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Ownership marks

Owners often applied their own marks to pewter. On plates, dishes and chargers these were usually just a simple triad of initials stamped on the rim, the centre initial being the surname and the other two the forenames of the husband and wife. Marks with two or four initials are also found. However, some owners had crests or shields engraved on their pewter, whilst institutional owners might stamp their name or symbol.

On drinking vessels owners tended to engrave either a monogram or the full name and address. These are particularly common on pub pots of the 19th and 20th century as a deterrence against theft. If you have both the publican’s name and the name and address of the pub, the website http://deadpubs.co.uk might be able to help you with dating.

In the unlikely event that you come across pewter from the 15th or 16th century, you may find ownership marks of different forms. Inns sometimes stamp their housemark (representing the inn sign) several times on a lid or, even more rarely, you might find a merchant’s mark scratched on the underside of the item.