Antique Butter Churn Value & Identification (Expert Guide)

If you grew up with your grandparents, you might have eaten toast with thick, creamy butter. Do you know why it was so tasty? Well, by your granny’s love and smooth textured butter made with an old churn.

Unlike modern mixers, the old churns swirled the cream, retaining all the nutrients. But it’s not just this low-calorie butter; antique freaks love them for their crude wooden make. But without brochures and tags, valuing the old churns is a task! So let’s discuss different butter churns and their prices in this value guide.

Key Takeaways

  • You can verify old butter churns by their crude cranks, dashers, carvings & surface decorations.
  • Vintage butter churns use stone, metal, wood, and glass. But, the most precious ones have Bauhaus or Colonial designs.
  • If you want colored butter churns, get the branded Brown, Red, or Silver ones from Red Wing Stone.
  • Old Wooden Plunger or Rocker Butter Churns cost $90 – 1000 today! But if you want to know the exact costs, jump to the value guide below.

Notable Features of Antique Butter Churn

Old Butter Churn

You can value an old butter churn based on its types, materials, and brands. But before that, let’s ensure that it’s an old & REAL model. For that, just cross-verify the aged features from the following list:

  • Wood, Stoneware, Iron, Glass, or Metal walls with a typical hardwood dash churn
  • Superior Dash, Crank, or Plunger mechanisms
  • Carvings and Surface Decorations – Stencils, Paintings, Labels & Inlays
  • Hand-shaped cranks, spouts, or pouring units
  • A central hole for a wooden paddle and clump
  • Aged patina, scratches & dents

Long History of Antique Butter Churns

Do you know that the Sumerians used the first butter churn roughly 4000 years ago? And surprisingly, this one didn’t have any walls or churners. In fact, people just filled goat skin sacs or logs with milk and shook it for butter! Sounds tiresome, right?

Even Europeans felt the same way. So, in the 1700s, they removed their beer barrels and added plungers for churning. But these were heavy and difficult to rotate! So, by the 1900s, Nathan Dazey had sorted the design.

He added legs and a crank handle to stop dust and insects and introduced metal chambers, thermometers, and gears for speed. Soon, this process was standardized and machine-made.

Finally, by the 1950s, makers made electric butter churners. These still had some aged features like cranks and rocking churns. But, you might not get a good value for their batteries and plastic churners.

5 Types of Vintage Butter Churns With Values

Let’s see how the different butter churn types & mechanisms affect its base value below:

Antique Butter Churn TypesHow to Identify? YearSize (Height)Estimated Value
Plunge, Dasher, or PlungerBarrel or Cylindrical Churns with Wooden handles, lids, dashers & circular discs with holes1600 – 1800s100 – 120 cm$50 – 1000
Paddle ChurnsConsist of Wood or Metal boxes, stone rods, rotating paddles & 2-4 quart tanks 1800s70 – 100 cm$10 – 300
Rocker Butter ChurnsWork on a rocking frame that mixes the cream with small barrels, lids, and dashers in the center1700 – 1900s90 – 120 cm$90 – 600
Glass Jar ChurnsGlass jars with metal tops, wood paddles, screened spots, ribbed sides & thermometers1900s30 – 35 cm$30 – 500
Barrel & Cylindrical ChurnsWork on a crank & rotating cylinder with wooden paddles, dashers, stencils, labels & thermometers1900s90 – 100 cm$50 – 500

6 Steps to Identify & Find Antique Butter Churn Value

Antique butter churns cost $60 – 500, depending on their age, colors, materials, and styles. In fact, some of the branded ones might value up to $1000, too! However, finding the right value of your old butter churn by yourself can be difficult. So, follow these six easy steps:

1. Trace the Manufacturing Date & Patent Numbers

You may have a butter churn with the fastest motor or thermostat today! But did you know that it’s still the old 1700s churns that fetch the highest value of all? That’s because collectors love their ORIGINAL wood barrels, hand-molded sides, and handles!

Want to know if you have such an old butter churn? Then inspect the churn’s base or metal part for any stamped patent numbers.

But if you don’t see them, check the features below to track the age yourself:

Antique Butter Churn YearsAgeTop & Collectible FeaturesPatent NumbersAverage Cost
Middle Ages (2000 BCE)4000 yearsAnimal hide or log bowls with manual lids, dashers, and polesN.AN.A
1700s224 – 323 yearsBarrel chunks(2-10 gallons) with a hand crank, paddles, plunger handles, and carved wallsN.A$100 – 1000
1800s153 – 223 yearsWood, Metal, or Stoneware jars with paddle or barrel churns & rotating cranksUS198145A$70 – 500
1870s123 – 153 yearsTransparent glass jar churns with wooden paddles, ribbed jars, thermometers & screened pour spoutsUS1069492A, US166181A, US242275A$50 – 450
1900s100 – 123 yearsMechanical or Electric churns with gears, cranks, horizontal wooden barrels, and rocking framesUS1474741A$30 – 300

Check if your butter churns have a ‘Made in Europe’ or ‘Scotland’ mark & round or conical shapes for an old make.

