MAS-D100036: MAS-D100036; Kent; Saucer; Image 1 of 4

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SAUCER

Unique ID: MAS-D100036

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Pewter bowl measuring 15 inches in diameter by 2 1/2 inches in depth.

This find is a pewter dish or saucer (the term 'saucer' is used here to describe vessels used to contain sauces, in order to disguise or enhance the taste of food), probably dating somewhere between the 16th and 18th centuries - there are very similar examples, for instance, in 16th century contexts from Nonsuch Palace in Surrey (Rosemary Weinstein, 'Pewter vessels', in Biddle 2005). That doesn't mean that this vessel is a high-status object - saucers and dishes were among the most commonly made pewter items, and would have been in use in humbler households too.

Pewterers call chargers, dishes, plates and saucers 'sadware'. The difference between them is based on their sizes, with some overlap between the four occurring. Generally, they are now separated as saucers being anything under 7" (17.7 cm) in diameter, plates being 7" to 11" (17.7 to 27.8 cm) in diameter, dishes being 11" to 18" (27.9 to 45.6 cm) in diameter, and chargers being anything larger than this.

Early British sadware is usually characterised by a plain rim, a gently-rounded bouge and, often, a raised centre to the well. Unfortunately, only a small fraction survives in the archaeological record due to what we would now term recycling, but also because it does not survive well in the environment. Up until about 1640 styles remained relatively static, before a period of rapid changes for nearly a century occurred, before settling back to a stable style which continued until the use of pewter for sadware died out in the 19th century. From c.1640 there was a vogue for sadware with a steeper bouge and broad rim. In Britain, massive amounts of sadware was made between 1650 and 1780 as households across the social divide replaced their wooden tableware with 'modern' pewter. From c.1660 there was a demand for rims with multiple-reeded edges, before the rim widths steadily shrank back to where they had been, though some very narrow rims were also produced. Around 1700, the single reeded rim became popular and the plain rim also re-appeared, though without the gentler bouge of the earlier version. The single reed continued to be produced throughout the 18th century on sadware intended for export to America, but fell out of favour c.1730 for the domestic British market, with the plain rim dominated the market until production of pewter sadware ceased. A few variations did occur in the 18th century when non-circular plates with wavy or polygonal edges became popular amongst the wealthy in Britain in the later part of the century; engraved owners' crests were popular for a while and at the beginning of the century wrigglework decoration had a brief spell of popularity.

Class: FOOD AND DRINK SERVING CONTAINER
Sub class: SAUCER

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: With finder
Subsequent action after recording: Submitted as wreck to the Receiver of Wreck

Wreck details

Droit number: 056/17

Chronology

Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Period to: POST MEDIEVAL

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 23rd April 2017

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: A BB
Identified by: L M
Secondary identifier: V L

Other reference numbers

Droit ID: 056/17

Materials and construction

Primary material: Tin or tin alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

References cited

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Audit data

Recording Institution: MAS
Created: Tuesday 25th April 2017
Updated: Tuesday 26th September 2017

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