silversmiths from both the UK and the continent, up to the present day. While without marks it’s impossible to give it an age or provenance, I’d guess it to be quite modern, and likely English because of its weight.

Shrubsole's & Parsons' silver cow creamers, front Shrubsole's & Parsons' silver cow creamers, marks

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.

Tiffany gold wash Schuppe=like cow creamer

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.

Comyns silver cow creamer

This little cow, inspired by Schuppe’s, is marked R.C for Richard Comyns. It bears a London sterling assay mark and is dated 1968.  A search for information about it not only told me quite a bit about the some of the transitions in British silversmithing, but revealed that this model (the only one to the best of my knowledge) is currently still in routine production. Here is what I have learned (more than you may wish to know…): first, from (and others), the Comyns firm “was established by William Comyns c. 1859 when he purchased the business of Robert Tagg, itself said to have been founded about 1730. As yet efforts to trace the latter's lineage have failed; it seems clear, however, that Tagg succeeded John Tapley at 40 Roupell Street, Waterloo Road. Tapley, a manufacturing silversmith, was probably the last of Rundell, Bridge & Co.'s outworkers and is also known to have provided work for Robert Green & Co and Makepeace & Walford. Robert Tagg moved in 1857 to his new residence and manufactory at Carlise Street, Soho Square, where by 1859 he listed as a silversmith. William Comyns, thereafter listed as a silversmith, appears to have purchased the business in 1858 or early 1859, entering his first marks from the first same address. He moved to 1 Percy Mews, Rathbone Place, then to 16 Silver Street, Golden Square Soho, and subsequently to Beak Street, Regent Street. These premises were later expanded to 41, 43, and 45 Beak Street and to 41, 43, 45, 47 Beak Street. Additional premises were taken from c. 1903 at 54 Marshall Street, Soho.

The style of the firm was changed to William Comyns & Son c. 1885 when William Comyn's two sons, Charles Harling Comyns and Richard Harling Comyns were admitted to their partnership. William Comyns died in January 1916, and C.H. Comyns while attending a sale in Christie's in 1925. The business was incorporated as limited liability company as William Comyns & Sons Ltd., registered on 20th October 1930, with R.H. Comyns as permanent governing director. Upon the latter's death in 1953, when the firm is said to have lost its former prominence, William Comyns & Sons Ltd was purchased by Bernard Copping.”  From 1957 the firm was located on Tower St London WC2.  Comyns’ original mark apparently was W.C, followed by C&R after William’s death, and then R.C from @1922 to 1984, when Mr. Coping died.  I haven’t yet located any information about the fate of the firm immediately after that point, but a November 22, 2008 article in The Star stated that Comyns was acquired in 1993 by the Malaysia-owned Royal Selangor Group, and around 1998 they moved production to their plant in Wangsa Maju.  The company’s web site – – notes that their archives contain some 35,000 historical molds, patterns, tools, and drawings, and that they produce both traditional English and European heritage items as well as contemporary ones, with marketing targeted toward Japan, Australia and Singapore as well as Europe, US and UK.

  A response to my query to their Malaysian headquarters about the cow creamer – which can be found via a search on their web site and is undoubtedly fashioned from one of their historical molds – states that they trade as Comyns (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and Comyns of London. The cow creamers being produced today as a ‘standard product’ bear the W.C maker’s mark and (as of late 2015) retails in Malaysia for RM6,500. It seems I got a bargain at £480 for my 1968 version.  Another piece of information I am missing is the date when this particular mold was fashioned. I have seen quite a few Comyns cows for sale, but don’t know when – or by whom – the first was fashioned. I would be delighted if someone could help me correct and fill in the holes in this account.

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.

Dutch silver cow creamer with elevated fly Marks

Here are two Dutch creamers that I believe are mid-19c, albeit I haven’t found date marks on either. Both have the lion passant with a ‘2’ below denoting .833 minimum purity silver (this mark was first used in 1814), and both have traditional Schuppe-like legs. Neither has an export mark, so I assume they were made for the Dutch market.  The one with the elevated fly, for which I have shown the belly marks that I’ve not been able to identify, has a Minerva head with M (for Schoonhoven) on the lid.  The one with the curly horns, red (presumably agate) eyes and simple aft-facing fly is most unusual in that its head is removable – the only one like that I have seen.

