It started out like a usual day here in Farmhouse Magic Blogdom, until I noticed that my rare 18th century D. Dackermann pewter bowl was missing from its usual spot on my coffee table.
Since it is always there, I immediately started to look for it. Did I move it when dusting? No, get real on that one, I don’t dust that much. I looked around near the laundry room. No not there either.
Where could it be? How do I solve this mystery? Or is there a vintage pewter thief about?Rare D. Dackermann Bowl used to Hold Tools
So where did I find my rare 18th century D. Dackermann pewter bowl?
One of the FMB technical directors, thought it would work well as a tool caddy for a wood project he was working on. So he took it down to the basement and left it on the basement floor filled with tools.
Anyway, that misunderstanding has been rectified and my D. Dackermann is back where it belongs.
I thought I would blog a little on pewter since I haven’t talked much about it.
Pewter is a metal mixture of mostly tin mixed with small amount of copper, lead or antimony to harden it so it becomes more durable.
During the 17th and 18th centuries pewter was made into a variety of household items including plates, tankards, lamps, candlestick holders, inkwells, etc. Old pewter is patinated and has a silver to gray antique appearance. Early pewter had a large lead content. If you used a particular dish or tankard frequently, you could end with lead poisoning.
The next two photographs shows a large junk store pewter tray. The tray was made in Italy with two markings on it.
Some pewter is marked which helps identify it. American pewterers used touch marks, quality marks, or hallmarks similar to those used in Europe. Some people used pewter when they couldn’t afford silver in serving dishes, however, pewter is beautiful in its own way.
Back View of Vintage Pewter Tray with Two Hallmarks Vintage Italian Pewter Tray with two marks
I find the markings on pewter to be confusing. In Europe there were pewter guilds which regulated the trade and each touch mark was recorded.
However, according to my understanding of things, in early America there were no pewter guilds. The name or initial of the pewter maker sometimes went on their pewter pieces.
Hallmarks, similar to those found on silver, were used by some American pewterers.Dackermann Bowl with Handles
My pewter D. Dackermann 18th century American bowl is marked with three worn oval marks depicting a picture of an angel holding a scale and a stag with antlers rearing on its back legs. See photograph.
The round bowl is about 14-inches long and has two handles. The shape is slightly bent but it does not look like it has ever been repaired. It has no holes or cracks in it. It is also very heavy.
It looks dirty and dusty but not sure how to clean vintage pewter.
Anyway, I keep it on my coffee table. I enjoy looking at the lovely construction and curves on my D. Dackermann piece.Three Hallmarks on Bottom of a Dackermann Bowl
FYI on Pewter Touch Marks – After searching through European touch marks, I thought Dackermann’s mark looked very similar to the touch mark of Grunewald family of Bayreuth (Germany).
I noticed they both were oval in shape, both had an angel in the center. They also both had a stag on hind feet and the angel holding the same type of scale. Except the location of the stag and the scales was switched. Also, the family name was in block print and approximately in the same location. The Grunewald’s touch mark also has the wording Ein Zinn on the bottom of it. This is a difference between the two.
The pewterers Family Grunewald used this touch mark from the beginning of the 18th century to the second part of the 19th century. The piece I looked at was marked with the year 1716.
Unfortunately, I do not have a photograph of this similar looking marking to add to this blog.
One Reply to “Where is my Rare 18th Century D. Dackermann Pewter Bowl?”
Thank you for your nice comment. You are right, it does take a lot of time to produce a quality blog but I enjoy every day in blogdom. Good luck with your painting and decorating career. What is your favorite neutral paint color for a room?
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