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Recognize pewter dishes

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Recycling of pewter dishes



Purchase & recycling of pewter dishes

Not all TIN that looks like tin is. You can usually see the difference in the pictures.

☆ Tin has a silver sheen
☆ Tin / lead is rather dark gray to bluish
☆ Zinc is a bit stained (like a zinc watering can)

Interest in pewter tableware is currently low, while it was a popular collecting area as recently as the 1980s. Experience has shown that even beautiful pieces from the period after 1950 can usually only be sold for their material value, only older objects from before 1900 are traded as antiques. However, caution is advised, since at times of great demand imitations were also produced which are sometimes difficult to recognize as such.

Here is a small selection for determining pewter dishes

Crockery tin usually has a tin content of 90 to 97%, older items only 80 to 90%, especially candlesticks, vases and decorative plates. Utensils made of pewter such as jugs, mugs, plates made of so-called. Pure tin according to DIN 17810 has the following metal components Sn95% Cu> 2% Sb> 2.5% Pb> 0.5%. (Stamp with Sn% indication e.g. Sn95, pure tin, 95%)

Tin objects can be deformed with a little effort. Basically, tin has a silvery-white shimmer, but through natural oxidation or treatment of the surface, it also occurs in a wide variety of gray levels.



Left, an antique pewter plate, right, pewter plate from the 1970s

The distinction between lead and zinc objects is not always easy.

Tin: shiny silver - when bending, a characteristic sound occurs, the pewter scream (also known as the pewter scream). However, the noise only occurs with pure tin. Simple test: hit the plate on a sharp corner: pewter bulges, high, bright sound

The sample of tin as a rough quality check.

This method is based on the property of lead to leave a clearly visible dark line when rubbed on white paper (pencil). Depending on the lead content, the line is thicker or weaker. Pure tin leaves no trace. Such a method can only provide a rough guide.

Lead: dark gray bluish, material is softer and heavier (can be bent easily). Simple test: hit the plate on a sharp corner: lead cracks, dull, dark sound

Zinc: spotted (like a zinc watering can) Material is hard and brittle. Simple test: hit the plate on a sharp corner: zinc springs, rattling, metallic sound.



Left, a lead plate, right, typical zinc plate (both stamped with an angel)

☆ Pewter angels and pewter marks

A clue is a percentage in the stamp, although not always reliable. "Pewter", "Pure pewter", "Fine pewter", "Real pewter", "Lead-free pewter" etc. may sound nice and look trustworthy, but ultimately say nothing about the tin content. The terms are neither standardized, nor is their use subject to any control.

The marking is also different Angel motifs not really reliable. In the past, the "with scales" was an old RAL seal of approval for pewter goods, today this symbol can also be used safely for zinc or lead goods.

With the so-called Angel brands it is a linguistic misunderstanding for English pewter = angel pewter. This old mark (hallmark) is no angelbut it is about Lady Justice with scales and sword.

This famous stamp (today provided with various angel motifs) and often also as "Pewter Angel" referred to, is often on inferior tin with high Zinc and lead content to find. (see photo below right; Angels on lead & zinc dishes)

Not everything with an angel is made of pewter, or rather: almost everything "with an angel" is questionable!



Left pewter marks old and new, right. Lead and zinc marks with various angel motifs

Peltrato / zamak ® In many cases we receive "antique pieces" that have been purchased at flea markets or online auctions (see photos below). All the greater is the disappointment that, according to the analysis, it is decorative material made from industrial die-cast.



No antique pieces and no pewter, but a ZINC alloy

We're talking about Peltrato or in German Zamak. In 1920 the New Jersey Zinc Company created the alloy Zamac. The name Zamak is the German abbreviation for the metals it contains Zink, A.aluminum, MAmagnesium and Kupfer. Due to its cheap production and easy formability in processing, zamak is very often used in the design of all kinds of decorative parts. Zamak is a brittle and rather light material and does not discolour like pewter or silver. Zamak has nothing to do with the comparatively noble tin. Zamak can be given any imaginable surface effect by electroplating: golden, silver, brass or pewter-colored. Metallic recycling takes place as zinc [Zn].

Tin reliefs & tin pictures > This is mostly (approx. 99%) cast resin with a thin layer of tin or foil. We do not buy these! Simple test (use at your own risk): Let the tin relief fall onto the concrete floor from a height of approx. 1 m. Tin stays intact, casting resin cracks or breaks.

Tin soldiers / tin figures / chess pieces > are not made of tin but of an alloy (tin, lead, antimony, bismuth) - sometimes also made of cast resin with a thin layer of tin. Metallic recycling as lead (cast resin is not remunerated).

For the purchase by us is the Tin content according to XRF analysis decisive, i.e. we buy goods with a high tin content at a higher price. Whether antique pieces, dented remains, entire collections or new goods - the usable tin content (Sn%) is always remunerated.

Foreign material or adhesions are removed and not recycled, e.g. metal hangers with porcelain fasteners, plastic or porcelain emblems on pewter plates, clockworks and pointers on pewter clocks, textile straps on pewter plaques, wooden and ceramic parts, earthenware and glass material on beer mugs, etc. (see sample photos).



Left, XRF analysis of pewter dishes, right, sample examples of foreign material

Post purchase by parcel • Please send small quantities up to ~ 30 kg by parcel (DHL, HERMES, DPD, GLS etc.) If the value of material is 150 euros or more, the shipping costs will be reimbursed proportionally to the amount of 5.00 euros per parcel. Quantities of 100 kg or more can be picked up by a forwarding agency upon request. Please send offers with photos and total quantity to: [email protected]

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☆ Detecting tin, zinc and lead »download PDF

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... everything has an end, except recycling!