(View exact match)pewterSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: black metal
DEFINITION: A tin-based alloy used as a material from which domestic utensils were fashioned. The alloy is often 100 parts of tin to 17 of antimony; or 89 tin, 7 antimony, and 2 copper. Tin and zinc, and lead and tin, are sometimes used to make pewter. The use of pewter dates back at least 2,000 years to Roman times. Ancient pewter contained about 70 percent tin and 30 percent lead. Such pewter, also called black metal, darkened greatly with age, and the lead leached out in contact with acidic foods.
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DEFINITION: A soft, silvery-white or grayish metal that is very malleable, ductile, and dense and is a poor conductor of electricity. Known in antiquity and believed by the alchemists to be the oldest of metals, lead is highly durable and resistant to corrosion, as is indicated by the continuing use of lead water pipes installed by the ancient Romans. In antiquity, galena (from which silver may also be extracted) was the main source of lead in the Old World, although anglesite and cerussite were also exploited. Lead was used to make patterns for casting, to wet bronze and ease its casting; in making glazes; and alloyed with tin to make soft solder for joining metals and pewter for tablewares as well as for pipes roofing etc. The first evidence for lead-extraction in parts of Europe is the addition of the metal to bronze during the Late Bronze Age.