Collecting - pewter

Pewter is wonderful, it can be casual and elegant. I have used it in the simplest of dinners to a large festive gathering. I have slowly collected pieces that I thought were useful. I do not much care for collecting things that have no use when it comes to entertaining. Pewter platters are wonderful for displaying bruschetta or tartlettes, and the chargers are wonderful under plates or used as small platters to deliver cocktail filled glasses around to guests that are getting low. I found the wine bucket (which I did not need) on sale and knew that I would be used one way or another for the price I got on it. I have yet to find pewter flatware that I like, still searching and recently found pewter stemware at Williams Sonoma that I am secretly coveting. I do have pewter cake stands as well for displaying a myriad of baked goods.

Collecting pewter is not a inexpensive hobby, so I always look for it at sales. Pewter is a malleable metal, traditionally between 85 and 99 percent tin, with the remainder commonly consisting of copper and/or lead. This being said, you do not want to keep or serve any food product in them that are moist. Copper acts as a hardener while lead is common in the lower grades of pewter (which have a bluish tint). They say the word pewter is a variation of the word spelter, a non-scientific name for zinc.

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