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Venice was the centre of trade with Muslim countries to the east, whose decorative styles influenced Italian engravers.In England the industry developed slowly until 1700, when new foundries in Birmingham and Bristol rapidly expanded brass manufacture.Eating, drinking, celebrating, lighting rooms and taking communion all required long-lasting, affordable objects.Much of the V&A collection shows signs of having been well used in the places which touched most people's lives: home, tavern and church.
The 'SUPERFINE HARD METAL' mark was a convention Jefferys adopted to advertise the quality of his wares. Made in Lübeck, Germany, and dated 1717, it is inscribed in German 'This is the Welcome [cup] of all Honorable pewter founder journeymen Anno June 24, 1717.' and 'Drink and be Merry is all well and good, but remember that we are all united.' Welcome cups were displayed on buffets at civic dinners.Exquisitely engraved tobacco boxes and Arts and Crafts bowls reveal brass as an 'art' metal.Before 1600, European brass manufacture flourished in Nuremberg, whose councils protected local trade zealously.The vase has been well used but is in good condition.
There are no major dents or damage and it displays beautifully.Soft lead made casting easier, but was poisonous, so it was forbidden in 'flatware' such as plates, dishes and porringers. Elaborate French and German buffet dishes of the 1580s show mould-making and casting at its most skilled. From 1300 to 1800, pewter was as familiar as china is today. The Arts and Crafts movement revived pewter around 1900, using traditional manufacturing techniques.