Tin production ‘was one of the oldest English industries; throughout the Middle Ages this country had something like a monopoly in Europe … Of the tin retained in the country – perhaps a fifth of that exported – the bulk went into the making of pewter … Pewter was in common use in all houses, except the poorest … it varied in quality from the finest – an alloy of tin with as much copper as the tin would take – to the poorest quality, for candle-moulds and small commercial articles. The top quality was given a burnish to come as near to silver as possible’.

A.L. Rowse, The England of Elizabeth, London 1950, and The Elizabethan Renaissance, London 1972

Screw-top pewter flask.  Body crushed and holed.  Centaur touchmark on underside.

Screw-top pewter flask. Body crushed and holed. Centaur touchmark on underside.

Two ovoid pewter flasks with sloping shoulders and flat-top screw-caps have been recovered. The one in better condition (no. 502; Ht. 191 mm) features griffen-like protomes on the shoulders and a decorative touchmark on the base. The mark, which appears to be unknown, features a galloping centaur with a drawn bow shooting rearwards over his hind-quarters. The second flask (no. 1104) is smaller and in a more advanced state of deterioration. It was found in I999 lying on top of some sand bags, thus illustrating once again the movement of artefacts within the sandbank. Pewter flasks, or bottles, of broadly similar shape were found on the Mary Rose.

Pewter porringer and spoon.  The underside of the porringer has been inscribed with the name A DE BOVRCE.

Pewter porringer and spoon. The underside of the porringer has been inscribed with the name A DE BOVRCE.

Of particular interest was a pewter bowl with trefoil ‘ears’ and a domed bottom. Tableware bowls of this general type were known as porringers. Also of interest is a crudely punched, illegible mark, or monogram, on one ear, and the owner’s name A DE BOVRCE on the underside. Local historian John Roberts, has identified de Bource (with several orthographical variations) as a sixteenth century Jersey name. This is not to say that the Alderney wreck was a Jersey ship (see Chronology, nationality and identity).

The only other tableware item was the pewter plate that is illustrated in the accompanying illustration.

In 2004 a large, badly crushed, copper-alloy basin was recovered from the site, that is believed to have come from the vessel’s galley.