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any of a number of ductile, silver-white alloys consisting principally of tin. The properties vary with the percentage of tin and the nature of the added materials. Lead, when added, imparts a bluish tinge and increased malleability and tends to escape from the alloy in poisonous quantities if the percentage used is too large; antimony adds whiteness and hardness. Other metals including copper, bismuth, and zinc can also be added. Pewter is shaped by casting, hammering, or lathe spinning on a mold and is usually simply ornamented with rims, moldings, or engraving, although some Continental display ware, especially of the Renaissance period in France and Germany, shows intricate ornamentation. Pewter was early used in East Asia, and Roman pieces are extant. England was a pewter center from the Middle Ages; pewter was the chief tableware until it was superseded by china. America imported much English pewter in colonial times and from c.1700 made large quantities. The craft had virtually disappeared by 1850 but was revived in the 20th cent. in reproductions and in pieces of modern design. The collection and study of pewter are increasingly popular, although relatively little old pewter has been preserved because of its small intrinsic value and of the ease with which it may be melted and reused. Pieces made of britannia metalbritannia metal,
silvery-white alloy of tin with antimony, copper, and sometimes bismuth and zinc. It is very similar in appearance to pewter, but is harder. It is used widely for the manufacture of tableware.
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 are similar in appearance to pewter ware.


See L. L. Laughlin, Pewter in America (1969); and H. J. Kauffman, The American Pewterer (1970); C. F. Montgomery, A History of American Pewter (1973).


An alloy that typically contained tin as the principal component and some antimony and copper; older produced pewter typically contains lead along with the other components.


a. any of various alloys containing tin (80--90 per cent), lead (10--20 per cent), and sometimes small amounts of other metals, such as copper and antimony
b. (as modifier): pewter ware
a. a bluish-grey colour
b. (as adjective): pewter tights
References in periodicals archive ?
Dating from 1717 its inscriptions translate as "This is the loving cup of the Most Worshipful Company of Pewterers, 24 June 1717" and "Drink and be Merry so that we are all friends together".
Around 1,200 well-preserved pieces include plates, platters, porringers, salts and flagons, some carrying the marks of pewterers in Antwerp and Bruges, but many others made in England for the export market.
7, which required all corporate bodies to present their ordinances for approval by the King's high officers (see Welch, History of the Worshipful Company of Pewterers, vol.
It can then be rolled into thin sheets and shaped, as the pewterers did in Birmingham and Sheffield, or cast in moulds as happened in Bewdley.
Migrants kept in touch with their native villages, like the families of London pewterers who maintained contact with the Bedfordshire village of Arlesey.
Building 49 contains pewterers with jewellers, needle makers, and similar metal workers.
The collection has been loaned to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust by the Worshipful Company of Pewterers.
Moments after Barbara Payne strolled down the quiet little alley, she had taken the decision to put an offer in to buy Pewterers House.
It forms part of the 13th Century City Walls and in the early 17th Century was the meeting place of the Company of Glaziers, Plumbers, Pewterers and Painters.
Danforth Pewterers is presenting almost 100 new jewelry and giftware designs at the major summer gift shows, including the New York Gift Show, Aug.
In this country, standards for the manufacture of pewter were laid down from the late 15th century onwards by the Worshipful Company of Pewterers.
Mr Williams, who is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Pewterers, said: 'I have heard the sculptor took a replica back to the people who created the original bull and they were so disgusted they threw it into the furnace.