Three pewter jacks, made of lignum vitae. The two 1 pt jacks are 9½in tall, and the half pint 7in.
Pewter jacks were used to restore the profile of dented or bent pewter tankards. When they were originally made the body of the tankard was cast from a mould. However pewter is a soft alloy, and when in regular use drinking vessels needed to be knocked back into shape from time to time. These jacks were made for an inverted truncated cone body, a style which was introduced around 1870 and ran on into the 1900s.
These three forms came from G.Hayward & Sons of Hertford, established 1880, a business which we bought in 1959.
In J T Graham's book "Weights and Measures” he states "Pewter is easily dented, and the measures doubtless came in for a lot of rough treatment in alehouses, where they were used for both measuring and drinking. Dents could be knocked out, however, and for this a pewter jack was used.”
Our thanks to Andrew Ferrar of The Pewter Society for some of this information.
Click on the Image(s) For Detail