Bonhams to sell pewter mugs and measures which offer glimpse into pub culture of past centuries

The Michael Boorer Pewter Collection
22 Nov 2012

The Michael Boorer Pewter Collection will be sold at Bonhams in Chester on 22nd November, providing a great opportunity for pewter collectors to bid for wonderful items used in pubs 300 to 400 years ago.

The mugs represent a unique view into the tavern culture of the 17th/18th century as they not only show regional types and styles, but some have the name of the public house engraved on them along with the landlord's details. Theft of mugs was a real problem in the 18th century with mugs 'going walking' – hence the engraved information. Some things do not change.

David Houlston of Bonhams in Chester comments: "The Boorer Pewter Collection is unique. It is essentially two specialist collections plus a choice selection of fine British domestic pewterware from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. There is also an extensive group of small British wine measures from the seventeenth century onwards. Pewter 'pub mugs' from the 19th century are fairly common, but 17th/18th century examples are extremely rare."


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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