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Recent enquiries

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Some recent examples of requests for help from members of the public.

Quart Mug Marks

Enquiry

 

I bought this quart pot at an auction online. I would like to know if the date 1888 with VR and a crown means the pot was made in 1888.  The dates on the other side (1906 thru'1910) are presumably verification marks at subsequent inspections. Also, what is the significance of the number 64 after VR, ER  and GR and the number 7/30 after GR64?

Many thanks in anticipation for any help you can give me.

Best regards

Quart mug with more verification marks

Answer from the enquiry team

Many thanks for your email to the Pewter Society of Great Britain for which I have attached a reply I hope will be of interest.

 

This appears to be a straight sided British quart mug with copious Excise marks including two; “crown VR 64” and “crown ER 64” struck by the authorities in Sunderland both after 1878 when that numerical style was introduced but with the dates others were struck surrounding them.  The number “1800” above ‘Crown ER 64” seems too early however. 

 

The date “1888” is just another excise mark struck that year but if you look in the inside of the base you may find the makers mark (k/as a touch mark) amid all the oxide and crud which accumulates there over time.  Gently probing with a soft piece of wood such as a lolly stick so as not to damage any writing that may be there may help and if this is successful do not hesitate to come back for further information.

 

Any information supplied represents an opinion based on the original information and/or images provided and whilst we believe that the information below to be sound, we cannot guarantee this as we have not inspected the item, and our knowledge of pewter and pewterers is constantly being updated by new research   It is for the sole use of the owner of the item(s) in question to advance his/her knowledge/and under the terms of the offer displayed on the Pewter Society website and any information given cannot be used in connection with the sale or offer for sale of any item about which the information is solicited. It is expressly forbidden for any mention of the Pewter Society or any of its named members to be used in connection with any such sale or offer for sale or in descriptive text. Please note we reserve the right to use your enquiry anonymously in our recent enquires section on the website

Quartern Mug

ENQUIRY

I have had for many years a small tankard shaped measure approximately 6cm high by 7cm including the handle. I have tried to identify its age but have had no luck so I have turned to your good selves in a hope of being able to identify its age and likely usage? I hopefully will have attached the marks, which whilst not terribly clear, might help you to identify as much as possible for me? I believe a measure from it is one eight of an Imperial Pint?     Also, as the obvious authority on pewter, is there any way to clean or restore it to its original condition please? I hope you are able to come up with some details about its use and I thank you for your time and efforts in advance.

Best regards

William IV mark on the handle of the quartern mug

Answer from the enquiry team

 

This is a fairly unique cast pewter quartern sized bulbous measure which has seen much action over a long period for measuring spirits in pub(s) measuring out eighths of an Imperial pint as you rightly advise. The marks in the images sent mainly represent various Excise Marks struck by the authorities over many years when verifying the capacity to ensure that short measure was not being given.  Most unusually placed is the “Crown WIV N” on the top of the handle, by the thumb piece, first struck in the reign of William IV ie. 1830-1837, a most unusual place.  The other end of that handle terminates in a ‘ball’ of a considerable size which is another sign of its early age.    Much later there were two or three finishing with “Crown ER over 525” struck in Northampton in the reign of Edward VII  c. 1901-10.

 

If you look in the inside of the base you may find the makers mark (k/as a touch mark) amid all the oxide and crud which accumulates there over time.  Gently probing with a soft piece of wood such as a lolly stick so as not to damage any writing that may be there may help and if this is successful do not hesitate to come back for further information.

 

There is a comprehensive section of the Society web site headed “Care and Conservation” which should provide useful information but it would be tragic if all those historic marks were in any way erased by removing the black oxidation as they provide such a story of its history.  

 We are pleased to have received your enquiry.  We welcome new members and if you think in the future that you would like to join our Society, full details can be found on our website.

