At some point in history, pewter was considered to be proof that you were amongst the richer people in society. If you used pewter in your home, then you were looked up to by the people. Churches also used pewter in masses. This was before pewter items started becoming popular around the 1500s and the 1800s.
Because of this, collectors have seen the value in pewter mugs, chalices, dishes, and other items, and started collecting authentic pieces from before the 1500s and even the common ones that came thereafter.
Read the following tips and suggestions to help you get started on your own old pewter collection.
The more the wear on a pewter piece is, the higher its value. Remember that if there are holes, scratches and other damage on the pewter, then you are holding in your hands a very valuable and authentic piece of pewter. There are some that have lesser damage on them, but they are seen to be less valuable. Moreover, if you would want to repair any of your pewter items, it would basically be expensive and the item would not have the same value as it had when it was damaged. In short, the more broken it is, the better.
Be on the lookout for pewter plates and dishes that came about in the 1800s. These are probably easier to find. At least you would have a few to start you on your collection and motivate you to look for more. Know that the dishes from the 1800s had plain rims while those from 1730 until 1780 had dishes with wavy edges. You will find that there are more valuable serving dishes that measure about 16 to 18 inches.
Pewter mugs are also collectibles that should be a part of your collection. Since there was high consumption of beer that started around the 19th century, there was a demand for the production of pewter mugs. Pubs and watering holes were establishments that widely used these pewter mugs. The most common size was the ¼ pint.
There was a cheaper form of pewter developed in the 1770s. Britannia can be differentiated from the real kind of pewter by the presence of soldered seams. The more popular Britannia items were tea and coffee pots. The most collected items made of Britannia were those 19th century metal pots with simple designs on them.
Go to local flea markets and visit antique shops to search for more collectibles. It would also be a good idea to join groups that are into the same hobby so that you would be able to gain more knowledge about your collection.
Keep your pewter collection in a closed, secure cabinet that you clean every so often. Make sure that they are far from reach of children and that they are not used for eating or drinking. Know that pewter contains amounts of lead that range up to 50% and it would be dangerous to use these for eating.
Collecting pewter is an interesting hobby because you make yourself part of world history. Each piece has its own story to tell, and its own significance in society and history.