Friday, March 9, 2012

The Birth of a New Collection

If you happen to follow my Pinterest boards, you may have noticed my recent fascination with antique pewter. (Or, if you're my husband and have seen the hours I've spent pouring over ebay and etsy in search of affordable pieces, you may be more inclined to call it an obsession. Which he has. Often.) Call it what you will, my collecting radar has zeroed in on pewter.

 It started with the small, dark, pewter plate above. This one is actually a reproduction of an early style, and actually I bought it for my mom (and yes, mom, I am still planning to bring it for you next time we come home). But once I saw this little plate in my house, I knew that pewter would be a beautiful addition to my dining room.
This is the picture that I have been drooling over and using for inspiration. I LOVE this picture, not only because it is just plain beautiful, but because it is at least vaguely reminiscent of the style of my dining room. (I don't have the original source of this picture. Please help if you know it!) I mostly see pewter collections in a very primitive Early American style of decor, a style which I appreciate, but it's not quite how I've chosen to decorate my own home. But this picture shows a collection of pewter in a gorgeous European style kitchen, with French and Swedish influences, rustic wood painted in muted grays, blues, and whites, and a touch of glamour with the crystal chandelier. Perfect. And I love that plate rack. Love. So my quest for pewter turned into a quest for a plate rack...
And this is what I found. Granted, it's not quite as grand as my inspiration, but it fits my space perfectly, and it was all of $17.00 at a local antique mall. It was stained a dark, reddish color with a glossy finish, and while I considered keeping it dark, in the end it looked too traditional... as in, Grandma's china cabinet traditional. So a good sanding and a couple coats of Cobblestone gray paint (Olde Century Colors) later, it looks just right.

Until my pewter collection grows, I've filled the bottom shelf of my plate rack with antique butter paddles. Apparently I collect those, too... I didn't really realize that I did until I went around the house and gathered up enough to fill the shelf, with a few to spare. Funny how some collections sneak up on you like that!


This old pewter pitcher was the first piece I bought. I found it on etsy for $20, and snatched it up. It has such a wonderful patina and beautiful old details, like the bolted on handle. I've discovered that pewter is a little hard to come by where I am, so I am (trying) to be patient and build my collection slowly and inexpensively, which is not an easy task with pewter - the old stuff is fairly pricey. But with collecting, the thrill of the hunt is half the fun, and I have a feeling I have lots of fun ahead of me!

Do any of you collect pewter? Any tips for a newbie collector?

7 comments:

  1. LOVE it!!! I am remodeling my kitchen and am doing mostly white on white with some utility pendant light and stools and I have recently started finding ironstone, I was going to mix in some pewter and like you realized I actually have MORE that I collect than I thought! LOL
    I love your shelves filled with the white...SWOON!

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  2. Oooo, pretty! I can't wait to see how your collection grows. My grandfather had a big pewter collection. I loved it. The collection was split up after he passed, but I ended up with a few pieces. Great photography, as usual! :)

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  3. I have always love pewter! Every trip to Williamsburg or Old Salem inspires me to start a pewter collection. They have such a beautiful patina.

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  4. Love your collection.Your collection is inspiring me also.Just lovely.

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  5. I've been collecting pewter for years. I think it fits so wonderfully in a variety of decorating styles. Not all of my pewter is antique, but my favorite pieces are. I found many of them on ebay. I also look at antique shops, though the prices are generally higher there. I have found quite a few bargains at thrift shops. My daughter-in-law is a big thrift store shopper and she always keeps her eye out for me too. So I'd suggest visiting your local Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, Goodwill, etc. regularly, and spreading the word about your pewter collecting to your friends and relatives.

    The pieces you have so far are wonderful. Good luck as you continue the hunt!!

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  6. i collect pewter, too.
    and ironstone, and grain sacks! :)

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  7. If you ever find yourself in central West Virginia on I-79, there's a little town called Weston. There's a used furniture/antique mall there with a bunch of pewter for cheap. It is reproduction, but the plates were $5 a piece. I bought one to set a pewter pitcher in and I really like it. I think they also had cups and other pieces made of pewter.

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