2. Examine the Materials

We know that wooden products cost more than plastic! And it’s the same with old butter churns too! In fact, the ones with Oak, Beech, or Elm barrels are some of the rarest 1700s models! But since they were heavy, makers moved to Glass & Metal by the 1800s!

So, let’s see how each material affects the final resale cost:

Antique Butter Churn MaterialsTop Collectible FeaturesEstimated Price
Wood – Oak, Beech & ElmBarrel or cylindrical churns with manual dashers, cranks, and rotating mechanisms$ 80 – 1000
Transparent or Stained GlassTransparent Cylindrical or Jar churners with metal or Wood lids$10 – 300
Metal – Iron & SteelMechanical or Industrial style churns with shiny finishes, sleek sections, and grooves$10 – 300
StonewareThick, jug-shaped butter churns with jug-shaped sections and dashers$50 – 700
CompositeConsist of transparent glass jars, metal cranks, wooden paddles & grooved steel lids$50 – 500

Antique butter churns with the 1700s Oil, Shellac, or Wax finishes are more precious than those with new, Galvanized sides.

3. Track the Brand

It’s best to go for a branded antique butter churn if you want a rare, expensive model. So check the brand’s logo & stamp on its churns, barrels, metal parts, and barrels.

Now, simply compare the logo with the name and features for the estimated resale cost as given below!

Old Butter Churn BrandsUnique TraitsAverage Cost
Dazey Manufacturing CompanySquare or Rectangular glass jars with metal churn mechanisms, red football tops, and cranks$60 – 500
Standard Churn CompanyWooden barrel churns with table-top or floor-standing models & metal cranks$50 – 400
Blanchard ChurnBarrel churns with tall, narrow designs, wood cranks & dashers$80 – 1000
Anchor Brand (Lovell Manufacturing)Glass jar churns with metal & Wood dashers and an etched logo on the front$60 – 700
PotsdamLarge glass jar churns with screw lids, hand crank mechanisms, and signs$50 – 500
Red Wing StoneStoneware churns with cobalt blue designs, salt glazes & Signed dash$100 – 1000

Try to get large, 100 – 150 cm butter churns with long dashers and motors for a branded make.

4. Observe the Colors

Do you know that old butter churns from different colors per era? For instance, the early 1700s models had bare wood walls, while the 1900s ones used red & blue paint. Also, some used clear or textured finishes that altered the cost. Let’s see how!

Old Butter Churn ColorsAverage Value
Bare Wood, Brown & Beige$80 – 1000
White, Silver & Gray$20 – 500
Clear & Transparent$20 – 400
Warm Colors – Red & Yellow$80 – 700
Cool Colors – Blue & Green$30 – 400

5. Observe the Lid Types

You can also appraise your butter churn by observing its upper rims and lids! For that, just rotate the lid and see if it has metal cranks or screws. Also, note if it has any covers, dasher holes, or self-fitting mechanisms.

Here’s how different lid types change the resale cost below.

Old Butter Churn Lid TypesSpecial FeaturesEstimated Cost
Wooden Dasher LidsWooden covers with attached dashers & manual levers$60 – 900
Wood / Metal Crank LidsWood or Metal lids with crank mechanisms, paddles, and beaters$40 – 500
Screw-on LidsNormal, twisting lids with welded seals & attached paddles$80 – 600
Fitted LidsStone or Earth lids with thick, curved sections and a central dasher hole$100 – 1000

6. Analyze the Styles

Old butter churns have different styles, from Art Deco to Bauhaus, as per their era and region of manufacture. Of these, the early Bauhaus ones have geometric carvings, angles, and steel patterns, while the 1950s, contemporary ones might be minimal.

And here’s how to spot & value such different butter churn styles:

Vintage Butter Churn StylesAverage Price
Bauhaus (Steel & Geometric)$60 – 800
Art Deco (Geometric & Bold colored)$30 – 400
Colonial$10 – 500
Farmhouse (Linear shapes & Neutral colors)$30 – 250
Country Style – Tuscan, French & English$70 – 400

What Are Old Butter Churns Called?

Old butter churns are also called dasher staffs, churn staffs, churning sticks, plungers, and plumpers, based on their type and mechanism.

How Much Butter Does an Old, 1 Liter Butter Churn Make?

Antique butter churns usually make 300 – 400 grams of butter from 1-liter cream.

Antique butter churns are valuable kitchen collectibles, like old canning and mason jars. The only difference? These have some handmade wooden parts like dashers, lids, and spouts! Plus, most have different colors as per age & brand to help you value them quickly!

Judith Miller
Judith Miller

Judith is an antique expert with nearly 20 years of experience in the field of antique identification and valuation. She has reviewed over 30 thousand vintage items and has worked with numerous antique shops. She enjoys seeing new places, attending antique shows and events, and sharing her knowledge with people! Know more about me

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