How Much Is Pewter Worth? Is Pewter Worth Anything? Answered

Pewter is commonly found in a wide variety of utensils and decorations, including common household items like pots, flatware, mugs, candlesticks, and decorative elements. The good news is that pewter may be worth more than you realize. Antique and vintage pewter items can fetch high rates from the right buyers. And, even if your pewter item itself isn’t worth much for its craftsmanship, melted pewter can still sell. How much is pewter worth? Here’s your answer…

Is Pewter Worth Anything?

Pewter is a metal alloy of tin and lead, but it’s mostly composed of tin. Tin prices generally fluctuate between $7 and $11 per pound. When selling for scrap, you can expect to get roughly 50% of the current price — so scrap pewter, therefore, is generally worth around $3 to $5 per pound at a scrap yard. You can find a local scrap yard and check their prices with the iScrapApp.

Your pewter items can have value for what they are, beyond just the base value of the pewter. There is a lucrative market for pewter kitchen items and decorations. Examples of these include tankards, mugs, saladware, flatware, pots, or candlesticks. You can browse eBay’s collectible pewter metalware page to get an idea of what items are out there and what they sell for, and how your own pewter items compare. The value of any given pewter item will depend on its age, condition, brand, and other factors.

Antique kitchenware and figurines can sell for surprising amounts of money. The most popular kitchenware items are tankards or pots. There are many different types of pewter tankards, so it’s best to know which features belong to an antique era. For example, the earliest known pewter tankards had thumb pieces instead of footed rims or handles. These older models will fetch the highest price on the market.

Pewter was also a popular material for making figurines. Most figurine companies used pewter due to its pliability and aged appearance. Some popular figurines were those depicting stage coaches or cowboys. An antique, collectible figurine in good condition could sell for over a thousand dollars.

Identifying Pewter

Pewter is usually silver in color, but could be a bit more bronze colored if less lead was used to make the alloy. Your pewter items might have certain markings on them that can help you identify whether they’re worth anything, whether they’re authentic, or whether they’re knock-offs.

Identifying Marks on Pewter

Writing, labels, and marks on your pewter can help you identify your item’s collectability and age. Marks you can find on pewter include touch marks, hallmarks, quality marks, labels, and catalog numbers. These marks are made by the pewterer or manufacturer who made the item. Even if your pewter piece doesn’t have markings, that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. According to the Pewter Society, many high-quality pewter pieces weren’t marked at all.

Touch marks identify the pewterer. Usually, they are a thumbprint, fingerprint, or initials. Hallmarks mimic the hallmarks left on silver because new pewter has a similar color. But, they don’t actually mean anything, as pewter isn’t measured like silver. Quality can help identify age — a crowned rose was used in the mid 16th century and an X was used after that. After the 18th century, quality marks lost their significance. Labels might identify where a pewter item was made, but they aren’t always accurate. Numbers are most common on pewter from the 19th and 20th centuries, when pewterers numbered their pieces to be part of a catalog. And, capacity marks like “pint” or “quart” became required by law in 1836, so anything with such marks was very likely made after 1836.

Reproductions, Fakes, and Forgeries

Depending on the type of reproduction, some items may or may not have been made to deceive buyers. Marks on pewter might be helpful identifiers, but most of the time there was no regulatory body in place to ensure that pewterers put truthful marks on their pieces.

Know your pewter terminology. With respect to pewter, “reproduction” refers to any item that was made following the same production methods and using the same materials as older models. “Forgeries” are usually made from molds of real collectibles, so they carry all the same blemishes and marks. And, “fakes” are most commonly authentic, unmarked items that have later been illegitimately marked. “Fakes” may also have been decorated to appear antique.

Suggested article: How Much Is Lead Worth? Answered

How to Sell Pewter

The best way to sell pewter is through your nearest certified antique dealer or through antique fairs. The Pewter Society holds two auctions a year exclusive to members. Antique dealers have the expertise to appraise the item and give you a ballpark selling figure. When navigating antique fairs, keep an eye out for true pewter specialists, otherwise the best items or prices may not actually be available.

There are also several online resources for pewter sale, such as pewtersellers.com and pewtersociety.org (mentioned above). Online auction sites like eBay are another great way to sell. You can browse eBay’s collectible pewter page to compare your own pieces to similar pieces, and get an idea what yours might sell for if you sell alone and don’t go through a dealer. Selling on Craigslist doesn’t get the audience reach you need to sell this specialty metal for a decent price.

