Pewter Dishes

November 9, 2010

I know some of you are curious about the bowls pictured in this recent post, so I thought I’d share.

They are made by Wilton Armetale and they are part of the Plough pattern in matte finish. In the same pattern, we own dinner plates and salad plates too. (You can see the dinner plates here.) When we were engaged, instead of china, we registered for pewter instead. It’s not actually pewter, because pewter is made with lead and is not safe to eat from. The metal is called armetale and is basically the new safe pewter.

These dishes are one of the best decisions I have ever made. They age gracefully. They look great in the backyard during a BBQ and dress up nicely for dinner parties. They are sort of like the denim of dinnerware — they go with anything! In fact, I love mixing my pewter dinner plates with my china salad plates. A really beautiful combination. And best of all, the kids can’t break them. Really! So we feel free to use them as often as possible. Technically, they’re not supposed to go in the dishwasher, but we’ve been putting them in for 15 years with no harm.

The only downside? Being metal plates, they are not microwave safe. : )

If I’m honest, there is one other downside: Plough is the first pattern ever produced by Wilton Armetale back in the 1960′s, but sometime in the late nineties (after we were married), they discontinued the pattern! I was heartbroken. These days, if I want to add to my collection, I have to watch Ebay like a hawk. This week, I’ve been considering mixing in pieces from the scalloped Queen Anne pattern. It’s another one of my favorites, and it might be fun to have a mix of pewter styles. This topic is on my mind as I take inventory of my dishes for Thanksgiving dinner.

What about you? Do you think you would like to own pewter(ish) dishes? Do you think I should stick with my Plough pattern? Or would be it okay to mix in other pewter styles?

P.S. — Want to know about my flatware? I wrote about it this morning here.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hollowsquirrel November 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Have you checked for Plough replacements here?


2 amy turn sharp November 9, 2010 at 2:09 pm

sso so cool. I love them.


3 AmyB November 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I love this site for missing pieces


4 Kaely November 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm

My parents had Armetale dishes when I was little. We lost most of the in a house fire, I think my brother has the few surviving pieces.

I’m partial to the French Country ones myself.


5 Danielle November 9, 2010 at 2:54 pm

I love the Plough dishes and I think that if you were to add in the Queen Anne, it would lend a bit of an eclectic feel to it. There are people out there that LOOK for mismatched patterns that, when brought together, appear that they were meant to be that way to achieve a laid back ‘who-cares-about-matchy-matchy-I’m-creative-enough-to-compile-my-own-collection’ feel. It’s usually with more delicate china patterns, but the industrial look is more your thing and I think this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce that creativity in a manner that perfectly suits your personality.

Plus, it matches your silverware:P


6 kelli November 9, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Bring in the Queen Annes! xo


7 Amanda November 9, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Adding in the Queen Anne pattern would be a great way to mix things up a bit. I can’t wait to see pics.


8 Alea November 9, 2010 at 4:05 pm

I have all white dishes that look just like the queen anne – that would be fun to mix! So did you dishes turn darker over the years? The matte dishes on the website looked brighter than your picture.


9 Design Mom November 10, 2010 at 12:11 am

They do seem darker in that picture, Alea — I’m not sure what happened. I must have done something funny with the camera. : ) But the finish hasn’t actually changed.


10 lisa polo November 9, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Check out Wendell August Forge pieces. They’re serving pieces from one of the only working forges left and I think they would go beautifully. I have Christmas ornaments and several pieces in the Magnolia pattern. I also covet (seriously) the Autumn leaves serving tray. Lovely! I think it is:


11 Laura Mayes November 9, 2010 at 5:58 pm

I love these so much.


12 Mare November 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm

We did the exact same thing. China is too formal however growing up with pewter I knew right away that that was the set for us. We also have the plough style and you can still buy new plough through the W. A. discontinue/discount store. Call and they will give you prices. I just bough new pieces a few years ago.


13 Tanya November 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Love these dishes. What a great idea!


14 JWK November 9, 2010 at 6:37 pm

I wish I’d known about these when we got married!!


15 Becky November 9, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Great! Something else I can try to collect! :)

Now, from looking at the Wilton website, is it that some of the patterns are in a polished finish and some are more matte-looking? Or do they all start out shiny polished and wear into more of a patina? Does the dishwasher play a role in that?

Neat idea!


