Most Collectors tend to have a preference for British & Irish pewter but most will extend this interest and have somewhere in their collections one or more items from Europe or America.


Pewterwares were made in virtually all European countries, especially in the north, and examples will be found throughout the continent, often displaying distinct regional styles. Collectors coming across such items tend to buy them because they like them or, more likely to add another example to a themed collection.

In the 17th & 18th centuries, the best pewter was made from English tin and was exported in ingot form. Continental makers therefore indicated this origin as a quality mark on their wares. Normally, this is obvious, e.g. ‘Engels Zinn’, but often a simple ‘LONDON’ was used to denote English pewter and quality and this can lead to confusion. Also, the crowned rose mark has been used all over Europe and new collectors can be forgiven for thinking this is a Tudor rose indicating an English piece.


Many British & European pewterers emigrated to the Americas in the 18th century and successors then set up their own shops. There is therefore a lot of early American pewter around but this does tend to stay on the other side of the Atlantic. Nevertheless, more collectors are now travelling in the USA and Canada and will encounter pewter items (these may include British items made especially for the American export market).