Geographical factors can also play a large role in how well an antique may sell. It is usually best to sell the pewter in its country of manufacture; this is where the most interested buyers and best prices will be found. Pewter made in the British Isles will sell well in any English speaking country, but American pewter is going to sell best in the United States. Within the United States, markets vary based on region. For example, pewter from the Midwest will sell best there, while eastern or southern pewter sells best nearer the Atlantic.

It’s important to take the time to get high quality, professional photos of your pewter if you’ll be selling it online or using photos to advertise. The photo of the item can make or break a sale. Photographs should have good lighting and focus to accentuate color and texture. The surface condition of the pewter is very important to buyers, so take notice of dents, scratches, or random patches of corrosion; these will decrease the value of the object. On the other hand, a thorough chemical cleaning, some polishing, and the proper discoloration can be major selling points. Also, don’t forget to call attention to any touch or capacity marks to ensure authenticity.

In Summary

Pewter is an alloy of tin and lead. So is Pewter worth anything? While it doesn’t have the metallurgical value of silver or gold, it can be worth a significant sum depending on its age, condition, and manufacturer. Check for marks, clean your pewter well, and you can sell it — through an antique dealer or on eBay are two of the easiest options.

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70 comments

  • Josie Hodgdon says:

    My mother had a pewter teapot,coffee pot and sugar and creamer and also a tray they all sit on
    It is marked real pewter and the sugar has those thumb print markings mentioned
    Can you tell me what this may be worth
    Thank you

  • I have 6 antique pewter plates. I believe they are of European origin.
    Each has three “Justice” marks on the back. Unfortunately, I can not decipher the words but I think one is “Blok.”
    Each one has somone’s initials in script font on the front and they are dated from 1732-1737 in the same font.
    Unfortunatey, they are tarnished…
    Do you think they have value
    Thanks so much for any info

    • Laura Bachmann says:
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      Hi Lisa,

      If you want to sell your pewter as scrap, you can do so by contacting a local scrap yard. You might make more money, however, if you sell the set whole. If your set is in good condition and complete, I’d recommend trying to sell it to a local store that sells used houseware. Pewter doesn’t usually scrap for much, so you’re probably better off selling the set.

  • Hi I have a lid to something with Asian symbols and the words nguan kwang heng swatow. Do you know anything about this by chance? What it would go with and was it valuable. Thank you for your time.

    • Laura Bachmann says:
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      Hi James,

      Pewter comes in many different grades, so you’ll have to take it to a scrap yard for analysis to find out exactly how much it’s worth. Because scrap pewter isn’t usually worth that much, it’s usually more profitable to sell the piece whole. If you could find whatever matches with the lid, you could probably make more than if you just scrapped the lid. Assuming you don’t have the match for that lid, you can find a local scrap yard near you, and their prices.

  • I have a pewter stein with lid and 6 pewter shot glasses made in W Germany. Any ideas on how much it is worth? It says 93 percent pewter

    • Rebecca Turley says:
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      Hi Susan,

      Is there anything else you can tell me about the pieces? Do you know the approximate age of them, and are there any other words or letters that would help identify the manufacturer of these?

      • It is a hunting motif stein made by n W Germany OLWE. On the bottom of the shot glass it says FRIELING-ZINN. SERIE LINDENWIRTIN. I have had it for about 20 years my my husbands uncle who lived in Germany had it but we don’t know how long. There are marking on the stein but they are too small to make out

        • Rebecca Turley says:
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          Hi Susan,

          The Frieling company from Sundern/Sauerland, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany is a popular pewter company (zinn is German for pewter). While I am not sure of the age of the pieces, I did see quite a few steins being sold for about $50 on auction sites — much more than the value of the pewter.

  • Hi there!
    I have quite a few 10oz Makers Mark Julep Cups. (280) of them.

    I found them in a storage unit I purchased a year ago. Was 7 boxes and in each box was 8 box with sets of 5 cups (40) per box. Each box weighed 24lbs. After doing research I discovered the Makers Mark website and of course their not available now but the prices on them were $79.99 each. On the bottom of each cup it says (Genuine Pewter)
    My question is should I try eBay? Or contact an auction service?
    If I’m not mistaken if I was to buy these at their cost it would have costed me $22,397 These cups have a brushed looked with the logo and look amazing.
    I would say I got lucky on this find.

    • Rebecca Turley says:
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      Hi Jason,

      What a fantastic find! I also researched these beautiful cups and found them being sold by Makers Mark for $79.95 each! While you can certainly list them on eBay, I’d like to think that such a large collection may do better at auction. I also found quite a few of these cups through similar online auction sites. The ones selling on eBay were going for about $40 a piece, which would still garner you quite a bit of money. Good luck!

