What Is Pewter Used For?

Penelope Kendall

Pewter is one of the oldest metal alloys, first appearing in the 11th century. It was first used for church vessels and then as cauldrons for cooking over open fireplaces. It is still used today in various household, decorative, and utilitarian items.

Pewter garden chair.

Household Items

Pewter is used to make many household items such as utensils, dinnerware, trays, goblets, steins, and serving pieces.


Pewter picture frame.

Many decorative items are made of pewter. Examples include candlesticks, vases, dinner bells, napkin rings, wastebaskets, picture frames and desk accessories.

Building materials

Pewter lighting fixture.

Pewter is a popular material in the building trades. It is found in lighting fixtures, counter tops, fireplace inserts and mantles and striping tape. It is also seen in outdoor furniture and other structures.

Jewelry and accessories

Pewter is seen abundantly in the form of jewelry and other personal accessories like key rings, pins and badges or cuff links.

Sporting goods

A versatile material, pewter is also found in sporting goods such as fishing flies and flashlight bodies.

Modern pewter

The oldest forms of pewter had a base of tin with quantities of lead. This composition makes it unsafe for use in food storage or serving or for anything that will have direct contact with the skin. Newer forms of pewter are made with tin and copper or other metals that are safe for human consumption or contact.