The popularity of cow creamers in the late 18th century and early 19th century is attributed to the Dutch or German silversmith John Schuppe, who worked in London, and may or may not have invented them. All the early cow creamers are silver, and the more familiar and affordable ceramic cow creamer, of which the unmarked Staffordshire models are best known, were not produced until the mid 19th century. Production ceased after the late 19th century, except for some collector editions. The creamers were designed to hold milk or cream, with mouth acting as the pourer, a hinged or removeable lid in the centre of the back to add or remove the liquid, and a curled tail which acted as the handle. Sometimes the lid has a finial in the form of a fly or bee.
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