If you’ve ever wanted to know more about Pewter, then it’s reasonable to assume you have a fairly small social circle.
Fortunately, so does Stephen. In fact, he has none at all. All that loneliness gives him time to prepare Pewter facts for you.
The year the Romans invaded Britain, bringing pewter with them.
Pewter is commonly found in churches throughout the United Kingdom
Some sporting events award a pewter medal for a 4th place finish
Pewter was the most popular material for tableware until porcelain
The earliest piece of pewter was discovered in an Egyptian tomb from around 1450 BC
Like tea, Pewter comes in many flavours, and like tea there is only one you want. English.
What is English Pewter?
English Pewter has come to represent a strictly-controlled alloy. The typical standard for present-day English Pewter is around 92% tin, 6% antimony and 2% Copper.
How is Pewter Manipulated?
Pewter can be modelled in a number of ways to produce the desired form.
Stamping pewter has two major uses in our manufacturing processes. Firstly pewter that has been rolled from an ingot into a sheet can be stamped by a power press to cut out shapes from the sheet.
Presses can also be adapted to hold tools for creating embossed patterns on the pewter or to put a company touch mark onto the sheet. We, however prefer to use the traditional method and use a touch mark and a hammer to place our A.E. Williams mark onto our pewter.
Casting in moulds is the oldest and most traditional way of producing pewter.
Molten pewter is poured into the moulds and they're either spun at high speeds or left to let gravity ensure the pewter is evenly spread. Once the metal has cooled the mould is removed and the item is ready to be finished.
Rolling is used to create sheets of pewter ready for spinning, thicker sheets of metal are passed through pairs of rollers to make it thinner and easier to work with.
By controlling the thickness of the sheet we can also put dips or bends in the sheet which are commonly required in metalwork for furniture or construction. Rollers can also have a pattern added to them, so that when we roll the metal the pattern is transferred to the sheet.
Spinning transforms a disc or tube of pewter into a hollow vessel, making it perfect for creating tankards and bowls.
A formed block is put on the lathe, and the pewter is clamped against it. As the lathe rotates a craftsman applies a tool to work the pewter around the block, creating the desired shape.
Repousse is a great technique for achieving small relief work design into thin sheets of pewter. Repousse is French for “pushed up”.
Working on the reverse of the metal we hammer or shape using various tools to create a relief on the other side. Once the desired shape has been formed, the hollow can be filled with a filler such as resin so that the pewter does not collapse in on itself. Repousse is great for creating relief work that stands out.
The earliest record of the Worshipful Company of Pewterers. A.E. Williams remain members of the guild to this day.
Lead is less common in pewter these days, but it can still be found in some of the cheaper grades.
Lead Content %
Grades of Pewter
The different grades of pewter reflect how much lead they contain. The lowest grade “Lay” is cheaper and would never be used for items related to food or drink.
All of A.E. Williams products are guaranteed to be 100% lead free.
A.E. Williams in action
Why not view our factory videos to see how a range of pewter items are made today in our factory.More info