How many of us have yearned for a tavern cage in our home but just don’t have either the room or the means to accomplish this project? This next exciting offering may be a great alternative that will lend plenty of tavern charm to any nook in your home. All you need is a small table to display this gathering on and voila……instant success! You will receive the wooden tankard, pewter plate (hard tack included) and candlestick (candle included), antique inspired civil war era deck of cards and two German leather cups along wooden dice!
~Interesting Tavern History~
Taverns, established during the 1600’s to the civil war era were very popular places and visited frequently by travelers and also local people from the community. It was a place to share information political and otherwise, read the mail and newspaper, not to mention playing board games for entertainment purposes. One could also order a simple meal such as sugared tea and buttered “Hoecakes” or an elaborate meal consisting of several courses that included meats, fowl, shellfish, eels, vegetables, fruits, sweets and cheeses washed down by either rum, cider, malt or punch. The customer’s bill reflected a charge for these refreshments available in either the pint “P” or quart “Q” (popular sizes) hence the familiar expression, “Mind your “P”’s and “Q’s”! Overnight accommodations were also possible and may have included one bed that was shared by strangers set up in the corner or rear “lean ~ to” area of the tavern because of constraints limiting the size of the establishment. Linens were in short supply and seldom got changed! Oh My!
This vintage “Souvenir” tankard lending primitive form seems an appropriate fit surrounded by other recreated tavern objects that make up this gathering. Sporting a natural tree bark posture with an oversized lift up lid due to dowel construction makes this piece really unique! Underneath the lid gives us a clue that this tankard was a souvenir piece from Mount Vernon, Virginia and shows the home (East front of the mansion) of our first President George Washington. I wish he could be our president today!
The inside was fashioned from tin that reflects a rusty surface (see image 11) and the bottom even has the rings present from a tree as shown in image 12. The curved, slender handle is a great feature and radiates a dark surface that attractively sets off the lighter hue on the body. I can’t emphasize enough how many interesting areas there are in this wood lending dark and light color variations along with raised “eclectic bumps and lumps” as shown in images 1, 4 & 5! The tankard is in good condition and the inside label portraying Mount Vernon is intact with minimal loss.
A simple pewter plate would have been used in taverns as other pieces would have the tendency to break from frequent use. This hallmarked plate marked “London” portrays a crown just above along with two other touch marks. One resembles a floral spray while the other mark represents the initials, “B & Co”. There is definite wear to these markings as this plate was pushed across a table many times through the years and I believe it is a 19th century piece. The condition is very good and the honest surface seems “as right as rain”. There are several light scratches on the front and some raised areas on the inside which is to be expected from a utilitarian piece such as this one.
The next item is a vintage pewter candlestick that possesses a delicate form with a pronounced curved handle and rectangular tray. The candle cup has a protruding tapered area located on the top edge to catch any drippings. The surface is wonderful with a dark appearance on the edges which constitutes honest wear. There are some light scratches throughout. This piece is marked, “pewter” with a couple letters and the number 6 on the underside. The condition is very good without any dents present.
The leather dice cups marked, “Germany” on the underside really add whimsical presence to the scene. One of the cups is lighter in color than the other. However they complement each other in a big way! These pieces are fashioned from leather and have been hand stitched as shown in images 27 & 28. They are in wonderful condition and are ready to accept the wooden dice (in pristine condition) while the player crosses his fingers for good luck!
The playing cards are a nice rendition of cards used around the civil war era. The back of each card is blank as shown in image 42. These cards lend even more whimsy to the scene along with presenting color, design and interest. The faces of the king, queen and joker seem to gesture a misleading poker face while presenting a charming folk art appearance.
You may also want to add interesting objects to this tavern gathering that you may already have or may wish to acquire. What about incorporating a mid-19th century newspaper or some leather books. A pewter or stoneware pitcher filled with flowers would be another suggestion to create color and flair to the table. I am sure you will have fun decorating while creating an interesting corner in your home that you and your guests will certainly enjoy!
Wooden tankard stands 7 ¼” from the back where the handle is located and stands almost 7” in the front, measures 4 ¾” across the top (right to left) and measures 3 ¾” deep (front to back), bottom measures 4” across. Pewter plate measures 7 ¾” across and is 5/8” tall. Pewter candlestick measures 5” across (longest area), measures 3 ¼” front to back and stands 1 ½” tall (not including candle). Leather dice cups stand 2 ½” tall except the brown cup is just a smidge taller, both measure 2 ¼” across the top opening and 1 ¾” across the bottom. Wooden dice measure ½” square. Playing cards measures 3 ½” by 2 ½” and are ½” thick when stacked together.