Pewter has a very ancient history, it’s use dates back at least 3000 years. The first known Pewter vessels being used in the ancient world by the Egyptians and later the Romans, and came into extensive use in Europe from the Middle Ages.
Tankards may be the most familiar pewter artifacts from the late 17th and 18th centuries, although the metal was also used for many other items including porringers, plates, dishes, basins, spoons, measures, flagons, communion cups, teapots, sugar bowls, beer steins, and cream jugs.
Mass production of pottery, porcelain and glass products has seen pewter universally replaced in day-to-day life. Today, beautiful Pewter wares continue to be produced as decorative objects, mainly collectible statuettes and figurines, game figures, aircraft and other models, (replica) coins, pendants, plated jewelery and so on.
Prior to the 19th century Pewter contained Tin, alloyed with lead. Pewter as we know it today is 100% lead free it’s main constituent still being Tin, alloyed with Antimony (for lustre), and Copper (for strength). All modern Pewter is of food grade quality, safe to use, and is intended for every day use.
How to Care for Your Pewter
Pewter is a soft metal alloy that over time develops a patina and can easily be scratched or dented, however with proper care it can last for generations.
Certain conditions can cause pewter to oxidize or darken, however pewter will not tarnish like silver and copper. Pewter should be cleaned with warm soapy water right after use, rinsed, then dried with a soft cloth.
- Do not clean your Pewterware in the dishwasher, heat and detergents can damage the polished surface.
- Do not use household cleaners.
- Do not put acidic substances in your pewterware, such as fruit juices, it can stain the surface.
And above all enjoy your Pewterware, it will give you many years pleasure, for a few moments of care.