Dutch silver cow creamer with removable head Dutch silver cow creamer with removable head off

Dutch cow creamer by Cornelius Rietveld, side Dutch cow creamer by Cornelius Rietveld, top

This lovely little late 19c cow came to me from Paris, but it's distinctly Dutch which is immediately apparent from the skinny Schuppe legs and the externded red agate eyes. Thanks to the sharp eyes of the seller I was able to find its marks, which as shown in more detail below are cleverly done. The rampant lion with "2" below denoting Dutch 833 silver, confirming the coiuntry of origin, is on the belly as normal. But the 1814-1905 version of the Minerva head (I can't read the letter) is located in the center of one of the flowers on the lid. The maker's mark, an "R" over "133" for Cornelius Rietveld of Schoonhaven (1865-1912) is equally cleverly placed in the center of a flower on the other side of the lid. I think I might have miessed these if I hadn't been told where to look. Finally, there is a small mark on the tail which I believe to be the date mark, albeit I have been unable to match it up. The seller said 1870-80 which seems about right given the nature of the Minerva head and the dates that Rietveld was working. It's great to be able to have such good information about such a nice older cow.

Herbert Hooijkaas silver cow creamer, side Herbert Hooijkaas silver cow creamer, front Herbert Hooijkaas silver cow creamer, marks

This 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.

2 Hooijkaas silver cow creamers, side 2 Hooijkaas silver cow creamers, front

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.

London import Dutch silver cow creamer, side London import Dutch silver cow creamer, top London import Dutch silver cow creamer, marks

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.

Sheffield import Dutch silver cow creamer, side Sheffield import Dutch silver cow creamer, front Sheffield import Dutch silver cow creamer, marks

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.

3 German silver cow creamers, front 3 German silver cow creamers, top

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.

Engraved sterling cow creamer, side

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.

Elly Isaac Miller 1897 import Elly Isaac Miller 1897 import, fly Elly Isaac Miller 1897 import, marks

Here is a sterling silver cow creamer imported to London in 1897 by Elly Issac Miller, registered in 1892 as a plate maker and foreign agent. It is clearly marked F for foreign on both the lid and belly, but there is no indication of where or by whom it was made. I'd be willing to bet that it came from Hanau, but that's only a guess. It has taken a couple dings - the right eye is pushed in rather than protruding, and the tail is somewhat bent. I sense from those minor faults and the condition of the body that looks like it has seen a lot of polishing, that this one has actually experienced considerable use. It came from a family estate from a wealthy area in Southampton, NY, and folks that live there might well have considered this a normal piece of dinner (or breakfast?) ware. At least it makes me happy to think that this lovely piece served as more than a tarnish catcher. It came to me at what I consider a bargain price, since the seller started it reasonably and it turned out I was the only one who showed it a bit of love.

> Silver cow creamer with Schuppe-like legs and pseudomarks Pseucomarks, unidentified

Yet one more cow with the Schuppe leg style – in this case, it bears a lot of what I believe to be pseudo-marks, none of which I’ve been able to identify.  Per usual any help would be greatly appreciated.

Peter Acquisto doll house silver cow creamer

Finally for Schuppe-style (sort of - doesn't look like that to me but that's what the maker calls it)), here’s Pete Acquisto’s (of Acquisto Silver of Albuquerque, NM, 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.

Eugene Kupjack doll house silver cow creamer

No, this one isn’t a Schuppe copy, but I decided to put it here (as well as on the miniatures page) because it was attributed by the seller to Acquisto, and it came to her with a lot of other old silver items from a ‘gorgeous Tynietoy mansion”.  There are two stories to tell here – the maker and Tynietoy; as I found out some time later the seller was wrong about the first, but I have no reason to doubt the quality of the collection from which it came.

This lovely tiny cow (looks like a bull to me but you be the judge) that's here tromping on George was fashioned by Eugene Kupjack, and is his Miniature Dollhouse Silver #353. From his obituary in the NY Times I learned that Kupjack, who died in 1991 at the age of 79, over his lifetime fashioned more than  700 period-style miniature rooms with 1/12 scale doll house furnishings. He is perhaps best known for the 30 shadow-box settings that were designed (and funded) by Narcissa Niblack Thorne, widow of a Montgomery Ward & Co heir. These were first displayed at the 1939 Worlds Fair, then donated to the Art Institute of Chicago. 