Detrited Imperial Mark on the rim

Any information supplied represents an opinion based on the original information and/or images provided and whilst we believe that the information below to be sound, we cannot guarantee this as we have not inspected the item, and our knowledge of pewter and pewterers is constantly being updated by new research   It is for the sole use of the owner of the item(s) in question to advance his/her knowledge/and under the terms of the offer displayed on the Pewter Society website and any information given cannot be used in connection with the sale or offer for sale of any item about which the information is solicited. It is expressly forbidden for any mention of the Pewter Society or any of its named members to be used in connection with any such sale or offer for sale or in descriptive text. Please note we reserve the right to use your enquiry anonymously in our recent enquires section on the website

Tankard with Weeks's Engraved on front

Enquiry

Can you give me any details of a tankard I have just purchased?

The tankard is inscribed with the name Weeks's and underneath it lists the name of a public house The Three Spies, 11 Great Windmill Street,  N. It is possible that it belonged to a Thomas Weeks who owned the Museum of Mechanical Curiosities in Tichborne Street, London back in the early 1800s. 

 The tankard is 11.5cm tall and the base is just under 9cm across. It weighs 550 gm so is heavy! It appears to be dated 1826.

Tankard verification mark

Answer from the enquiry team

 

This is a cast pewter truncated cone pint tavern mug with a “C” handle bearing an early nineteenth century portcullis Excise Mark for London and with the ownership inscription “Weeks’s” on the body.  There is another possible Excise Mark to the right of the handle which is too detrited to be able to make out the details for identification.

 

If you look in the inside of the base you may find the makers mark (k/as a touch mark) amid all the oxide and crud which accumulates there over time.  Gently probing with a soft piece of wood such as a lolly stick so as not to damage any writing that may be there may help and if this is successful do not hesitate to come back for further information.

Any information supplied represents an opinion based on the original information and/or images provided and whilst we believe that the information below to be sound, we cannot guarantee this as we have not inspected the item, and our knowledge of pewter and pewterers is constantly being updated by new research   It is for the sole use of the owner of the item(s) in question to advance his/her knowledge/and under the terms of the offer displayed on the Pewter Society website and any information given cannot be used in connection with the sale or offer for sale of any item about which the information is solicited. It is expressly forbidden for any mention of the Pewter Society or any of its named members to be used in connection with any such sale or offer for sale or in descriptive text. Please note we reserve the right to use your enquiry anonymously in our recent enquires section on the website

 

French Chrismatory

ENQUIRY

 

 

Hello. I have been living in France, and on a Sunday market I found this item in pewter. My research on the Internet has not been very successful. It would give me great pleasure if you could give me some information (date and what it is) on the item. It's 125 mm x 80 mm. 

 

French makers marks

Answer from the enquiry team

 

Thanks for your enquiry 6 June about your find in France.

You have what the French call a Coffret a Trois Burettes which is used by the priest to administer the three Holy Oils which are the Oil of Baptism, the Oil of Chrism and the Oil for the Sick and Dying (extreme unction). It looks to be complete and in good condition apart from the loss of the finial on the cover, often a Cross.

It was made by L Charasse who became a master pewterer in Paris in 1717, so it is an early piece.

 

Chrismatory open showing the burettes

Any information supplied represents an opinion based on the original information and/or images provided and whilst we believe that the information below to be sound, we cannot guarantee this as we have not inspected the item, and our knowledge of pewter and pewterers is constantly being updated by new research   It is for the sole use of the owner of the item(s) in question to advance his/her knowledge/and under the terms of the offer displayed on the Pewter Society website and any information given cannot be used in connection with the sale or offer for sale of any item about which the information is solicited. It is expressly forbidden for any mention of the Pewter Society or any of its named members to be used in connection with any such sale or offer for sale or in descriptive text. Please note we reserve the right to use your enquiry anonymously in our recent enquires section on the website

Quart Bulbous Measure

ENQUIRY

 

Hi,

My query is about a quart baluster verified as VR 409 which I believe to be Gloucester County and I bought it from Pershore, which is nearby. The touch mark appears to be 3 pears which I believe to be Henry Brettell of London but I cannot find an image of the three pears with the writing around it (see photo - my quart) any ideas?

