What Do Antique Pewter Makers Marks Indicate?


Quick Answer

A maker's mark on pewter typically indicates the pewterer who made the piece, but marks may also be indicate ownership, a catalog number or the capacity for drinking vessels or measures. Pewter is a soft, easy-to-mark metal, so marks were often added well after a piece was made.

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What Do Antique Pewter Makers Marks Indicate?
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Full Answer

Pewterers in England and Ireland were usually members of a guild and fairly regulated, but makers elsewhere often copied British markings because of the reputation and quality of British pewter. Vessels intended for measurement or used in pubs often have capacity marks. Pieces may also have verification marks from being inspected, sometimes even showing the year of inspection.

Letters, particularly three letters forming a triangular design, are usually the initials of the owners. Script monograms or coats of arms were also used. If the piece was owned by a pub or a church, it may have a name or symbol indicating ownership. There may be a merchant's name, depending on where the piece was sold. Numbers on a piece could be a catalog number, especially if the piece was from a large producer. Four-digit catalog numbers might be confused with a date without further research.

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