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!

Robinson's 1926 ad for silver cow creamers

Apparently in addition to David Willaum the younger and John Schuppe there was a third silversmith cow-maker in London the late 18c: 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. I can find absolutelky nothing about Robert Miller, but 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.

Other Silver Cow-Creamers

As I mentioned in the introduction, I have commissioned a few silver cow creamers, and I will start this area of the page with those. Then there are a number of silver cow creamers from England, Holland, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Those are followed by a few bulls - even though they aren't noted for their milk-giving ability, they is I guess some rationale for fashioning bull creamers since they are indeed responsible for turning heifers into milk-makers. Then there are a whole bunch of small or single-serving cow creamers. I assume that these were made so that you could put one at each place when serving a number of guests. And finally, as with other parts of my collection, there are a few that don't quite fit the basic definition but were of interest.

Commission from Bruce Russell of Guernsey

Meet Snowflake, crafted by master silversmith Bruce Russell in the traditional manner shown in his Youtube video that is referenced at the top of this page.  The hand hammered sides of the body, along with one of Bruce’s hammers, are shown here next to the finished creamer.  The information on the card that Bruce included along with the cow tells you a bit about him and his company, and you can learn more at  While I normally don’t name my cow creamers (I’d run out of names!) this lovely Guernsey cow automatically became ‘Snowflake’ when Bruce personalized her for me in honor of her joining my family in Alaska.

blue bella dalina

Commissions from Veronica Shaw of England

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.

Commission from Arte Magico Andino Joyeria of Cusco Peru

This large bull is a silver version of a Peruvian ‘Torito de Pucara’. He was crafted for me by virtually every artisan in the shop of this silversmithing company while my wife and I spent 3 days visiting Machu Pichu and the area around Cusco.  It also appears in the Peru section of the Places page along with more of an explanation of the Toritos.  This shop had all different kinds of lovely silver jewelry and figures, but they had never before made a Torito de Pucara.  They probably thought I was a bit strange for asking them to make one, but nevertheless willingly complied  (at US $5/gram), went out and purchased a couple ceramic ones for a model, and this is the result.


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. 

This lovely English sterling creamer, bearing the London lion passant and Victoria lion head, was hallmarked in 1899.  I’m by no means sure, but believe the maker was Ernest Drew, son of Samuel Summers Drew who founded the firm (better known for leather goods) in 1844.  They first entered a silver mark in 1887 and were located at 33 Piccadilly Circus and 156 Leadenhall Street in London.   I am hoping for advice on this one, please.

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,

These two, which while acquired separately seem to be to be a pair, are also nearly identical to the one above.  They are however, from my reading of the marks, much older.  The smaller of them bears the lion passant an older Minerva head, and the “I” in a circle which the best I can tell is for 1843.  The maker’s mark is partially obscured, but I’s guess it to be “HB”.  The larger cow has only the “835” and an illegible maker’s mark.  It’s continental for sure, but whether Dutch, German of whatever I really don’t know.  It is so similar to the one above and the smaller here however that I’d guess Dutch, and again likely 19c.

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 a good place to insert a few words about Hanau and Hanau Silver – derived largely from an extensive write-up on the excellent web site of the Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver, ASCAS, at  Hanau is in Hesse, Germany, about 25 km east of Frankfurt am Main.  It addition to being the home town of the Brothers Grimm and Franciscus Sylvius, from near the end of the 16c it became a center of precious metal working when the local Count attracted Protestant Walloon refugees from France and the Netherlands who brought their knowledge of jewelry and similar luxury goods with them. According to the ASCAS article, however, the Hanau work in ‘antique silver’ for which it is noted today – masterful copies as well as original pieces, at least for the next several decades – didn’t really begin until the 1860s when the silversmith August Schleissner relocated there after spells in Paris, Germany and the US, then returned to Hanau and with his brother took over the Schleissner company and started a line of antique reproduction silver that because extremely popular with royalty and the rich.  The other leading firm for this type of silverware was Neresheimer, founded in 1890 (and the maker of this and several of my other Hanau creamers).  Like Schleissner, Neresheimer’s workshop produced extremely high quality goods, both reproductions and original pieces.  Much of his work bears the import names or marks for his London agent Berthold Mueller, or Bucholz & Zelt (B&Z) and Tiffany & Co. in the US.  The success of such high quality firms led to a rapid growth in the number of antique silver producers in Hanau starting in the very late 19c, and the resulting frenzied  competition led to a decrease in the quality of workmanship and the introduction of mass produced items , which – together with the Hanau  practice of  using ‘fantasy’ or spurious marks often made to look like the guild marks from pieces that they copied – earned the later Hanau silver a quite dubious reputation.  This cow and the next one down are from Neresheimer and, at least to my eye, are representative of the early very high quality work of that firm. 

