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Pewter Metalware

Pewter, an alloy of tin with small amounts of other metals, usually lead or copper, is a durable material made by casting in a mold. Pewter metalware can be plain or decorated using engraving techniques which allow artists to create carved patterns on the object’s surface.

By the 14th century, pewterer guilds were established across Europe, notably in Paris, London, Hamburg, Strasbourg, Rouen, and York. At that time, the guilds provided work for craftsmen in their town as well as guidelines for the production and sale of pewter, which was purchased predominantly by the elite classes. During the 18th and 19th centuries, workshops and factories in European countries manufactured as much as 30,000 tons of pewter per year, making metalware objects such as plates, bowls, cups, teapots, pitchers, ice buckets, and candlesticks. The more efficient and widespread production of pewter objects made them more affordable, and they were subsequently purchased by members of all levels of society.

Collectors appreciate pewter metalware for its important role in European history, its vast range of imagery and stylistic elements, and its decorative qualities. A wide selection of pewter objects made during different historical moments is available at auction today.


Quick Facts

  • On May 1, 2007, Christie’s London sold an English pewter pear-shaped flagon for $83,958
  • On September 27, 2012, Sotheby’s New York sold an assortment of 18th and 19th-century American pewter items for $21,250
  • Historically, pewter metalware was made with lead, which over time could cause lead poisoning. However, today most pewter today is made with tin and copper

Recommended Items at Auction

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Decorative Accessories
Mar 01, 5:00 PM EST
Decorative Accessories
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$102 Bids
German pewter flagon, dated 1704, bearing the touc
Feb 28, 9:00 AM EST
German pewter flagon, dated 1704, bearing the touc
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $100- $200
$1002 Bids
AN ART NOUVEAU TWIN HANDLED PEWTER DISH together with a figural lamp. Largest 28 cm high. (2)
Feb 27, 10:00 AM GMT
AN ART NOUVEAU TWIN HANDLED PEWTER DISH together with a figural lamp. Largest 28 cm high. (2)
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £40- £60
£41 Bid
Collection Antique Kayserzinn Germany Pewter
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Collection Antique Kayserzinn Germany Pewter
by Greenwich Auction
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
Early Pewter Inkwell with Insert, England, 6 x 2 in. (15.2 x 5.1 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Early Pewter Inkwell with Insert, England, 6 x 2 in. (15.2 x 5.1 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$201 Bid
Pewter Standish and Case
Mar 02, 9:00 AM EST
Pewter Standish and Case
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$51 Bid
Miniature Pewter Figurines
Feb 27, 5:00 PM EST
Miniature Pewter Figurines
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$11 Bid
8 X Antique English Pewter Pieces, No makers Marks to Sifters,4x Bulbous Measures circa 1830s
Feb 28, 7:00 PM AEDT
8 X Antique English Pewter Pieces, No makers Marks to Sifters,4x Bulbous Measures circa 1830s
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD201 Bid
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LOT OF ANTIQUE PEWTER
Feb 29, 9:00 AM AEST
LOT OF ANTIQUE PEWTER
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD101 Bid
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LOT OF PEWTER, INCLUDING ANTIQUE,
Feb 29, 9:00 AM AEST
LOT OF PEWTER, INCLUDING ANTIQUE,
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD101 Bid
(6) Michael Ricker Pewter Nativity Scene Figures
Mar 02, 10:00 AM MST
(6) Michael Ricker Pewter Nativity Scene Figures
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Pewter
Mar 01, 5:00 PM EST
Pewter
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$51 Bid
Massachusetts Pewter Plates
Mar 01, 5:00 PM EST
Massachusetts Pewter Plates
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$51 Bid
Connecticut Pewter Plates
Mar 01, 5:00 PM EST
Connecticut Pewter Plates
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$51 Bid
Antique Pewter
Mar 01, 5:00 PM EST
Antique Pewter
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$51 Bid
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A Tea Chest
Feb 27, 10:00 AM CET
A Tea Chest
by Veilinghuis de Jager
Est: €240- €500
€1601 Bid
1982 Hudson Pewter Mt. Rushmore Sculpture
Feb 26, 10:00 AM EST
1982 Hudson Pewter Mt. Rushmore Sculpture
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
2 Early Pewter Plates with Touchmarks, 10 in. (25.4 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
2 Early Pewter Plates with Touchmarks, 10 in. (25.4 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$201 Bid
Early Pewter Lidded Stein with Touchmarks, 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Early Pewter Lidded Stein with Touchmarks, 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$201 Bid
Pewter Collection Lot
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
Pewter Collection Lot
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $40- $80
$100 Bids
19thc Pewter Pub Gill Tankard
Mar 02, 2:00 PM EST
19thc Pewter Pub Gill Tankard
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $50- $100
$400 Bids
Vintage Pewter Saucier Gravy Boat Pitcher
Mar 02, 2:00 PM EST
Vintage Pewter Saucier Gravy Boat Pitcher
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $40- $80
$300 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Pewter Metalware