Butter Stamps

Butter Stamp, Armagh County Museum

The word butter comes from the Greek for cow's cheese and although we take it for granted, it still takes the staggering figure of 21 pounds of fresh cow's milk to make one pound of butter.

The traditional role of women in butter making is also reflected in the word 'dairy', from Middle English dey, a female servant.

As well as a supply for their own use, farms began to take butter to markets and the butter stamp and mould became more common.

The wooden mould allowed the butter to be supplied in certain weights and the stamp not only decorated the top but could indicate or be associated with the maker.

Among the subjects used for the moulds were farm related themes, especially cows, different type of grain and flowers.