Pair of Beakers
Late 18th century
Gift of Katharine T. and Merrill G. Beede, Class of 1929; M.991.39.3-4
Pewter was widely used for tableware and other household implements in American homes from the seventeenth century through the first half of the nineteenth century. An alloy that contains varying proportions of lead, copper, antimony, and bismuth, pewter was more fashionable than wood and far less costly than porcelain or silver. It was also sturdier than the pottery with which it competed and, if damaged or outmoded, could be melted down and recast into different forms. These beakers, crafted by an unknown maker, marked "G.C.", are said to have formerly been part of the communion service in the Union Dale (Pennsylvania) Presbyterian Church, along with this tankard by John Will. Pewter communion sets were often assembled through gifts of unmatched pieces formerly used in domestic setting, as had been the case with ecclesiastical silver.
Last Updated: 5/8/09