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.

Realistic poss Hanau silver cow creamer Marks for s93 silver cow creamer

This cow is very realistic and beautifully crafted. The seller thought it might be Dutch, but to me the marks look much more like Hanau pseudo-marks. No moon and crown, which if German places it before 1886. It's quite heavy thus I believe likely 925 silver. One interesting feature is that there is only a small bump in place of an udder (and no other 'equipment'). I couldn't find exact examples of the marks, especially the complex one on the right, but Neuresheimer has used both the capital N and the animal with extended paw; and it's sufficiently well done that it may well have come from that workshop. As always I would greatly appreciate comments and corrections.

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,,  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, The third is the section on Hanau hallmarks on the related site,  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.”

This rather fierce looking cow is unmarked, but said by the seller from Luzern Switzerland to be cast German 800 silver from ~1890-1900. It comes with the story that it came from the household of Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg (Victoria Eugenie Julia Ena; 24 October 1887 – 15 April 1969) who (per Wikkipedia) “was Queen of Spain from 1906 to 1931 as the wife of King Alfonso XIII. She was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and the first cousin of King George V of the United Kingdom, Queen Maud of Norway, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia, Queen Marie of Romania, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany and Queen Sophia of Greece.”  The seller stated that though he has no written confirmation to back this story up, he believes it to be true because he acquired it “through a friend who recently cleared the house of the Queen's housekeeper…her relative said that she (the housekeeper) was allowed to select a few items to keep when the Queen died in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1969, and that this was one of those items.”  He didn’t advertise the cow this way, but passed this on when I inquired about its provenance – so I believe it too, because I had already bought it and he had no reason to feed me –so to speak – a line of bull. Gee, perhaps I now have a royal cow!  It addition to the story, I particularly like this creamer because of its very unusual  shape, and the fact that its lid (with the tip of its tail) lifts off rather than being hinged.  True story or not, the cow is indeed unique and quite lovely..

This cow creamer is for sure Spanish, with a mark for "Madrid", although neither I nor the seller can identify the maker's mark. I was told that it came from a family of bankers in Zaragoza. It's nice and heavy, fairly modern - must be a steer since there's no "equipment' of any sort between the hind legs. Of most interest, there is a large engraved cross over a conjoined BR on the left rump. The seller checked and indicated that it didn't match any known brands, nor did the bankers have any relationship to cattle, so presumably it is related to a family name The engraving is nicely and simply done and adds to the cow's beauty as well as the mystery. It is certainly a well made cow creamer and different from all my others.

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

Coppini silcer cow creamer with butterfly lid Coppini silver cow creamer with plain lid 2 Coppini Italian silver cow creamers

