Antique Moroccan Terracotta Butter Churn
Often, things found by our curators are rare enough that within a few decades they will no longer exist. Butter churns and storage vessels have been used by the Berber people of Morocco and surrounding regions for millennia. The design, motifs, and materials have remained unchanged, in principle, because they work. However, with globalization, the old ways are being replaced by modern technology, even in the world's most remote regions.
We stumbled upon a cache of these in Morocco that date back to at least the 19th century, and many well before that. These are beautiful statement pieces with talismanic designs associated with luck and prosperity. The patina is symbolic of its age. The Berber people have origins dating back at least 4,000 years – a fiercely proud Moroccan pre-Arabic culture with an extensive history of craftsmanship and time-honored traditions.
These antique butter churns hadn't appeared on the market in over a decade, so when we had heard about the small collection of these rare, hundreds-year-old vessels, we moved quickly to acquire them. We count ourselves lucky to have them in our curation of goods. This is a substantial and notable object for any collection or home, measuring 20" in height, 17" wide and 13" deep.
This is a rare find, and we may not see many more of these available for purchase - inevitably, they will be lost to history.