For the longest time the word “pewter” was synonymous with “for rich people only”. During the 16th and 17th centuries, silverware was a luxury which only rich merchants, churchmen, kings and noblemen could afford. Then craftsmen introduced Pewter as a substitute for silver and gold.
At the time, this new alloy was composed of 70% to 80% tin and the rest of copper, lead, antimony and occasionally bismuth. Craftsmen who worked with pewter chose to make simple, finely designed, generally unornamented pieces with designs particularly adapted to Pewter. As more and more craftsmen took up the trade, pewter items became more accessible to the “common folk” and quickly became very popular. Its use spread into taverns and cottages.
When glass and pottery was introduced, pewter was not in great demand any more. Why? Because of the lead component, the pewter tarnished readily and needed frequent polishing. If the pewter was allowed to tarnish, bringing the item back to its original shine meant having to submerge it completely into a lye solution — not an easy task!
Then along in the early 1970’s, pewter making was revived, with a major difference This new modern pewter, labelled as “Fine Pewter” is composed of at least 90% tin with the balance made up of copper, antimony, bismuth or silver — NO LEAD ALLOWED! This means that Fine Pewter items require very little care. It does not tarnish, rust, or deteriorate. What a glorious advantage for modern pewter buyers.
And that’s not all. Because pewter is an easy medium to work with, artists can create 3 dimensional items with exceptional detail, items such as clocks which are exquisite in detail and charm.
In addition, since fine pewter ranks as the fourth most precious metal in the world (following platinum, gold, and silver) and manufacturing these pewter items still involves a lot of hand craftsmanship, one would think that pewter items are only for the rich. Not so! Pewter items made of fine pewter are still within a person’s budget, — and because of the hand craftmanship involved, 3D items will vary slightly so this possibility creates a market for collectors.
Also, fine pewter can be easily engraved by a competent jeweller.
So why are fine pewter clocks getting to be the ?in? thing?
US-made fine pewter are guaranteed 100% lead free, and is composed of 97% tin with the balance made up of copper, bismuth, and silver
Clocks made of this fine pewter require very little upkeep, (a quick wipe with a damp clock, dry and that’s it!), are safe to handle, are fairly light, and are real “eye catchers”.
Add the fact that the customer can bring his/her clock to a competent jeweler and have it engraved with an inscription — what a great memory creation!
Yes, fine pewter clocks are very collectible and affordable. A ?fine pewter? clock can be cherished for its uniqueness, its longevity, and its lasting value. Get one! You will be happy you did!