Quality marks

The crowned rose was used on pewter from the mid 16th century to denote higher-quality metal. Most pewterers had their own variation of the design. By the end of the 17th century pewterers were also using a crowned X to indicate harder alloys, but as time went on all control over the use of both marks was lost and pewterers used them indiscriminately on all their wares. Crowned rose marks can be helpful in identifying pewterers as most used their own variation of the design. Even crowned Xs can sometimes be helpful, although there is less scope for variation.

From the 18th century onwards pewterers also invented their own ‘quality’ slogans such as ‘Superfine Hard Metal’. See the Labels page for some examples.

Before the introduction of the crowned rose, a crowned or uncrowned hammer was sometimes struck on sadware and this is also believed to be a quality mark.  However, it is very rare.