  • Joy Lloyd says:

    Hi I’m trying to find out more about my great great grand mothers teapot, there is a trade mark which looks like a man with a teapot on his head & the name Thomas Otley & Sons SHEFFIELD , 4001 5 4
    It would be great to find out more.

    • Rebecca Turley says:
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      Hi Joy,

      I am wondering if you have a pewter teapot or a silver plated one. Thomas Otley & Sons, in Sheffield, England, produced Britannia goods between 1872-1911 that were nickel plate, electroplate on metal, and electroplate on nickel silver. They specialized in tea and coffee services. Because your teapot says Otley & Sons and not Otley & Sons Ltd., it looks like it was produced between 1872-1900. They are often valued by collectors because of the pretty etching that often adorns them. I did a quick search through eBay and found some of these teapots going for between $55-$65.

    • Rebecca Turley says:
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      Hi Karen,

      The Pewter Society lists the outlets where you will have the most luck selling it. Don’t forget that eBay has become a very popular site for selling pewter, too. Good luck!

  • I have what looks like a chalice and there are 6 of then. It’s stamped 2152 pewter and the name looks like Freisner. Are they worth anything?

    • Rebecca Turley says:
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      Hi Karen,

      The pewter company is actually Preisner, a well-known name in pewter for more than 50 years. They still make beautiful pewter pieces in their Connecticut location. The value of your goblets/chalices will depend on when they were made. I tried to locate this information based on the 2152 stamp, but I was unable to locate a date. However, I did find a few different auction sites selling a set of eight 2152 goblets/chalices for between $33-$50. Hope this helps!

    • Rebecca Turley says:
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      Hi Dinah,

      I did a quick search of these tea sets, which are quite lovely, and found that most were selling for about $25 on auction websites.

  • Hi,

    My Mom has a Pewter – George Washington figurine – 1976 Vincent Ricci & Michael Stelzer #49 of 1000 copyright 1976 classic editions inc. I cant find out anything about this piece? Mom would like to know if it is worth anything…can you point me in the right direction? Thank you so much. PS my email contains the word sell – I sell real estate not collectibles (LOL).

    • Rebecca Turley says:
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      Hi Diana,

      If you are unable to find any information online about your George Washington pewter figurine, your best bet is to have it appraised through a reputable appraiser. If you want to sell it, many sellers go to eBay.

  • Alison Davis says:

    Hi, I have a pewter set of a cup and cross on the side of the box has a stamp saying RENAISSANCE PEWTER WITH THE NUMBER 1835 could you tell me the value.

    • Rebecca Turley says:
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      Hi Alison,
      Could you tell me a little more about the piece? You said the box is stamped, but does the cup itself have any identifying marks on it? If you could tell me anything else about the piece, I might be able to give you some more information.

        • Rebecca Turley says:
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          Hi Alison,

          Because your cup does not have any distinguishing marks on it, it is difficult to determine its value. However, according to the Pewter Society, many high-quality pewter pieces were never marked. Your best bet is to find a pewter dealer in your area who can appraise it. Google “antique pewter dealers [your city]” to locate a nearby dealer. Good luck!

  • Louise Lambert says:

    Hello,
    I have a 6″ diameter pewter plate with raised rim and raised stylized lobster on top. I looked up the mark: Zinn Rein by Harald Buchrucker. Top finish, without cleaning, is spotted with some pitting. Can’t find anything similar on Google, Ebay and etc. Any idea of value? Should I clean it? Thanks.

    • Sarah Quinn says:
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      Louise,

      It sounds like you’ve got a unique piece there! I’m not immediately seeing anything on the major websites you suggested either, so it’s probably best to have it appraised in person if you’re hoping to discover its true value. You might consider contacting your nearest certified antique dealer or trying to sell it through an antique fair (at which you might also be able to get it appraised). I hope this helps!

  • I have pewter goblets and small and lg. mugs. I bought them in Disney World some years back. I paid 35.00 each for them. They have never been used as my son I bought them for died. Could you tell me where I might find out where to sell them and how much they are worth. Thank You so much

    • Sarah Quinn says:
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      Liz,

      The value of your pewter goblets may depend on their year, theme, and current demand. In today’s market, the value of contemporary pewter is going down, but for rarer or older pieces, value is only appreciating. It sounds like what you have are not antiques, but more modern pieces. Since your pewter goblets and mugs are not the sort of thing an antique dealer would be interested in, I would recommend trying a visit to Craigslist or eBay.com and running a search for “Disney pewter goblets.” If you can find a listing that’s similar to what you have, you can get a good idea of the demand for those pieces and how much they sell for. I hope this helps!

