The History of Pewter
Prized for its workability and beauty,
pewter has survived for over 2,000 years.
The use of pewter spans all countries and cultures.
Over time pewter became the replacement for household items
made of clay, leather
By the eighteenth century, pewter was the most prevalent metal
in the lives
of common people.
As the industry grew, guilds were formed throughout Europe.
One of the largest and most influential was
"The Worshipful Company of Pewterers" of London,
which was formed
Guilds were given the power to regulate all aspects of the craft;
from the training
of an apprentice
through to the composition of the pewter.
Members of the guild were required
to register “touch marks”
which would identify their work.
Little did these pewtersmiths of old realize
how valuable touch marks would become to the modern collector.
The use of pewter reached its peak in the 17th century when, from birth
people were surrounded by pewter bottles and spoons; items for
eating and drinking,
and serving; bleeding bowls, bedpans, and snuffboxes.
Taverns used mugs and measures,
churches used flagons, chalices,
patens and baptismal bowls.
Pewter arrived in America with the colonists.
However raw materials from England
were heavily taxed
so pewterers reworked damaged goods from Europe
metal to form new items.
Noteworthy American pewter designs began to appear
between the years 1750- 1850.
Some of the recognized pewter masters from that
William Will, Robert Bonynge, Samuel Danforth, Peter Young and Parks
With the mass production of pottery and china toward the end of the 18th century
and the introduction of electroplating, the use of pewter for utilitarian purposes
Towards the end of the 19th century The Arts and Craft movement brought
in the interest in handcrafted work
and a renewed interest in the
Today pewter is studied, collected, displayed and treasured.