An antique silver cream jug in the form of a model cow. The cavity below the lid is filled with cream which is poured out through the cow’s mouth using the curled tail as a handle. Simple figuring and naive expressive face. The body is all over chased with a charmingly realistic hairy finish.
Weight 132 grams, 4.2 troy ounces.
Spread 14.5cm. Height 9.5cm (top of horns), 7.6cm (top of back).
Maker John Schuppe.
Marks. Marked with a full set of English silver hallmarks underneath the body, lion passant to the hinged cover.
John Schuppe, no record of apprenticeship or freedom, believed to be an immigrant Dutchman. 1st mark as largeworker 1753. Jugs in the form of standing cows were made in London in some quantity during the second half of the 18th century and most bear the mark of John Schuppe, and were made between 1753 and 1773. His mark is occasionally found on small decorative items such as figural tapersticks.
Although Schuppe was the first to make cow creamers from silver, their form is much older. The earliest form was back in 4th century BC Egypt where pottery jugs in the form of cows first appear. They then reappear in early part of the 18th century in Holland. It is from here that Schuppe must have taken his inspiration, and the form which he pioneered was so popular that copies of his style of creamer were made for the next 200 years. One of his cow-shaped creamers (1759-60) is in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, with the tail as the handle and a lid on the back with a giant fly on top.
Marks are always on the underside of the body in a line, and it is uncommon for the marks to be worn.