Pewter For Your Table

by Liza Laserow



050212140909Plate and beaker from the Rococo period. Picture from Swedish Antiques in Modern Settings by Karin Laserow page 89. Photo by Niklas Lunsdström

During the 18th Century copper was the biggest export in Sweden next after iron. The material had been used since the 17th century for kitchen ware and was now used for producing money and to make brass. Sweden had a large production of copper items designed with English inspirations. The metal was easy to work with, resistant and fairly cheap.

During the second art of the 18th century the pewter also called “poor mans silver” got a revival within the growing middle class in Sweden. It had before only served a purpose to cover the inside of copper pots used for cooking. Plenty of beautifully pewter items were made during this period. The makers borrowed shapes from the silversmiths so when the restrained Gustavian lines became fashionable you could see the popular symbols such as pine nuts, column shapes and peal beading being used by the pewter makers as well.

Over time the pewter plates got replaced by fajance and imported porcelain from China and toward the end of the 18th Century pewter became more and more rare.