My Lords and Ladies, I have prepared a feast for you. This salute could be heard from before the birth of Christ at most palaces or royal dwellings and you may be assured that the items used to serve up the feast were pewter. From drinking mugs to plates and platters, the food would be served in quantities that amazes us even today, as we watch movies about the olden days. When they did use hollowware, it was made from pewter.
I have never been a big fan of pewter items, but that shouldn't stop me from including them in my search for treasure. There are many people who think pewter is the creme de la creme of the collecting world. To me, it is just a bluish gray metal that has no appeal.
Since it was formulated with tin, lead and copper, we now know that most pewter shouldn't be used for food, especially if the lead content is high. The downfall of pewter came with the development of glass and porcelain as preferred materials in the making of kitchen items. These gave the manufacturers more flexibility for design and decoration than pewter. However, with the discontinuance of the usage of pewter, the items made from it started to become very collectible.
From the Kovel's price guide, I will share with you just a few of the pewter items worthy of mentioning.
What do you think of this little jewel: 4 X 5 inch bowl Federal, Molded lid, Beaded rim, Circular Domed Foot, Phil. 1800, $6900. How could a bowl that small hold enough food to make it worth that kind of money I ask you? Vase Archibald Knox, Bullet, 3 Buttresses, Embossed, 7 inch pair $3000. Platter , Thomas Compton, Oval, London, 26 X 20 inches $1550.
I know you're saying “I have heard prices in the tens of thousands for pewter” and you would be right. At a sale known as the Goodwin Pewter Sale, there were many pieces that sold for $3000 to $8000 in 2006. In 2005 there was a tankard sold at a Pook and Pook auction that brought $41,400 and the next year another tankard was said to have sold privately for many times that record price.
To find out more about pewter you might want to investigate the Pewter Collector Club of America.
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