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Object Name Pitcher, Cream
Alternate Name Creamer
Date 1850-1880
Description Rockingham cream pitcher in form of a standing cow on an oval base. Cow has a curled tail, and the head is tilted slightly to one side; the open mouth has a hole for pouring. A hole on the cow's back is covered with a lid. Made in the United States, probably in New Jersey. Height is 5.750 inches; length is 7.125 inches; width is 3 inches.
Acquisition Museum Purchase
Ownership and History The shape of this novelty pitcher is appropriate because it was used for serving dairy cream. A hole in the cow's mouth leads to a hollow interior, and a removable cover on the cow's back allows for the pitcher to be filled.

Rockingham is a word used to describe yellow earthenware (yellowware) covered with a mottled brown glaze. The earliest objects of this type in America were made in England and introduced to the U.S. about 1840. But American potters soon learned to make rockingham as well, and the American wares quickly rivaled the English imports.

Although rockingham was made in New Jersey, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Ohio from the 1840s, such ceramics are sometimes generically referred to as "Bennington ware" because examples from the potteries of Bennington, Vermont became very popular with American antiques collectors in the 20th century.

This creamer descended in the Hillyer, Prall, and Decker families of Staten Island.
Earliest Date 1850
Latest Date 1880
Material Ceramic
Subjects Cows
Lexicon Sub-category Food Service T&E
Associated People Decker, Mary Frances (Prall)
Catalog Number 86.071.0003.A-B
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Efron family in memory of Dr. Meryl Efron, May 2014.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.