Pewter is a material that has been used and appreciated by humans for centuries. It is an alloy of tin and other metals, and is both malleable and durable. Over time, the composition of pewter has changed and evolved in response to improvements in technology and the availability of new materials. Throughout history, it has been used for a variety of purposes, from religious offerings to decorative objects. Not only is it a timeless material, but it has also been used to tell stories and express creativity, with its unique characteristics and uses making it an integral part of many cultures. Despite its age, the timeless tale of pewter is still being written, with new applications and materials being used in the production of pewter today, offering up a multitude of possibilities for those that choose to work with the material.
What is Pewter?
Pewter is an alloy that is made primarily from tin but can also include other metals like lead, copper, antimony, zinc, and bismuth. These metals combine to create a strong and durable material that is also malleable, allowing it to be shaped into a variety of forms. It has a low melting point, meaning that it can be melted down and re-shaped into a new form. The metals used in the alloy will determine the properties of the pewter, such as its colour, strength, and resistance to corrosion.
Its corrosion resistance makes it an ideal material for items that are exposed to the elements. The history of pewter dates back to the Bronze Age, with evidence of its use found in ancient sites around the world. It has been used in a variety of ways throughout history, from coins and jewellery to religious offerings and decorative objects, and is still used today in a variety of applications.
History of Pewter – Ancient Uses and Materials
Pewter has been used by humans since ancient times, with evidence of its use found in sites around the world. In the Bronze Age, pewter was used to create coins and jewellery, it was also used to make useful objects, such as candlesticks, platters, and vessels. In some areas of the world, it was also used to make vessels for carrying food and water and to create ornate boxes and dishes.
In the Middle Ages, pewter continued to be used in much the same way but was also used to make armour and tools. The decoration of the objects also improved.
In the Renaissance Period, pewter items began to be more prized rather than just utilitarian objects and many were highly decorated with the addition of jewels and engravings. Other metals like copper and zinc were also added to make the pewter, giving the final product different properties for different uses.
Types of Pewter Used Today
In modern times, pewter is still used to create a variety of items. However, the composition of pewter has changed over time, as new metals have become available.
Today, pewter is typically made from a combination of tin, antimony, copper and other metals such as bismuth and zinc are also sometimes used.
Lead is no longer used in most modern pewter as we now know it is poisonous if ingested. Many ancients must have unknowingly been poisoned over the years from having their food and drink contaminated with lead.
Pewter Gifts and Crafts
Pewter is still a popular material for crafting today, with its low melting point, and malleable qualities allowing it to be shaped into a variety of forms, and is still used to create jewellery and decorative objects. It is the perfect material for creating unique custom pieces and is used to make pewter gifts, such as ornamental plates, boxes, frames, beer tankards, flasks, figurines and much more.
With its unique characteristics and uses, the timeless tale of pewter is one that is still being written, with new applications and materials being used in the production of pewter today, offering up a multitude of possibilities for those that choose to work with it.