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Mugs & Tankards

From Moorcroft mugs to stoneware steins, the field of antique and vintage mugs and tankards is an expansive one. Including any large cylindrical cup with a single handle, mugs and tankards can trace their origins to the Middle Ages.

Wooden drinking vessels in the 1200s were the first to be referred to as tankards, laying the foundation for the rich tradition that followed. These initial versions were not lidded, but the rise of sanitation concerns in the wake of the Black Death led to the innovation of the lidded mug. They were believed to be so effective in preventing the spread of disease that these covered tankards became mandatory in Germany by the early years of the 16th century.

At the same time, new materials were incorporated into tankard designs. Evolving from the initial wooden format, pewter and silver became customary alongside ceramic stoneware, which proved remarkably durable for such a well-used vessel. Mugs and tankards continue to be produced and enjoyed in the present day.


Quick Facts

  • The record for the world's largest pewter tankard goes to the Royal Selangor company, located in Setapak, Malaysia. The tankard weighs more than 3,400 pounds and can hold more than 94,000 fluid ounces
  • The glass bottom that is featured in many antique metal tankards bears different interpretations among experts. Some experts have suggested that the glass bottom allowed tavern-goers to avoid being duped
  • A pair of 17th century James II large silver tankards known as the "Brownlow Tankards" by English silversmith John Duck set a record for tankard sales at a Christie's auction in London. Featuring elaborate decorative motifs, the two vessels sold in 2000 for $1,423,145

Recommended Items at Auction

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(17pc) Studio Art Pottery Bowls, Mugs & Dish
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
(17pc) Studio Art Pottery Bowls, Mugs & Dish
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$253 Bids
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SANTA MUSIC BOX AND MUG
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
SANTA MUSIC BOX AND MUG
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$42 Bids
Set of 3 Tiffany & Co. MANHATTAN BLUE Coffee Mugs
Nov 07, 12:00 PM EDT
Set of 3 Tiffany & Co. MANHATTAN BLUE Coffee Mugs
by Palm Beach Modern Auctions
Est: $50- $75
$251 Bid
COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION STONEWARE MUG & ADV CHINA
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION STONEWARE MUG & ADV CHINA
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$501 Bid
Anasazi Black-on-White Miniature Pottery Mug, with Skunk Handle
Nov 03, 10:00 AM MDT
Anasazi Black-on-White Miniature Pottery Mug, with Skunk Handle
by Hindman
Est: $300- $500
$1501 Bid
Railroad China:
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
Railroad China:
by Gateway Gallery Auction
Est: $0- $0
$201 Bid
Assortment of vintage and modern Japanese porcelain etc, to include mugs and tea set etc
Oct 31, 9:30 AM AEDT
Assortment of vintage and modern Japanese porcelain etc, to include mugs and tea set etc
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD20- AUD30
AUD101 Bid
Four Toby Mugs
Oct 30, 9:00 AM EDT
Four Toby Mugs
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$51 Bid
Toby Mugs, Pitcher, etc.
Oct 30, 9:00 AM EDT
Toby Mugs, Pitcher, etc.
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$51 Bid
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LOT OF MUGS
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
LOT OF MUGS
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
Tiffany and Co. Sterling Creamer, Birks Mug
Oct 29, 9:30 AM EDT
Tiffany and Co. Sterling Creamer, Birks Mug
by Merrill's Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
A NUREMBERG BLUE PAINTED FAYENCE TANKARD
Nov 09, 9:30 AM CET
A NUREMBERG BLUE PAINTED FAYENCE TANKARD
by Nagel Auction
Est: €500- €501
€5001 Bid
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PFALTZGRAFF DISHES, COFFEE MUGS AND GLASS SET
Nov 02, 12:00 PM EDT
PFALTZGRAFF DISHES, COFFEE MUGS AND GLASS SET
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
Souvenir mug from Niagara Falls
Nov 01, 11:30 PM EDT
Souvenir mug from Niagara Falls
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $40- $50
$250 Bids
Souvenir mug from Niagara Falls
Nov 01, 11:30 PM EDT
Souvenir mug from Niagara Falls
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $40- $50
$250 Bids
Vintage Souvenir mug from Niagara Falls
Nov 01, 11:30 PM EDT
Vintage Souvenir mug from Niagara Falls
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $40- $50
$250 Bids
19TH CENTURY AMERICAN REDWARE MUG
Oct 30, 3:00 PM EDT
19TH CENTURY AMERICAN REDWARE MUG
by RB Fine Arts
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Mocha mug, earthworm motif
Nov 20, 9:00 AM EST
Mocha mug, earthworm motif
by Horst Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$300 Bids
Molded yellowware Rockingham glazed mug
Nov 19, 4:00 PM EST
Molded yellowware Rockingham glazed mug
by Horst Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$300 Bids
A SET OF ROYAL BAYREUTH PORCELAIN ELK CREAMER MUG
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
A SET OF ROYAL BAYREUTH PORCELAIN ELK CREAMER MUG
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$100 Bids
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alter Bierkrug "In der Sennhütte" betitelt, Zinndeckel,
Oct 30, 11:00 AM CEST
alter Bierkrug "In der Sennhütte" betitelt, Zinndeckel,
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€150 Bids
(2) 1996 COLLECTIBLE GARFIELD MUG AND ORNAMENT SET
Oct 28, 11:00 AM EDT
(2) 1996 COLLECTIBLE GARFIELD MUG AND ORNAMENT SET
by Premier Auctions Live
Est: $20- $40
$100 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Mugs & Tankards


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Auktionshalle Cuxhaven

Auktionshalle Cuxhaven

Sheppards

Sheppards