Pewter 1600-1800

The early part of this period is described as the Golden Age for pewter manufacture, a time when even grand houses used pewter as well as silver for domestic use and a time which preceded the introduction of mass-produced ceramic wares, which ultimately replaced pewter, especially plates and drinking vessels.

pewter+1600Items from this period are obviously much rarer than those from the 19th century. At the bottom end of the market, damaged and worn pewterwares were often melted down and the metal re-used. Changes in standards for liquid measures also made items redundant and if they could not be modified, these were also abandoned or destroyed. Nevertheless, there are many superb pieces still around from this era and most collectors will soon strive to acquire examples. Sadware – plates, dishes and chargers – are the most plentiful and these often have clear and interesting makers’ and other marks.

It is common nowadays for what is described as ‘sadware’, to be referred to as ‘flatware’, although the latter more properly refers to forks, spoons, etc. Along with ‘hollowware’ for mugs, cups, flagons, etc., both terms are understood.

Early pewter

Much of this has been excavated or found in rivers and other waterways and as such often has archaeological interest. Items are however, rare and are correspondingly more difficult to find. All depends on the individual collector, his or her interests, persistence and especially pocket!

Pewter 1600-1800
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One Response to “Pewter 1600-1800”

  1. jeff cullen


    I have an unusual (I think) type of pewter candle holder. It is a small plate, 5/8 inches in diameter, with 5 lobes, double reeded with an incised line for the border. It also has a spoke/thorn in the center for the candle to be applied or affixed (also of pewter). The piece is cast with the thorn of the same material as the tiny plate candle holder. My belief is this piece would have been a pewter place setting for a candle and would have had a pewter matching plate for each person around the table.

    Are you familiar with this form of tableware and if so can you tell me date of usage and what country would have had this kind of setting?

    There is a partial touch mark of the pewterer on the back center of the candle plate, of an angel that has a scale on her right above the wing with the letter “E” below the wing on the right side of her body within the circle of the mark/cartouche. The touch mark of the angle is raised not incised. The left side is gone. Very lightly above the touch mark on the back is the written scratched/etched lettering “7 s o”.

    I can send photos if interested.

    Any information will be appreciated.

    Thank you for your time in considering my information request.

    Regards, Jeff