pewter

/pyooh"teuhr/, n.
1. any of various alloys in which tin is the chief constituent, originally one of tin and lead.
2. a container or utensil made of such an alloy.
3. such utensils collectively: a revival of interest in pewter.
4. Brit. Slang.
a. a cup awarded as a prize or trophy, as in a sporting event.
b. See prize money (def. 2).
adj.
5. consisting or made of pewter: a pewter mug.
[1325-75; ME pewtre < MF peutre < VL *piltrum; perh. akin to SPELTER]

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Tin-based alloy used to make domestic utensils.

Pewter dates back at least 2,000 years, to Roman times. Ancient pewter contained about 70% tin and 30% lead. Such pewter, also called black metal, darkened greatly with age, and the lead readily leached out in contact with acidic foods. Pewter with little or no lead is of finer quality, and alloys that include antimony and bismuth are more durable and shinier. Modern pewter is about 91% tin, 7.5% antimony, and 1.5% copper; the absence of lead makes it safe to use for foods and beverages. The surface of modern pewter is bluish white with either a bright finish or a soft, satin sheen. It resists tarnish, retaining its colour and finish indefinitely.

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alloy
 tin-based alloy used as a material from which domestic utensils were fashioned. A brief treatment of pewter follows. For full treatment, see metalwork: Pewter (metalwork).

      The use of pewter dates back at least 2,000 years to Roman times. Ancient pewter contained about 70 percent tin and 30 percent lead. Such pewter, also called black metal, darkened greatly with age, and the lead readily leached out in contact with acidic foods.

      Pewter with little or no lead is of finer quality, and alloys that include antimony and bismuth are more durable and brighter of sheen. Modern pewter is about 91 percent tin, 7.5 percent antimony, and 1.5 percent copper; the absence of lead makes it safe to use for dishes and drinking vessels. The surface of modern pewter is bluish white with either a crisp, bright finish or a soft, satin sheen. It resists tarnish, retaining its colour and finish indefinitely.

      Pewter work is usually cast, then further finished by hammering, turning on a lathe, burnishing, and sometimes engraving. Some items, such as snuffboxes, were constructed from separate pewter pieces and then soldered together. Some modern pewter work is formed by stamping presses. Most pewter alloys are quite ductile and easily worked. Cold-working does not cause the metal to harden sufficiently to require annealing.

      Manufacture of pewter ware developed in various European countries from the 14th century. Pewter was widely used for dishes, church vessels, and decorative items. Being a common alloy, pewter has been primarily utilitarian and only secondarily ornamental, being used where the precious metals were too expensive. Pewter work often emulated designs in silver, and some unscrupulous pewterers even endeavoured from time to time to pass off pewter as silver or something almost like silver. Most pewter work was unornamented, but some items (usually for display only) were painted, enameled, gilded, and even inlaid with other metals, such as brass.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pewter — is a metal alloy, traditionally between 85 and 99 percent tin, with the remainder consisting of copper and antimony, acting as hardeners, with the addition of lead for the lower grades of pewter, which have a bluish tint. The word pewter is… …   Wikipedia

  • Pewter — Pew ter, n. [OE. pewtyr, OF. peutre, peautre, piautre: cf. D. peauter, piauter, It. peltro, Sp. & Pg. peltre, LL. peutreum, pestrum. Cf. {Spelter}.] 1. A hard, tough, but easily fusible, alloy, originally consisting of tin with a little lead, but …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pewter — [pyo͞ot′ər] n. [ME peutre < OFr peautre, akin to It peltro < ?] 1. any of various alloys containing mostly tin with varying percentages of antimony, copper, lead, etc. 2. articles made of pewter adj. made of pewter …   English World dictionary

  • pewter — mid 14c. (implied in pewterer), any of various alloys having tin as their main constituent (the usual form is one part lead to four parts tin), from O.Fr. peautre (12c.), from V.L. *peltrum pewter (Cf. Sp. peltre, It. peltro), of uncertain origin …   Etymology dictionary

  • Pewter — ist: eine Zinnlegierung, siehe Hartzinn ein Farbschlag der Perserkatze, siehe Fellfarben der Katze Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Begriffe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pewter — Pewter. См. Певтер (Сплав олова). (Источник: «Металлы и сплавы. Справочник.» Под редакцией Ю.П. Солнцева; НПО Профессионал , НПО Мир и семья ; Санкт Петербург, 2003 г.) …   Словарь металлургических терминов

  • Pewter — (spr. Pjuht r), so v.w. Britanniametall …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Pewter — (spr. pjūter), eine Legierung, aus der in Kambodscha Münzen hergestellt werden (s. Britanniametall) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Pewter — (engl., spr. pjut r), s.v.w. Hartmetall (s.d.) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • pewter — ► NOUN ▪ a grey alloy of tin with copper and antimony (formerly, tin and lead). ORIGIN Old French peutre …   English terms dictionary

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