Pennyweight: A measure of weight for silver in the Troy ounce system abbreviated dwt. and measuring 1/20th of
a Troy ounce.
Patinate: To apply a chemical to darken the recesses on ornamental pieces and engraving instead of allowing the
patina to develop naturally over time.
Patina: The natural luster an item takes on after years of aging and use. With regards to silver it means both the
fine scratches and resulting look of an object that have developed over time from hand polishing and use and the
natural darkened areas seen in the recesses of ornamental pieces and engraving.
Parcel Gilt: Silver which is gilded in selected areas.
Pap Boat: A lipped un-footed sauce boat shaped bowl for feeding pap to infants and
invalids. Recipes for pap usually consisted of a combination of bread, water and flour,
sometimes adding butter or milk. Pap boats were in use from the late 17th century
through the 19th century.
Paktong: An alloy of copper, zinc and nickel invented in China and brought to Europe in the 18th century. Has
no silver content.
Place Setting: A flatware service for one person. For example, a typical five-piece plate setting
consists of a dinner fork, salad fork, soup spoon, dinner knife, and teaspoon.
Place Pieces: The pieces of flatware placed at each person's seat at the table for their individual use.
Place Card Holder: A stand set out at each place setting with a slot or prongs for holding
a card bearing the name of each guest. It is used so hostesses can predetermine where each
guest is to be seated at the table.
Pitting: Black spots eaten into the silver, usually caused by salt or acidic foods being allowed to remain on the
Piercing: A form of decoration produced by cutting away parts of the metal with cutting dies and punching tools.
Picture-Back: A type of fancy-back spoon with a picture created on the back of the bowl. Picture-
backs were popular in the mid-1700s and again in the early 1900s.
Piriform: Pear shaped.
Pipkin: A small saucepan for warming beverages, much like a brandy saucepan but larger, which began appearing
in the mid 17th century.
Pepper Mill: A utensil for griding whole peppercorns.
Pepper Caster / Pepper Pot: A type of caster for sprinkling ground pepper, similar to a salt shaker or
caster, but with larger holes.
Pearl Silver: A brand name of the Charles M. Robbins Co. for
a white metal alloy which contains no silver.
Phone Dialer: A short stick shaped device with a rounded end used for dialing
rotary telephones. A phone dialer was used by a woman so she did not ruin her
Pen Rest: A stand for holding one or more dip pens.