  • Lorraine says:

    I have a small English pewter tankard, it was bought at an auction and it is marked made in England. I also have a small bowl with no markings but it seems to have some kind of join line through the center, could they be worth anything?

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Lorraine,

      The English tankard may be worth something; there are numerous listings for similar items on eBay with prices ranging from $7 to $95. Considering the wide variety of prices, it may be worth taking the tankard to a pewter expert for an appraisal, particularly if you paid a considerable sum for it at the auction. As far as the bowl, it’s difficult to say how much the item may be worth without further details. To get an exact estimate, the best option is probably to take that item to a local pewter dealer as well to find out how much it’s worth. I hope this helps!

  • david clay says:

    Pewter scrap $11 – $13 per ounce? RUBBISH
    The stock exchange price is only $20usd per kilogram!

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
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      Hi David,

      The price of scrap pewter does vary widely depending on its composition, form, and age, so it’s hard to come up with a benchmark figure. But you’re right that $11 – $13 per ounce is much higher than anyone is likely to get for the melt value of pewter. Pewter is mostly tin, and tin is generally priced between $7 and $10 per pound; taking the scrap yard’s mark-up into account, sellers are likely to get around $3 to $5 per pound for scrap pewter. Again, my apologies for the misinformation, and thank you for taking the time to bring the issue to our attention.

      The article has been updated to reflect this information.

  • Florentina Lazaroaie says:

    I bought at an estate sale a pewter flatware set for 12 marked W 250 ALPACCA . After some research on the web I think the W stands for Wolff and it might come from Brazil, as the case that they are housed in. It seems the pattern is Ausburger Faden. How much do you think it is worth?

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
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      Hi Florentina,

      It sounds like what you have isn’t pewter, but alpacca silver, also called nickel silver. It doesn’t contain any real silver, unfortunately, but it seems that there is a market for this type of flatware. Hopefully you’re able to find something that closely resembles the set that you have to get an idea of its value; otherwise, you may consider taking the set to a local appraiser, since you do have a fairly large lot and that may increase the value. Best of luck!

  • Jackie Arch says:

    I have app 2500 pewter jewelry and belt buckles made from pewter. They were manufactured in Bloomington, Indiana. Then shipped to me and I put original artwork on them. I only have 2500 left. They could be melted down. Does anyone know someone who would buy these and I could ship them out immediately.

      • Jacqueline Annette Arch says:

        Hi James
        I don’t .
        I can send you photos.
        I don’t have a number in mind. What are you thinking?
        I just heard it’s apx .30 per pound
        Thank you
        Jackie

  • Janis Corcoran says:

    Looking to find out the worth of Empire pewter 827 coffee set… coffee pot sugar creamer and tray. Thank you

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
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      Hi Janis,

      A great resource to find out the value of a piece is running a quick eBay search for similar items. I searched eBay for “Empire pewter” and found numerous listings for creamers and coffee sets. Prices vary quite a bit, and I didn’t see any listings that exactly matched your description — but you may be able to find individual listings for items that are similar to the ones in your set, so you can total up these pieces to get an idea of what the full set is worth. I hope this helps!

  • Isla Gipson says:

    I have a pewter tea pot with a mark that I think is a crown and 1874 marked on bottom. Does it have any value?

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
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      Hi Isla,

      It’s very difficult to say how much the teapot may be worth without having it looked at by a professional appraiser. Kovels.com is a great resource — you can make a free account to look at purchase prices of items similar to yours. This is a terrific way to get a general idea of the item’s worth, but the best way to be certain is to get in touch with a local antiques dealer. Best of luck!

  • Veda Stone-Goff says:

    Dear Hillary,

    Your website is very informative. I have 5 Stieff Pewter P50 Jefferson cups, 6 saucer plates P45-19. Where would I look to find the estimated value and where to sell them?

    Your time and help is appreciated in advance.

    Sincerely,
    Veda

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Veda,

      eBay is always a great place to check listings and find comparable items to get an idea of how much your pieces are worth. I tried a search for “Stieff Pewter P50 Jefferson” and here’s what I found. It looks like prices range between roughly $4 and $15 per cup. Once you’ve found approximate prices for your items, you have a few choices. You can sell the items on eBay, Craigslist, Etsy, or another online retailer, or get in touch with a local antiques dealer to find a buyer. I’m so glad to hear you find our website helpful, and best of luck with your pewter!

