Antique Pewter is a metal alloy composed primarily of tin with varying amounts of copper, antimony, bismuth and sometimes lead.
It was first used in the manufacture of vessels by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and other ancient civilizations.
In Europe, pewter was utilized extensively from medieval times through the 18th century when pottery and porcelain replaced it as the materials of choice for serving food and drink.
Pewter was also made and used in great quantities throughout North America from the colonial period to the 1860s.
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In May, the Philadelphia Museum of Art opened 90,000 square feet of new public space designed by Frank Gehry and costing $230 million. Prominent in the new space are galleries devoted to Early American Art – “a highlight of the museum’s extensive renovation project.” Of particular interest to us, the new space exhibits many iconic examples of American pewter, selected from the museum’s own outstanding collection as well as borrowed from PCCA members. The pewter pieces are compared with similar forms in silver. Pewter masterpieces include a Robert Bonnynge church cup; flagons by Samuel Danforth, Parks Boyd and William Will; a mug by Parks Boyd; a cream pot by John Will; a coffeepot by William Will; and teapots by Johann Alberti, Thomas Boardman, LOVE, and Israel Trask. The pieces borrowed from PCCA members will be on display for only the first six months, so visit soon if you can.
For additional information on the PCCA and on American Pewter, including a brief history, a glossary, an excellent comprehensive bibliography and much more, explore our site. Click on "About Pewter" at the top or the
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