Loading Spinner

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

See all items

Antique Bicycle Occupational Shaving Mug
Dec 03, 9:00 AM CST
Antique Bicycle Occupational Shaving Mug
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $100- $300
$752 Bids
Antique (3) BPOE Mettlach Mugs [Minneapolis]
Nov 30, 9:00 AM PST
Antique (3) BPOE Mettlach Mugs [Minneapolis]
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $50- $100
$602 Bids
Antique Piano Salesman Occupational Shaving Mug
Dec 03, 9:00 AM CST
Antique Piano Salesman Occupational Shaving Mug
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $100- $300
$501 Bid
Group of 6 Antique Bird and Rabbit Shaving Mugs
Dec 03, 9:00 AM CST
Group of 6 Antique Bird and Rabbit Shaving Mugs
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $100- $300
$501 Bid
Antique Baker Occupational Shaving Mug
Dec 03, 9:00 AM CST
Antique Baker Occupational Shaving Mug
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $100- $300
$501 Bid
Antique Hunter Occupational Shaving Mug
Dec 03, 9:00 AM CST
Antique Hunter Occupational Shaving Mug
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $100- $300
$501 Bid
Group of 2 Antique Occupational Shaving Mugs
Dec 03, 9:00 AM CST
Group of 2 Antique Occupational Shaving Mugs
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $100- $300
$501 Bid
Tibetan Gilt Buddha
Nov 30, 11:30 AM EST
Tibetan Gilt Buddha
by Latair Auctions
Est: $500- $800
$1001 Bid
Antique (2) BPOE Mettlach Mugs [Minneapolis]
Nov 30, 9:00 AM PST
Antique (2) BPOE Mettlach Mugs [Minneapolis]
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $50- $80
$201 Bid
Vintage (5) BPOE Mugs
Nov 30, 9:00 AM PST
Vintage (5) BPOE Mugs
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $50- $70
$201 Bid
Scandinavian painted tankard and piggin, 19th c.
Dec 02, 9:00 AM EST
Scandinavian painted tankard and piggin, 19th c.
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
Group of 3 Antique Occupational Shaving Mugs
Dec 03, 9:00 AM CST
Group of 3 Antique Occupational Shaving Mugs
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $100- $300
$501 Bid
Scandinavian painted tankard, 19th c.
Dec 02, 9:00 AM EST
Scandinavian painted tankard, 19th c.
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
Large beer mug, Hauber & Reuther, around 1885.
Dec 03, 10:00 AM CET
Large beer mug, Hauber & Reuther, around 1885.
by Auktionshaus Wersching
Est: €0- €0
€301 Bid
Pisgah Forest N.C. Art Pottery Cameo Mug Collection
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Pisgah Forest N.C. Art Pottery Cameo Mug Collection
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$501 Bid
Antique Accountant Occupational Shaving Mug
Dec 03, 9:00 AM CST
Antique Accountant Occupational Shaving Mug
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $100- $300
$501 Bid
Vintage (7) BPOE Convention and Lodge Mugs
Nov 30, 9:00 AM PST
Vintage (7) BPOE Convention and Lodge Mugs
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $50- $100
$200 Bids
Antique (9) BPOE Elks Lodge Mugs {Shaving]
Nov 30, 9:00 AM PST
Antique (9) BPOE Elks Lodge Mugs {Shaving]
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $50- $100
$200 Bids
BPOE Elks Lodge (6) Mugs [Warwick]
Nov 30, 9:00 AM PST
BPOE Elks Lodge (6) Mugs [Warwick]
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $50- $100
$200 Bids
BPOE Elks Lodge (4) Mugs [11th Hour]
Nov 30, 9:00 AM PST
BPOE Elks Lodge (4) Mugs [11th Hour]
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $50- $100
$200 Bids
Vintage BPOE Tankard / Mugs 3 PC Set
Nov 30, 9:00 AM PST
Vintage BPOE Tankard / Mugs 3 PC Set
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $50- $70
$200 Bids
Vintage (11) BPOE Demi Cups and Mugs
Nov 30, 9:00 AM PST
Vintage (11) BPOE Demi Cups and Mugs
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $50- $100
$200 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Mugs & Tankards


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC

Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC