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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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c. 1820 Dr. Franklin's Maxims Mug
May 14, 10:00 AM EDT
c. 1820 Dr. Franklin's Maxims Mug
by Fleischer's Auction House
Est: $100- $200
$302 Bids
Tiki Farm Vintage Mugs (3)
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Tiki Farm Vintage Mugs (3)
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $100- $300
$251 Bid
Vintage Tiki Mugs (3)
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Vintage Tiki Mugs (3)
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $100- $300
$251 Bid
Tiki Mugs and Bottle
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Tiki Mugs and Bottle
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $100- $300
$251 Bid
Tiki Collectible Mugs (3)
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Tiki Collectible Mugs (3)
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $100- $300
$251 Bid
Jimmy Buffett, Pink Panther & More Tiki Mugs (5)
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Jimmy Buffett, Pink Panther & More Tiki Mugs (5)
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $100- $300
$251 Bid
A Collection of Novelty Mugs including The Simpsons, The Beatles, ACDC & Bundaburg Rum, In Original Boxes
Apr 22, 2:00 PM AEST
A Collection of Novelty Mugs including The Simpsons, The Beatles, ACDC & Bundaburg Rum, In Original Boxes
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD60- AUD80
AUD301 Bid
Trader Vic's Las Vegas Tiki Souvenirs
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Trader Vic's Las Vegas Tiki Souvenirs
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $100- $300
$251 Bid
Tiki Farm Collectible Mugs (5)
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Tiki Farm Collectible Mugs (5)
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $100- $300
$251 Bid
Trader Vic's, Gold Tone & Another Tiki Mug (3)
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Trader Vic's, Gold Tone & Another Tiki Mug (3)
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $100- $300
$251 Bid
Deadhead Rum, Kon Tiki & Another Tiki Farm Mug (3)
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Deadhead Rum, Kon Tiki & Another Tiki Farm Mug (3)
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $100- $300
$251 Bid
Hula Girl, Tiki Bar, Solomon's Island Tiki Mugs (3
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Hula Girl, Tiki Bar, Solomon's Island Tiki Mugs (3
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $100- $300
$251 Bid
Tiki Farm Mugs Alohabilly Betty, The Goof & Other
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Tiki Farm Mugs Alohabilly Betty, The Goof & Other
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $150
$251 Bid
Tiki Farm & Ron Jon Surf Shop Tiki Mugs (4)
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Tiki Farm & Ron Jon Surf Shop Tiki Mugs (4)
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $150
$251 Bid
Trader Vic's, Don Ho & Other Tiki Mugs
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Trader Vic's, Don Ho & Other Tiki Mugs
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $150
$251 Bid
Kon Tiki, Aku Aku & More Tiki Mugs (4)
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Kon Tiki, Aku Aku & More Tiki Mugs (4)
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $150
$251 Bid
Trader Vic's, Appleton Rum & Another Tiki Mug (4)
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Trader Vic's, Appleton Rum & Another Tiki Mug (4)
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $150
$251 Bid
Las Vegas, Tiki Farm, Mai Kai Tiki Mugs (4)
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Las Vegas, Tiki Farm, Mai Kai Tiki Mugs (4)
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $150
$251 Bid
Lava Lamp Tiki Mug, San Fran Tiki & Another
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Lava Lamp Tiki Mug, San Fran Tiki & Another
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $100- $300
$251 Bid
Vintage Tiki Mugs (4)
Apr 26, 8:30 AM EDT
Vintage Tiki Mugs (4)
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $100- $300
$251 Bid
Bow Porcelain Factory Tankard, 1750-55
Apr 21, 10:00 AM EDT
Bow Porcelain Factory Tankard, 1750-55
by Devin Moisan Auctioneers, Inc.
Est: $300- $500
$1501 Bid
Antique c. 1890 Drink Hires Root Beer Mettlach Villeroy & Boch Stoneware Mug
May 06, 6:00 PM EDT
Antique c. 1890 Drink Hires Root Beer Mettlach Villeroy & Boch Stoneware Mug
by One Source Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$151 Bid
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16 X SNOOPY / PEANUTS COFFEE MUGS CELEBRATING 45 YEARS, FOUR DIFFERENT MOTIFS – LIMITED EDITION IN 1995
Apr 26, 9:00 AM AEST
16 X SNOOPY / PEANUTS COFFEE MUGS CELEBRATING 45 YEARS, FOUR DIFFERENT MOTIFS – LIMITED EDITION IN 1995
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD101 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Mugs & Tankards


Keystone Auctions LLC

Keystone Auctions LLC

Bonhams

Bonhams

Sheppards

Sheppards

Amelia Jeffers

Amelia Jeffers