Historical information

Metal tankards often come with a glass-bottom. There is a legend that the glass-bottomed tankard was developed as a way of refusing the King's shilling, i.e. conscription into the British army or navy. The drinker could see the coin in the bottom of the glass and refuse the drink, thereby avoiding conscription. However, this is likely to be a myth, for the Navy could use force by using “press gangs” to conscript recruits rendering this type of deception unnecessary. Other legends are that in a bar fight, a recipient with a glass bottom tankard could see if a first punch was thrown whilst they had the tankard raised to drink. Another has it that the glass bottom was implemented so the drinker while drinking could observe his surroundings and the dubious people within the Tavern such as thieves, ladies of the night or anyone that could, or may do him harm.
A further story is that the glass bottom merely allowed the drinker to judge the clarity of their drink while forgoing the expense of using a fragile and expensive pint glass.


If this item is an early tankard from the 18th or 19th century it would be a significant item. Also if a known maker from these time periods could be established it would make the tankard quite valuable. Tankards from this time are snapshots of peoples past everyday lives and form a significant part of our social history so are worthy of preservation in all there forms.

Physical description

Pewter tankard with glass bottom, marine encrusted, recovered from unknown shipwreck.

Inscriptions & markings

Unable to determine due to significant marine encrustation