  • Robert GILL says:

    Hi
    I just bought a large lot of items at an auction that had numerous pewter pieces. Didn’t realize that pewter had value. All the pieces are stamped Selangor Pewter, which I believe dates it pre-1992. Four are plaques in original boxes, titled Kirin Plaque 7218, Phoenix Plaque 7217, Tortoise Plaque 7219, and Dragon Plaque 7216.
    In addition there are 4 designed dancers about 4″ tall, Chinese Fan Dancer, Malay Dancers “Mak Inang”, Kudakepang Dancer, and Indian Dancer “Bharata Natyam” (all Selangor) plus a few smaller animals. If you know the approximate value of these, and anyone who is interested, I’d appreciate the info.

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
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      Hi Robert,

      I tried a quick search on eBay for Selangor Pewter, and there’s quite a wide variety of prices on the market. I saw Selangor plates/plaques ranging from $5 up to $120 each. Most fell in the middle of the road, roughly $10-$30 each. Figurines also ranged a fair amount. I found a 3″ Malay Kudakepang Dancer selling for $21. Many other figurines were also selling for roughly $20-$30, including the animal figurines. I hope this helps!

      • Hi Hillary
        Thanks for the info. I found that pewter has a melt value of $192 per lb.
        On that basis, the pieces are worth Cdn$670.

        That may be my best option. Unless you know collectors who appreciate the workmanship
        Thanks
        Robert

        • Hillary M. Miller says:
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          Hi Robert,

          Happy to help! I wouldn’t be able to say anything too specific about the demand for those particular pieces, except to point back to the eBay listings. Selling the pewter for the melt value is certainly likely to be the quickest method; unless you’ve got a fair amount of time to dedicate to selling each piece individually (or to sell all the items as a single lot, which probably means making less on each piece than they’re worth alone), that definitely could be the way to go. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do with the pieces!

        • Hi I have about 600 Lb of pewter could you tell me where I can sell it for any where near there price you said. I would be happy with half that price of I new where to take it.

          • Laura Bachmann says:
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            Hi Mike,

            The best way to get accurate, current prices for pewter is to contact a scrap yard near you that buys pewter.

  • Peggy Bowers says:

    We have several pieces of Michael Ricker pewter that are all numbered on the bottom. Is there a market for his work at this time?

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
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      Hi Peggy,

      It looks like there are quite a few collectors buying and selling Ricker figurines at a wide variety of price points depending on the piece. Search eBay for “Michael Ricker pewter” so you can take a look and see if you have anything similar. I hope this helps!

  • Michael Cardona says:

    I have two 9 inch round pewter plates and what look like coasters also pewter by tiffany &co. They say tiffany & co pewter.can you tell me where to start,who would buy them and so on.thank you

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
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      Hi Michael,

      Probably the best place to start when looking for a buyer is a quick Google search for “antique pewter dealers [your city]” — this should get you plenty of leads for people who may be interested in your pewter plates. As far as pricing, a great resource is Kovels.com. You’ll need an account (they have free and paid subscription options), and it will give you actual prices for over 1,000,000 antiques and collectibles. Here’s the listings for antique pewter (you’ll just need the free account to see the prices). I hope this helps!

      • Michael Cardona says:

        Thank you for the information,the pewter in my possesion is not antique though ,it looks fairly new minor dings and scratches,very shiny and says tiffany &co pewter.

        • Hillary M. Miller says:
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          Hi Michael,

          If the pewter is not the sort of thing an antique dealer would be interested in, I would recommend trying a visit to Craigslist or eBay.com and running a search for “Tiffany pewter plates.” If you can find a listing that’s similar to what you have, you can get a good idea of the demand for those pieces and how much they sell for.

    • Hillary Miller says:
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      Hi Jere,

      Antique pewter may or may not be marked. According to the Pewter Society, many high-quality pieces of pewter aren’t marked at all. You can read more details about markings on the Pewter Society’s website.

      The article has been updated to reflect this information.

  • I have two pewter plaques of Chinese background and three Chinese women sitting under a tree all in craved on the pewter plaques would like if I could sell them and are they worth anything thank you

    • William Lipovsky says:
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      Hi Mclellan,

      Do they have any words or numbers on them that would give us more information?

  • Lorie Jessup says:

    Hi! I have a collection of Pewter Bears that I have been collecting for over 40 years. I would like to sell them. Do you know the best place to try to sell them. I would really appreciate any help. Thank you!

    • William Lipovsky says:
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      Hi Lorie,

      Local antique dealers can either sell them for you or at least give you information about where locally they would sell best. Some dealers will sell for for you for a commission (you get to put the items on display in the store and when they sell, the store will get a cut) or you can sell to these stores directly. If you live in a rural area or prefer doing the selling online, eBay can give you great exposure to the somewhat niche market of Pewter bears.