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Pewter Flatware

Four large pewter chargers (diameter 20.25 in.) and two smaller pewter plates (diameter 9.5 in.) have so far been recovered from the QAR. Two additional plates remain attached to one of the cannon on the wreck site. Two of the chargers and both plates feature a set of four unofficial "hall marks" on their upper rims. Hallmarks identify the maker and were designed to imitate gold and silversmith marks to give an official appearance to pewterware.

The monogram B.A.S. occurs on the upper rim of one of the chargers and may well identify the owner of the plate or the vessel to which it was assigned. A plate from Henrietta Marie, for example, had HM stamped on its base, while another from the Whydah Galley featured the initials WG. A search through the inventory of vessels captured by Blackbeard, along with the list of the ship officers, has not yet revealed a name matching the initials. The underside of the rim of the same charger features the word LONDON bracketed by two circular marks, one identifying the maker, the other a London secondary guild mark. A smaller plate also features base marks including the word LONDON, a London/Tudor Rose secondary mark, and the partial name of [GEO]RGE HAMM[OND] above a flexed arm wielding a sword. Hammond's mark occurs on both plates recovered from the QAR, and from several basins recovered from the British slaver Henrietta Marie, lost in the Florida Keys in 1700. Hammond is known to have worked in London from as early as 1693, and was made steward of the Worshipful Company of Pewterers in 1709.

The mark and name of Jon Stiles appears on the bottom of another pewter charger from the QAR. IO. STILE within a sunken cartouche is located beneath a crowned Tudor rose. The LONDON is stamped nearby, as is Stiles' name again above a bird devouring a snake. Stiles produced pewterware in London from 1689 until at least 1730. The pewter occurring on the QAR may well have been left over trade items destined for the African market like the pewter on the Henrietta Marie. Two of the chargers, for example, still retain the impressions of fabric on their surfaces, suggesting they were in storage when the ship sank.