The earliest known pewter pieces, from the Near East and Egypt, were mostly decorative in nature. The Romans brought pewter-making back to Europe and, as its use spread through that continent, it became very popular as a food service material—plates, bowls, jugs, and some spoons. For much of the European and English Medieval period, pewter was the most common material for serving food. Most people who could afford a living space, however modest, could also afford a few pewter plates or bowls.
In the 1600's, as Europeans learned how to produce utilitarian pottery at commercial scale, there was a mass transfer from pewter to ceramic tableware items. Ceramic plates and bowls were less expensive than pewter, easier to clean, and more interesting aesthetically (as they could be glazed and decorated).
The English Arts & Crafts Tea Service, shown above, was made in the 1910's of hand-hammered pewter. The set includes a teapot & water pot (both fitted with heat-resistant Bakelite handles) plus a creamer and sugar bowl. Click on the photo above to learn more about it.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248