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Metals (T) - Encylopedia Of Antiques

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TACKS: The lowly tacks, hand-forged until about 1800, had every appearance of tiny, hand-forged nails. They were made in a variety of sizes with sharp points. The early machines for making tacks were operated by hand or foot power.

TANKARD: Silver or pewter drinking vessel with hinged lid, broad, flat base, and with heavy handle. They were of generous proportions and usually cylindrical in shape or tapering to the top. The earliest tankards were made with flat lid, and came into use in England in the time of Elizabeth and so continued until the time of Queen Anne, when the domed tankard made its appearance. In American silver, the early tankards are usually straight-sided in the form of a truncated cone, with flat lids and high thumbpieces. Some have had, later, spouts added. Barrel-shaped tankards were common in late 18th and early 19th century. Smaller vessels without covers are calledmugs (q.v. ) and elongated tankards are commonly known as flagons (q.v.).

TAPPET HEN, TAPPIT HEN: A peculiarly, shaped measure of pewter made and used in Scotland. There are two varieties, the earlier style, uncrested, and the later, crested type having a knob on top. The name may be applied to either the Scot's pint size or two-pint size, equivalent to three English pints, or three English quarts, respectively, although several others were made. The smallest had no lid.

TASTER: A small and distinctive vessel, with handles, usually of silver, sometimes of pewter. They varied in size from less than a quarter to a half pint, and were used for tasting and sampling ale, wine, and spirituous liquors. They were sometimes called dram cups. At one time an official known as the "taster" was employed in every royal household.

TAZZA: A large shallow bowl, usually of silver, with baluster stem with a foot, and sometimes handles, of Italian origin. Like the paten (q.v.) the tazza was for use in church service. TheColonial silversmiths made them in considerable numbers, late 17th and early 18th centuries.

TEA CADDY: (Or CANISTER)The early forms of the English silver tea caddy were round or square, later they became oval in form, and by the end of the 18th century they resembled the designs of the cabinet-maker. As a rule they were fitted with one or two containers for the tea. Apparently Colonial silversmiths seldom, if ever, made tea caddies.

TEA-POTS: The first pewter or silver tea pots were made in England about the middle of the 17th century, following the introduction of tea into Europe. Incidentally, the price of tea in England in 1660 was 60 shillings per pound. The earliest tea-pots were round and tall, then were bulbous in form with a high-domed lid. Later, in the 18th century, they became pear shaped, then oval and urnshaped. Before the introduction of the 18thcentury tea cups, tea was drunk from silver (or pewter) porringers. Coffeepots and chocolate pots came into use about the same time as tea-pots, and followed the same general variations in form.

TEA URNS: Used for hot water with tea services. They took the place of tea kettles, late 18th century. They stood on a square base and had a lid with a finial, two handles, and a spigot in the lower front. Some of them were also provided with a spirit lamp

THUMBPIECE: The name given to the lever on tankard or flagon, by pressing on which, with the thumb, the lid is raised. A study of various types of thumbpieces assists in identifying old pewter.

TIME LAMPS: These were made with a glass reservoir marked in such a manner as to show the passage of time as the fuel burned down.

TIN: The metal entering most largely into the composition of pewter was obtained by the English pewterers chiefly from the mines of Cornwall. It was also used in making many articles for household use and for plating iron. See JAPANNED WARE and TOLE.

TINDER LIGHTING EQUIPMENT: This consisted of the tinder, usually made by scorching linen or cotton fabric, the flint, and steel, and was commonly in use during Colonial times as a means for providing fire. The operation might be performed in a few seconds or it might take several minutes, according to the skill of the operator in making and directing the spark and also to the age of the tinder, which became almost useless after three or four days.

TOASTER: The toaster used before the open fireplace for toasting bread was made of wrought iron and stood on short legs. They were useful on the hearth and later before the grate.

TOUCH-MARK: The touch-mark on pewter was used for the same purpose as the hall-mark on silver-it is the trade-mark of the maker. It was a custom of early origin which later was enforced by law in England although it did not apply in America Much English and some American pew ter bears, in addition to the touch of the maker, a series of smaller marks, generally four, struck in a row and called "hall-marks." These are entirely unofficial, even in England. There is also to be seen on English pewter some device like a flower or animal, and on American pewter, generally from the beginning of the 19th century, some sort of decorative device. In England, the "Rose and Crown" (q.v.) was a mark required by the Company of Pewterers on all pewter made for sale outside of London. All other marks were forbidden.

TOUCH-PLATES: Plates of pewter kept at Pewterers' Hall in London on which the touch-mark of the pewterers was stamped and recorded. It was compulsory for the pew' terers so to register their marks. All of the earlier plates were destroyed by the great London fire in 1666. Plates since that date, bearing 1200 separate touches, have been preserved.

TRAYS: The metal tray was first developed and decorated by japanning at Pontypool, England, but the process soon became a trade and as early as 1709 was taken up in Bilston, and later, in Birmingham and Wolverhampton. During the greater part of the 18th and early 19th centuries, these places were the chief centers of the manufacture of what was known to the trade as Pontypool ware. In France a similar ware was known as We (q.v.). The early trays were decorated with simple geometric designs in two or three colors on a plain black ground. The silver tray came into use about the third quarter of the 18th century. Raised rims and short legs were sometimes attached to these. See CHARGERS, JAPANNED WARE.

TRENCHER: The name applied to early pewter plates, adapted from the early wooden trenchers, use of which antedated metal.


TRIVET: An iron fireplace utensil with short legs to set before the fire for the purpose of keeping the contents of a kettle hot. They are sometimes called spiders (q.v.).

TUMBLER: A small silver or pewter cup with a rounded bottom which came into use in England towards the end of the 17th century. They were without handles and the bottoms were extra heavy, which caused them to maintain an upright position. In America these were called "can" or "cup." See CAN, and MUGS.