Here are two more Italian silver cow creamers, and with a bunch of searching I think I was able to track down a bit of information about them. For some of this you might wish to refer to the pictures just below. The cows are quite similar - both were fashioned by "Coppini & C." now known as Fratelli Coppini. The one with the jeweled filagree butterfly on the lid is slightly larger than the one with the plain lid. They both bear "800" marks and a maker's or factory mark, both under the lid and on hind hooves. The mker's mark is a lozenge shape, and although they are hard to read I believe they bear a "7", a fascio or fascist mark, and the letters Fi for Flrenze or Florence. From Giorgio Busetto's marvelous website, "", "A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of Vertu" we learn that this mark conforms to law n. 305 of 5 February 1934 which introduced uniformity into silversmith's marks. The numnber designated the factory or maker, and the letters indicate the city. In 1944 the fascist mark was eliminated, and laws of 1968 and 1970 introduced new and diferently shaped marks, although the number and city designation were retained. The number '7' was registered by Giulio Coppini in 1935. A couple different Coppini registrations also show up at different addresses, but these cows apparently came from the Giulio Coppini site and must date from between 1935 and 1944. Fratelli ('Brothers') Coppini is still in business, and their web site dates the roots of the company to 1740, beginning as a silversmith's shop. They later moved into watchmaking and jewelry, and note that "Ongoing research and careful selection of precious stones, creativity and insight are the key to the success of Fratelli Coppini, which now ranks as an equal among the greatest names of Italian high jewelry". Presumably the butterfly on the larger of my cows attests to the shift to fancy one of a kind pieces. What follows are images of the butterfly and the lid and hoof marks from the larger cow, then the lid mark from the smaller one.

Top of Coppini cow creamer

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. 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”,, and “A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu”,, 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. 

This cow is also unmarked except for “800” next to a small illegible circle.  I’d guess it’s also likely German, late 19th or early 20c.  It has an interesting fly, with quite large and distinct legs. It also sports relatively large horns and a good sized udder, along with striations on its sides.

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.

This well shaped (but with a couple small dents) creamer with a large standing bee bears some interesting marks – they appear to include, in addition to the ‘800’, an Egyptian assay mark, the national ‘cat’ symbol, and an indecipherable date mark. The seller thought he also could find a crescent moon (blurry) as well as the large but unidentified maker’s mark, and thus suggested that it was made in Hanau and imported into Egypt. I will try to do some more searching to see if I can substantiate or change his hypothesis.

This well molded and chased cow with a fairly full udder and a rather flat aft facing bee is another puzzler – the only marks are on her tail, and although they are quite clear I have no idea what they may signify.

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.

This quite heavy and striated sterling bull appears to be a British import marked for London, 1891.  I believe the ETB importer to be Edwin Thomason Bryant.  I can’t however figure out the maker or country of origin.

 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.

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 German export creamer – this time with Sterling and 925 impressed on the tail, along with another mark that may be the German half-moon and crown. It and 925 are repeated under the lid.

Here are two close cousins, also destined to leave their native land – very similar head and body shape but with different horns and lids.  Again the Sterling, 925, and an indistinguishable mark are impressed on the tails.  The one with the horns facing forward also has “Germany” meaning it was probably headed to America, presumably prior to WWI.

This little lady arrived well after the herd picture, but she bears the family resemblance to those creamers directly above and below. She’s extremely well fashioned, nicely chased, with a necklace and a wide lid.  The mark is under the lid, “Germany, 800” and what appears to be a blurry crown and crescent moon.  There’s also a mark that looks a bit like a question mark – if that is what it is, then this cow may well have come from the Hanau shop of  J.D.Schleissner Sohne, which as noted above in the blurb about Hanau was renowned for the quality of its work.  No way to be sure…but I’d like to think that’s where it came from.

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. 

This ‘longhorn’ isn’t B&Z, but like them is marked on the tail, “925, Germany, Sterling”.  It’s from a fairly common mold.  It’s actually a somewhat curious mix – the body shape of a bull, but with an udder and teats.

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 which, thanks to a reader of my site, I have learned is for  Hector Miller (born 1945), an eminent London silversmith who trained at Stuart Devlin's workshop..  I learned from a similar pitcher 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 traveled 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 page.

I almost hate to put this lovely creamer on a stand so far down the page, but it is significantly different than the others because 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.

Here is a second George Richmond Collis silver-plated cow, differing from the one above only by slightly different horns and fly.  One thing that makes it interesting is that on the right flank it bears an engraved crown over “GR”.  Of course I’d like to believe that that stands for George Rex, or King George, but then again there are no numbers so even if so it’d be hard to say which one.

Here is another silver-plated creamer, quite heavy, and chased to resemble hair except for the lid. It has thin Schuppe-like legs, and the teats appear to be simply little pieces of wire. It has no markings and thus I have no real information on when and where it was made. However it came to me from Buenos Aires, Argentina (shortly after my wife and I had visited there) and the seller could only say that he acquired it from the estate of a wealthy collector and that he estimated it to date from the 1920’s or 30’s.