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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 England was a pewter center from the Middle Ages; pewter was the chief tableware until it was superseded by china.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 ?
The Museum owns an almost identical dish by the early 17th-century Nuremberg pewterer, Caspar Enderlein, who replaced Briot's signature with his own (Mus.
One of the first to arrive was Christopher Bancks, who came down from Wigan in 1697 to work as a pewterer in Wribbenhall, and established a family firm that continued to operate for the next century and more.
If the glaziers, plumbers, pewterers and painters merit a plaque on the wall, you'd think some of the greatest poets of the 20th Century would be deserving of similar.
Delighted Shakespeare Birthplace Trust director Roger Pringle said: "The Worshipful Company of Pewterers has been most supportive of our work with the Nelsh Collection.
Among the artefacts on display will include British-Romano platters recovered from the River Thames and a pilgrim badge depicting Thomas a Becket, which are on show alongside modern pieces loaned by the Worshipful Company of Pewterers.
Today, Danforth Pewterers handcraft pewter jewelry, giftware and accessories.
Alex's collection will be complemented each year by temporary displays, beginning with the exhibition of Millennium Pewter from the Worshipful Company of Pewterers.
The house is reached down the old Pewterers Alley or by a footpath from the town's picturesque bridge, just a few yards west of the property.