Pewter and Other Metalware
Our main metalware interest is in antique pewter, so this page is primarily dominated by pewter. From time to time we will add other metal wares as appropriate. We are particularly fascinated by tankards, whether they be pewter tankards, silver tankards, or any other tankard of fine form and quality, so don't be surprised to even see silver tankards listed here. Just like with treen, we look for items with outstanding form. Whether originally a utilitarian item or a piece of art, we expect it to have an artistic appeal. We prefer metal wares, even silver pieces, to have a nice patina, but unlike with treen, where everyone would agree, many pewter and brass collectors will polish their collection, and almost all silver collectors do. While we don't collect polished pieces, we accept that some collectors like this look and we will sell them. Of course the surface, whether nicely patinated or polished, will be carefully noted in the description. Remember, except with silver, it takes years to gain a warm patina and only minutes to remove it.
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A scarce pint size lidded tankard in the classic tulip form. This piece does not have any inspection seals and must have been used privately. The surface shows the kind of minor light wear that one would expect on a carefully used piece. It was polished by a collector some time ago, but it has now taken on a pleasing light patina again. There is some brighter metal around the base that could indicate a repair. I see no evidence of a repair, but a lack of patina on pewter makes it harder to be sure. That is why repaired pieces are always polished, and why it is always safer to buy patinated pieces. Stands 6 inches high.
A scarce pint size lidded tankard in the classic tulip form. A very nice crisp surface, with none of the scratches that come from careless use. There is one ding in the rim, but other than that, there are no dings worth mentioning. It was polished by a collector some time ago, but it has now taken on a pleasing light patina again. The original polishing job was a lazy one, so the piece is dark around the handle joint and thumbpiece, with dried polish left around the thumbpiece, since these areas are harder to acess. The thumbpiece is pushed forward. Stands 7 1/2 inches high.
This is a nice as found pint size tavern pot (mug) of the mid-19th Century. It is signed on the inside bottom, as many were. The mark is crisp, but I don't recognize it. It appears in the enlarged photo. The mug has nice original color and a well executed monogram engraved on the front. There are a few dings on the handle that don't look all that old, but otherwise it has a very nice as found feel about it, with only light original wear commensurate with its age. The patina is what I would call medium, not light, but not very dark either. I find the color on this one to be particularly pleasing. Stands 4 1/2 inches high.
A 1/2 pint measure with that lovely glowing patina that some pewter takes on when it has been handled but never cleaned and never left to oxidize. I am not sure if this was used as a measure or a small tankard, but it only has one inspection seal, a Victorian one. The rim is totally out of round from being bent so many times. There is also a small crack in the rim at the handle where it has been bent . Stands only 3 1/2" high. Having said all that, this is still a lovely decorative little piece at a gift price.
This is an English brass tobacco box, perhaps belonging to a seaman owing to the nautical theme. It is engraved "T. Parry, Stoke" and has engraved scenes of a lighthouse and a ship. Stoke is a village that is now part of Plymouth and there is a lighthouse there. This is the first marine themed tobacco box that I have had. The Dutch tobacco boxes are common but the English ones are certainly not. I only wish that it had been dated, but that would be asking too much. (Of course there are plenty of dealers who would have been happy to add a date). The top has a nice light patina and the engraving is still crisp and clear. The sides and the bottom have been polished. It would be interesting to do some research on who T. Parry was. With a specific location, like Stoke, this should be possible. Measures 2" by 5". A highly recommended piece.
This is a superb engraved federal pewter teapot. The engraving and the form make it positively identifiable as the work of Israel Trask. This piece was clearly a special order piece, as the original owners initials are engraved on the piece in a way that appears to be done by the maker. This might explain why it is not marked since it is marked for the owner. The original ebonized wood handle has not been refinished and retains most of its original ebonizing. The use of a wood handle allows us to date this piece to the early part of Trask's career. The surface has been polished but for piece intended for fashionable tea parties that does not bother me. The surface has very light pitting in some spots but overall this is a very nice piece and priced about half of what a similar signed piece would fetch.
This is a small American pewter porringer by two of the most famous Connecticut pewterers. The diameter at the rim is 4". Used but not abused. Cleaned by a collector some time ago it now has some light patina again. The linen mark is not strong but is still clearly visible. A nice honest example of a flower handled American pewter porringer that would look good in any collection.
This is an unmarked American pewter porringer. The handle form is identical to that used by the Danforths and Boardmans. The diameter at the rim is 4 1/4". Used but not abused. Nice color with good patina. Probably has never been cleaned by a collector. The linen mark is faint but visible. The bowl has that uneven surface that comes from years of daily use, with one heavier dent where it was probably dropped. There is no damage and this is a good example of a flower handled American pewter porringer and a steal for the money.
This is a 14" pewter plate with a deep well. The plate bears the crisp and clearly legible touchmark of J. Schilbach of Leipzig on the back and on the front it has an applied seal and the date 1832 is engraved on the rim. The seal has some German writing and depicts a bird holding a gun. This motif looks very familiar but I can't place where. It came out of a collection that was formed in New Jersey before WW2. It has never been cleaned and has a heavily oxidized surface but with no pitting. The surface looks good and we would just wax it and leave it alone. The piece is in nice condition except for the obvious melted hole in the middle. The hole is 2 1/2 inches at the widest. Well worth restoring. Condition excluding the hole is:
This is a classic tulip form English silver tankard. The overall height is 8" inches to the top of the thumbpiece. The bottom and the inside of the lid both bear crisp legible hallmarks for London, 1776-7. The maker's mark is JL with a dot between the J and L about halfway up. This mark is listed for Joseph Lock in "London Goldsmiths 1697-1837" by Arthur Grimswade. The tankard is truly wonderful. It is in very nice original condition, with a period armorial engraving on the front. The handle terminates in a heart. It has no dents or dings and is really in much better condition than we are used to seeing. The silver has not been polished in some time and has a light tarnish. We bought this tankard in a New York auction some years ago and were told at the time that it came out of an old New England estate.