Creamer thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 52b

Creamer

1758-1759 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Object Type
A cream jug in the form of a cow.

Use
The British developed a taste for adding milk to their tea by the mid-18th century, rather than drink a weak tea, as was traditional in China. By this date, milk or cream jugs had become an essential part of the tea service.

Design
Jugs in the form of standing cows were made in London in some quantity during the second half of the 18th century. Most bear the mark of John Schuppe, and were made between 1753 and 1773. His name indicates that he may have come from The Netherlands, where cow creamers made in ceramic were already fashionable. All these creamers follow the same basic form, with a looped tail and a saddle-shaped lid with a finial in the form of a fly. Both silver and silver-gilt versions are known, and variations occur on the type and amount of hair on the body and head.

Popularity
The large numbers of cow creamers that survive attest to their enduring popularity. Such was their renown that they merited inclusion in 20th-century literature: Bertie Wooster, the hero of tales by the author P.G. Wodehouse, found these cow creamers quite disgusting.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Engraved silver
Brief description
Cow creamer
Physical description
Cream jug in the shape of a cow
Dimensions
  • Height: 9.6cm
  • Width: 4.25cm
  • Depth: 14.8cm
0.1585 Dimensions checked: Registered Description; 01/01/1998 by KN
Marks and inscriptions
Collar around the neck inscribed 'H.P. from LAETITIA MAYDWELL A MEMENTO OF TYTTENHANGER'
Gallery label
British Galleries: Cow creamers became popular in Britain during the late 18th century. The milk is added through the hole in its back, the handle is formed by the animal's tail and the milk comes out of its mouth. Its flow could be regulated by pushing a fly on one of the cow's udders.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Bequeathed by W. J. Johnson
Object history
Made in London by John Schuppe (active 1753 - 1773)
Summary
Object Type
A cream jug in the form of a cow.

Use
The British developed a taste for adding milk to their tea by the mid-18th century, rather than drink a weak tea, as was traditional in China. By this date, milk or cream jugs had become an essential part of the tea service.

Design
Jugs in the form of standing cows were made in London in some quantity during the second half of the 18th century. Most bear the mark of John Schuppe, and were made between 1753 and 1773. His name indicates that he may have come from The Netherlands, where cow creamers made in ceramic were already fashionable. All these creamers follow the same basic form, with a looped tail and a saddle-shaped lid with a finial in the form of a fly. Both silver and silver-gilt versions are known, and variations occur on the type and amount of hair on the body and head.

Popularity
The large numbers of cow creamers that survive attest to their enduring popularity. Such was their renown that they merited inclusion in 20th-century literature: Bertie Wooster, the hero of tales by the author P.G. Wodehouse, found these cow creamers quite disgusting.
Collection
Accession number
M.1691-1944

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Record createdApril 26, 1999
Record URL
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