Thanking you,

Quart Measure verification marks

Answer from the enquiry team

The Quart.  This is quite an early measure as it has the word “Imperial” on the rim which started in 1826 when that was introduced and the border surrounding the print is also early. There is another early verification mark upside-down by the number “2” which I haven’t traced, indeed may not be recorded.  Verified for correct capacity also in Gloucester County by the “VR 409” numerical Excise Mark which came into use first much later in 1878 so it’s been around for some time.   These were struck to ensure the publican was not giving short measure.  The large ‘ball’ terminating the handle is also a sign of an early item.    But the neat shield with the cross and the two dots on that handle is not the touch mark but an interesting ownership mark, possibly by the public house for which it was being used.  Made perhaps around 1830-1850 whereas Henry Brettell was a pewterer from 1665-1683. An interesting example which you may find detailed in our web site in due course.

 

If you look in the inside of the base you may find the makers mark (k/as a touch mark) amid all the oxide and crud which accumulates there over time.  Gently probing with a soft piece of wood such as a lolly stick so as not to damage any writing that may be there may help and if this is successful do not hesitate to come back for further information. But many bulbous measures such as this have no mark. 

 

Quart measure mark on handle

Any information supplied represents an opinion based on the original information and/or images provided and whilst we believe that the information below to be sound, we cannot guarantee this as we have not inspected the item, and our knowledge of pewter and pewterers is constantly being updated by new research   It is for the sole use of the owner of the item(s) in question to advance his/her knowledge/and under the terms of the offer displayed on the Pewter Society website and any information given cannot be used in connection with the sale or offer for sale of any item about which the information is solicited. It is expressly forbidden for any mention of the Pewter Society or any of its named members to be used in connection with any such sale or offer for sale or in descriptive text. Please note we reserve the right to use your enquiry anonymously in our recent enquires section on the website

3 pint tankard

ENQUIRY

Hello again,

Attached are photos of a very large tankard - no-one would drink out of this, it holds about 3 pints (I haven't measured it) It came from the London area. It appears to show a pelican with a horseshoe in its beak and a second mark of some animal leaping, I can't make it out. The top is engraved MW 1723 and the touch marks are inside the lid. This is a fabulous piece which will be a present for my son when I have as much info as possible. Of course, as with all these pieces there are dents and scratches - and a split in the lid of this one - but as it's over 300 years old, I think that's acceptable.

Since I've become interested in pewter recently, what would be the benefit of joining the society?

I look forward to your response.

M W Ownership marks

Answer from the enquiry team

 

The  sturdy lidded flagon is again a bulbous shape with a strap handle surmounted by a ball thumb-piece , typically Germanic, and an attractive scroll terminal at the other end. The “M.W. 1723” is another ownership mark by a previous owner.

Sadly the two touch marks remain unidentified but again, typically German, as Erwin Hintze whose seven volumes of German touch marks were not completed for all the German States before he died and these must have been a couple he missed.  I hope this information is sufficient for your son to enjoy a historic present. 

The Society could be of great benefit to you as you would have the use of that DataBase now containing over nineteen thousand British pewterers and their marks  -   and growing !  Your researching nature would thus be backed up and there is much cameradie  among our members.  There are full details of membership rates, meetings etc., in our web site and I have taken the liberty of copying in our Secretary to this missive.  You would be very welcome. 

Makers Mark on the flagon

Any information supplied represents an opinion based on the original information and/or images provided and whilst we believe that the information below to be sound, we cannot guarantee this as we have not inspected the item, and our knowledge of pewter and pewterers is constantly being updated by new research   It is for the sole use of the owner of the item(s) in question to advance his/her knowledge/and under the terms of the offer displayed on the Pewter Society website and any information given cannot be used in connection with the sale or offer for sale of any item about which the information is solicited. It is expressly forbidden for any mention of the Pewter Society or any of its named members to be used in connection with any such sale or offer for sale or in descriptive text. Please note we reserve the right to use your enquiry anonymously in our recent enquiries section on the website