Pewter is a metal alloy of tin, copper, small parts of bismuth and/or antimony, and sometimes lead. Very little American pewter contained lead, however, because much of the ware was designed to be used as tableware. Many of the fine examples of American pewter were melted down and recast into bullets during the American Revolution in 1775. This explains why examples from this period are quite difficult to find. Pieces that did survive may include buttons, buckles, writing equipment as well as the tableware we generally think of.