N & E Spittle pewtal serving tray
A large serving tray in “Pewtal” firmly attributed to Norman and Ernest Spittle, circa 1905.
The tray has a hammered finish and is unexpectedly light in the hand. The underside is stamped “Pewtal (Registered)”. It has four handles around the edge along with four equidistant hearts in repousse.
I am fortunate enough to have an early catalogue by the Spittle brothers and they describe their registered material “Pewtal”:
Pewtal or PEWter ALuminium is a grey-white metal combining the beautiful colour of old pewter with the strength and lightness of aluminium. But although resembling both Pewter and Aluminium it is without the disadvantages of these metals and can be worked by hand with an artistic resultant “feeling” equal to that of copper craftsmanship and (unlike Pewter) can be applied for Fire Place Canopies and in the making of Electric Light Fittings.
This design was likely retailed by Art Fittings Limited in London. My research has shown that they were the London agents for the Spittle brothers. Gustav Stickley visited Art Fittings Limited of London in 1903 during his visit to England. This particular design is one we know he purchased as it appears in photographs of the second room of the 1903 Arts and Crafts exhibition in Rochester, NY.
Stickley obviously liked the design as it is one he copied for his own metalwork offering. By 1905 this “Serving Tray” design, No. 347, appears in his metalwork catalogue albeit in copper.
Dimensions: Diameter of 52″ at widest point by 1″ deep
Condition: One handle has some knocks and the center of the tray itself has a couple of minor dents