Collection online

cow creamer

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Cow creamer and cover; soft-paste porcelain; press-moulded with bluish-toned glaze; cow decorated with sponged manganese glaze and underglaze-blue for eyes, stands on thin elaborately shaped flat base; cover, finial moulded as bee, formed of oval piece of clay and has two pointed projections inside to hold in place over opening on cow's back; unmarked.


  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 1770-1780 (?)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 9.3 centimetres
    • Length: 9.1 centimetres (base)
  • Curator's comments

    Dawson 1987
    This cow creamer and cover, which is based on a silver example first occurring in England in 1753, is the only known complete example of its type. One with manganese markings lacking the cover was illustrated by G. Godden in 'The Illustrated Guide to Lowestoft Porcelains', London, 1969, pl. 136; it may have been the one sold at Sotheby's, 9 July 1968, lot 34.

    There are two examples in the Hanley Museum, Stoke-on-Trent, both presented by the same donor as the British Museum example (reg. no. 666P1963 and 667P1963, the first illustrated by W. Bemrose, 'Longton Hall Porcelain', London, 1906, pl. XXV, no. 3.

    In her discussion of a comparable piece Sheenah Smith mentions (1985), the crucial fact that the British Museum cow creamer has been tested and found to be phosphatic. For this reason the previous attribution to the Longton Hall factory can no longer be accepted. Fragments of the bases of animal figures excavated on the Lowestoft factory site are broadly similar in form to the base of a series of figures of pug dogs, but they are less elaborate than the shaped base of the cow creamer. However, no corresponding fragments were discovered on the Longton Hall site and the place of origin of these cows is still in some doubt.

    Literature: S. Smith, 'Lowestoft Porcelain in Norwich Castle Museum', vol. 2, Polychrome, Norfolk Museums Service, 1985, p. 86.


  • Bibliography

    • Dawson 1987 68 bibliographic details
    • Johns 2011 p. 166 bibliographic details
    • Watney 1957 pl. 35B; p. 37 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    1987 Jun 10-Jun 15, London, International Ceramics Fair and Seminar Ltd, 'International Ceramics Fair and Seminar'

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: MCT12842

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