16 Design Mom November 10, 2010 at 12:17 am

Yes. Many patterns come in both matte and glossy finishes. My dishes are matte, and if I added Queen Anne to my collection, I would choose matte finish again.

So no, it’s not a dishwasher thing in my case. Although, I imagine if you put the glossy version through the wash, it might not hold up as well. : )


17 kIRSTEN February 13, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I love my pewter dishes I bought at an art show. They did however experience some deep cuts in them as I used them at a diner party. We were using knives to simply cut our meat, but during clean up, I wondered if this is normal. As they are used, do the deep cuts just blend in over time, or do they end up looking worse?


18 georgia January 20, 2012 at 7:09 am

I hope you found an answer to the scratches. Please let me know.
Thanks, Georgia


19 Sarah Buttenwieser November 9, 2010 at 8:00 pm
20 Heidi November 9, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I think the Queen Anne is fine, but I don’t like the shiny finish as much–shape, yes, shiny no. I really do love the PLOUGH though. have you thought of mixing them with Fiestaware?


21 Erin November 9, 2010 at 8:16 pm

The first Ebay link showed a pewter pitcher that my parents have–that I love. It made regular appearances at our dinner table growing up, and though I always thought its roughed-up surface meant, wow, Mom and Dad have been married forever and had this pitcher, I realized later that it was meant to look like that. Pewter dishes, what a fantastic idea–both because of its go-with-everything appeal and because it won’t break. Why haven’t I heard of this before? What a great decision. I feel like my ring and dishes have the same appeal to me–go with everything, will never go out of style. I chose white dishes for that reason. And I love to mix and match–I think mixing in other patterns, especially if they’re different enough to stand out against your Plough pattern, is a great idea.


22 mpm November 10, 2010 at 3:59 am

DM et al:

I would caution you about putting shiny-finish Armetale in the dishwasher. It damages the finish! I have various items in Queen Anne and other styles and in both finishes —goblets, mugs, bowls, trays, etc. and typically always hand wash to be on the safe side—only because I once accidentally ruined a shiny piece in the dishwasher: it took the finish off completely.

You are so right that Armetale is wonderful, wonderful and always looks great dressed up or down for any meal. I love your Plough pieces!



23 Vanja November 10, 2010 at 6:40 am

I love these dishes! They don’t actually look metal in the picture, they look ceramic. I can imagine how nice they look outside during barbeque…


24 Sarah R. November 10, 2010 at 7:55 am

Thanks for the info–I am completely in love with this set! If only I had gotten married a decade sooner and thought to register for these!


25 Suzie @ cupcake monkey November 10, 2010 at 8:00 am

This post came at the perfect time! We received several Armetale pieces for our wedding over 6 years ago and I have been afraid to use them for some reason. I feel like I will ruin them bu putting them on the grill or in the oven!…so they have been in a closet. I think I need to bust them out and use them!!

Love your pieces!!


26 Brenda January 10, 2011 at 11:08 am

Hi, I recently acquired some armetale plough pieces. I am interested in selling them . I have 5 – 6 7/8″ bowls, 5 bread and butter plates 6 15/16″, 4 charges 13 7/8″, and 5 plates 10 1/4″. I need the money to buy my son a football helmet. If anyone is interested, please e-mail me with an offer.


27 Jason August 10, 2011 at 10:16 am

The shiny finish is not actually removed when it goes through the dishwasher – it is just dulled or marred by the chemicals in the soap. The matte and the shiny are the same piece – just the shiny is highly polished on buffing wheels. If you need the finish to come back to original – they need to be repolished – usually a jeweler can accomplish this.


28 Leah November 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm

To echo a previous poster, do you know where I can sell Armetale items? Replacements wasn’t interested and Googling led me to this site which buys china and stuff, but not Armetale.


29 Amber Carlson October 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Hi Design Mom, I have loved these Wilton dishes ever since you posted them a few years back. I’m finally ready to pull the trigger and buy them but I just noticed it says they are NOT dishwasher safe! I have 4 kids?! Has this ever been an issue for you? Have you ever put them in the dishwasher??

Thanks so much!!



30 amber Carlson December 4, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Just so you know the Plough Plates in Matte are available again! yay!



31 Hayley December 7, 2012 at 2:39 pm

We got china, and regular dishes. I’ve since gotten rid of all the regular dishes and bought plain old cheapos from Ikea and they are my favorite. My china sits in a cabinet in the hallway, probably never to be used. But I am afraid of getting rid of it.


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