Thursday, 8 July 2010

Vintage Tankard Time #1

Our last post discussed a little bit of the humble beginnings behind the tankard. Nowadays the pewter tankard reins supreme as the tankard of choice for many, but over at Tankard Blog we like to look to the past for inspiration in the present. Therefore we welcome you to our first edition of 'Vintage Tankard Time', a series in which we explore some of the more interesting items from the history of tankards. First up is the wonderful Langstone Tankard, perhaps one of the more significant archaelogical finds in the world of ye olde tankards...

This great wooden Langstone Tankard was discovered in 2007 in Newport, Wales. Believed to be over a staggering 2000 years old, this tankard's massive 4 pint capacity proves folk of old certainly knew how to handle their ale. As Museum Wales describe:

'When full, the tankard would have held nearly four pints of beer or cider. It was held in two hands and was probably passed around a group as a communal drinking vessel. This vessel was made of six wood staves, slotted around a circular base-piece. Surrounding the outer face of the body are two bands of bronze sheet. The vessel has a cast copper-alloy handle, attached to the tankard wall by two pairs of rivets.

The Langstone tankard is difficult to date accurately. The surviving handle, is very similar to a tankard handle discovered at the Roman fort at Loughor (Swansea). It was buried in a well, which was filled up during the second century AD. However, close examination of the Langstone tankard, suggests that this poorly fitted handle was a late replacement to an original, now missing. A localised tapering of the rim and delicate bronze pins remaining in the middle tankard wall are the surviving evidence for this early handle. This suggests that this tankard was made in the first or early second century AD'

Well I don't know about you but I love this historical tankard. It really gives a sense of the rich cultural history that can be traced to todays contemporary pewter tankards. The Langstone Tankard is will be exhibited sometime during 2010 at the Origins - In Search of Early Wales exhibition at the National Museum Cardiff

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