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Rook Pewter Pepper Mill
We are passionate about our craft and proud of our family’s longtime involvement in the rich history of pewter making in America. We strive to keep artisan pewter alive and well in the 21st century by offering a wide range of items, with both original contemporary designs and classic pieces.
Our pewter is 100% lead-free and meets or exceeds all FDA food-safety standards. Our designs are hand crafted in Middlebury, Vermont, where we also have our main offices and a retail store with viewing windows into our workshop. About half of us work in Middlebury, with the other half split among our retail stores in Burlington, Waterbury and Woodstock, Vermont, and Williamsburg, Virginia.
Thomas Danforth II opened a pewter workshop in 1755 in colonial Connecticut, and generations of the Danforth family followed him into the pewter trade. Before the 1860s, almost every American household had pewter plates and cups, and the Danforths were one of the leading families in American pewter. After the Civil War, glass and ceramic became affordable to average people, and the American pewter industry collapsed. The last of the colonial-era Danforths stopped working in pewter in 1873. There is colonial Danforth pewter in the Smithsonian, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Museum Collection at Colonial Williamsburg, and many other American museums. The Danforth family went off to other endeavors, like inventing the Danforth anchor. One hundred years later, Thomas Danforth II’s great-great-great-great-great grandson Fred Danforth, and Fred’s wife Judi Danforth, revived the family tradition when they opened Danforth Pewter in Vermont in 1975. Today, every piece of Danforth, Shirley and Pewter Port pewter is crafted by hand from 100% lead-free fine pewter in our Middlebury, Vermont workshop.