Learn about Pewter
Pewter is an alloy of tin hardened with small amounts of other metals such as copper, lead, zinc, antimony and sometimes silver. The craft of pewtering started in antiquity - the earliest known item, a flask dating from c1450 BC, was found in Egypt.
Pewter is believed to have been introduced to Britain by the Romans, who exploited the main source of tin in Europe at the time, which was in Cornwall. The craft fell into decline after the Romans withdrew from Britain but it is thought that the Cistercian monks reintroduced it after the Norman Conquest in AD 1066.
Known as "the poor man's silver", production spread throughout the country with a wide range of mainly domestic goods being made.
In the year 1348 Articles were granted to the Worshipful Company of Pewterers in London, which enabled them to control the quality of pewter. Two grades of pewter were specified, and then later a further grade was added, and these three grades were adhered to until the 20th century. more...