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Last Updated 30-05-2018


This is intended to introduce Pewter Marks to casual or recent collectors. This is not comprehensive, or definitive and may only lead the reader to ask for better guidance – and some attempt to find that for the reader will be given later. Pewter plates and mugs…. (generally it is said that a tankard has a lid)…. have a variety of marks on them. For me some of these marks are works of art, some are confusing, and when I began I wondered what they all meant. (Postage stamps offer art work and interest and so even more personally do the marks on pewter.)

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The Pewter Society, and a number of books, will lead you to a better understanding, perhaps. But all I want to do is enthuse you, show you what I enjoy, and lead you to where you might want to find out more for yourself.

To do this I intend to start by taking a plate – showing you firstly a photograph of it – and then showing you the Marks – that might be of interest to you - ( as to style, value, science, and market, I leave these matters to elsewhere on this web site or later I might guide you to others who can help answer your queries – this then is simply the Marks on the pewter piece – a beginners guide.)

The plate –


What is it? – it is said to be a Multi reeded (the lines and the edge)

9 inches diameter (about 23 cms). A quick examination of the front shows some Marks in need of translation -


known as Hall Marks (4 of them that look like they were put there separately - rather than altogether) and were likely made by the Maker of the plate.

followed by - and as here - on the opposite side of the plate rim the Ownership Triad,

The 4 Hall Marks

Early Pewterers got into trouble for imitating the goldsmiths and silversmiths by putting (false) Hall Marks on their goods.

Here we have 4 such marks –

Lion Passant – lion walking across towards the left, there could be a dot of some sort underneath ( aka a lozenge)

An animal face – tradition says this is a Leopard’s face

An Early Tudor Alphabet letter small ‘S’ (sometimes known as a Black letter or a Gothic letter – why here? – I haven’t got a clue - but it meant something to -)

W H - the maker - (2 small marks above and one below – just for effect.)

Ask the Pewter Society data Base (what is that? – wait, later..) who is this - and they know!

This is William Haward/Hayward (called himself - William Howard) working 1673 – 1688 in Drury Lane London - you can find who his apprentices were, and that he came from Gloucester and may have been related to other Hawards (whatever spelling) there in Gloucester. He died in 1688 – certainly his will was proved then.

So this plate - how about that it is made in – say perhaps 1681? – and thus it is, in 2008 - some 327 years old

We could even tell the Pewter Society that their drawing (the record on their web site) has an incorrect F (as I have the plate and its real marks).

We move on to the three initials on the opposite side to the hall marks – OWNER’S MARKS

A triad of T over H A - these are the owner’s marks.

It is said this represents a married couple –

For example it could be (I am only guessing – I do not know)

‘Henry and Ann Thomas’

As I haven’t got a clue for sure - I move on swiftly to see any marks on the back, and I find this one -


This is surely the worn and scraggy remains of

this drawing that the Pewter Society hold in their records from something someone else could see and recorded as -

Now it either works for you or it doesn’t.

To me, here we have a piece of Pewter that is an Art Work in itself. It was first used in the later 1600s - likely as not by a Yeoman family expressing their station in their society saying that they had Pewter Plates not wood because they had progressed and improved themselves. They put their initials on it so it would be certain whose it was. The maker was proud enough of his work to endorse the front with his (false but traditional) Hall Marks (including his initials) and the back with his own personal touch marks.

As a work of Art the front is finely balanced in all aspects and very pleasing – it is a shame that there are so many wear marks and age spots - as for a serious (and more anxious) collector it is less than perfect – but if perfect would it ever have been used?

I move on then to offer you other examples of marks on PLATES that you might find and I wish you some of the pleasure I have had and still have from this interest –

Four Hall Marks

CC – Charles Clarke of Waterford about 1788-1830

Remains of two crowned Xs and the Touchmark of

Cocks – London – Susannah Cocks 1819-1844

Crest on Plate Rim – unknown family crest to mark their plates – crowned mythological beast perhaps.

An example of the use of just 3 Hall marks by –

Alexander Cleeve father and son so named - used these from 1688-1763

An example of the use of 4 Hall Marks by James Bankes II 1701-1755 of Wigan

1777-1834 Pewterer in London

Example of the Touch Mark of Nathanial Barber

And a crowned quality X mark

1784 to 1802

Touch Mark by Townsend and Compton of London

1679-1733 Wigan Pewterer

Four Hall Marks, no initials – two buckles – two ‘unicorn’ heads - pewterer W Baldwin of Wigan Lancashire

Two Touch Marks and a Newcastle on Tyne Label from William Hogg 1780 - 1815

two Touch Marks and ‘London Pewter’ from William Smith of Leeds about 1730

Four Hall Marks from William Smith of Leeds

About 1730

Four Hall Marks for James Gorwood of York after 1748

London Label – style of Pewter only – London represented to the customer a better pewter product – but it might be made elsewhere like Bewdley, Newcastle or Wigan.

Touch Mark of Stephen Cox – Bristol 1735 to 1761

And Crowned quality X mark

Hall Marks – Four Ravens – John Whitaker of Melton near Huddersfield Yorkshire – apprenticed in London in 1676 so likely after 1683 On a Multi Reeded plate (the outer edge)

London Label – may have been made elsewhere in UK - style of Pewter quality - mark was early advertising

Marriage Ownership Marks – possible John (I = J) and Sarah North for example. Here shown on the rim of a single reeded plate.

To the Plain Rim of the 1820 Coronation plates of George IV made by the pewterer Thomas Alderson of London (1790-1835) (plain rimmed plate)

A Coronet and Boar’s head from a crest above a Coat of Arms to indicate ownership.

Plate Label advertising superior type of pewter - so maker claims – Superfine Hard Metal

Touch Mark of Edward Yorke of London

Pewterer from 1732 - 1736

Two basic ownership initials – widow or batchelor – probably marked crudely by the owner

Nice use of Touch Marks by Robert Patience, mostly at Fleet Street, London, Pewterer - one named and the other a crowned rose with a crowned X quality mark, 1737-1776

Touch Marks of James Bancks of Wigan Lancashire

Pewterer from1701 - 1755

Finally the mark of Joseph Smith of London has on it the remains of the date of 1695 this is not when he made the plate but when he set up in business and he did intend the date to be upside down..

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