The earliest pewter-trimmed graniteware we have been able to identify dates to 1872. Pieces similar to these over-sized grey graniteware servers were pictured in 1876 & 1878 Perfection Granite Ironware catalogs by the manufacturers, Manning, Bowman & Co., Meriden, Connecticut. The pitchers on the right & left are listed in this catalog as ice water pitchers with triple silver plate fittings. The piece in the center is a soup tureen. Many of these over-sized items were sold as "hotel ware". It appears that other companies represented one another's wares. For example, pewter-trimmed pieces similar to Manning, Bowman's have been found in catalogs of other companies such as Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co. Sometimes these other companies used their own mark on the wares. However, most pewter-trimmed graniteware is NOT marked.
Hand painted cuspidor (spittoon):
Note that the retailer could order various shapes and sizes with a choice of three finishes on the fittings. Those finishes are:
1. Metal (commonly called "pewter", though it's not)
2. Nickel Plate
3. Silver Plate
Today collectors generically call any graniteware with metal trim "Pewter-Trimmed Graniteware", even though the trim may be silver plated. Those pieces with flowers or scenes are actually hand painted over a transfer (aka decal). So when trying to amass a matching set, it is advisable to not only match the style and finish of the metal fittings, but also to match the artistic style & color scheme of the painter.
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