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A nip, a dram, a swig, a sip, a sup or a quaff. They all taste better from a Wentworth Pewter hip flask.

The ‘white metal’ we now come to regard as the go to metal for hip flasks and tankards has a long yet misty past. It is believed that the ancient Egyptians used pewter to forge many of their objects. The Romans also did well over 2000 years ago. Back then it was known as ‘Black metal’ and contained 70% tin and 30% lead. But Pewter as such isn’t a metal of predetermined and nailed down formula. Pewter can be classified as a tin based alloy that is roughly 90% tin, 8% antimony and 2% copper. Although these percentages can change. The lead was replaced so drinking and eating vessels became safe to use.

Pewter was controlled from the 15th Century onwards by the gloriously named Worshipful Company of Pewterers, who laid down very strict rules on what constitutes Pewter. Their power waned in the 18th century just as the rise of the Industrial revolution was gripping Britain.

This is where the story of modern Pewter began. “About the year 1769 a person was taken very ill and Mr Vickers visited him in his sickness. This person was in possession of the recipe for making white metal. Mr Vickers bid him five shillings and the offer was accepted.”  This recipe is believed to be Britannia Metal almost indistinguishable from Pewter. James Vickers opened up a workshop in Sheffield which at the time had no history of Pewter manufacturing. Yet he borrowed much of the silver plate industries techniques and technologies. Such as die stamps, rolling mills and fly presses.

Arthur Wentworth learnt his trade at the famous silversmiths Viners of Sheffield.  But by the time he set up Wentworth Pewter in 1946, Sheffield had become the epicentre of Pewterware. Yet it wasn’t until 1949 that Wentworth Pewter managed to be housed in a proper workshop just outside Sheffield at Monarch Works. Since then Wentworth Pewter and their products have gained a reputation for being impeccably manufactured and of the highest quality. Wentworth Pewter has gone from strength to strength, never faltering when it comes to craftsmanship and heritage.

Only all but the smallest of Wentworth Pewter products will you see 5 stamps, just as in silverware. They denote the companies initials ARW, 92 or 95 marks how much percentage of tin is in the metal, ABPC or a Seahorse shows membership of the Association of British Pewter Craftsman and the seahorse applies to items of superior weight. The crossed arrows are part of the Sheffield coat of arms and EPU31 is the mark of the European Pewter Union.

You won’t find finer pewter flasks nor tankards. So treat them well and add a drop of the finest single malt or fill with a delicious craft IPA.


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