Wooden Tankard

Wooden tankard

Owners inscribed simple individual identification marks...

The 27 wooden tankards recovered from the Mary Rose were found distributed throughout the ship.

They were the personal property of members of the crew and would have been stowed with the rest of their kit as the ship prepared for action.

Owners inscribed simple individual identification marks usually two or three straight lines intersected at distinctive angles. The staves were normally pine although many different species of wood have been identified.

This tankard was made from oak, poplar and pine. These materials were commonly found and the construction technique well known so that they were the most widely used drinking vessels for the crew.

Quick Facts

  • Artefact number #81A3915
  • Made of wood - oak, poplar and pine
  • Found on The Mary Rose
  • Dimensions Base diameter 125mm, Height 167mm
  • Made in about 1545
  • Period Tudor


  • This tankard has been reconstructed. It consists of 7 staves, a lid, handle, hoop fragments, pitch lining, and is marked with an 'X' on the lid.
  • Many lathe-turned wooden bowls, dishes and platters were found on the Mary Rose. They are interesting because they date from a time traditionally regarded as a period when woodware production went into decline, to be replcaed by pewter, and later, porcelain.
  • The Mary Rose assemblage of woodware clearly illustrates that the wealthy officers had pewter dishes, but the bulk of the crew still ate from wood.

Did you know?

A complete mortar grater or spice/peppermill of ash and the top section of another in cherry discovered on the Mary Rose are the only securely dated sixteenth century examples known in Britain. Profiting from, and controlling the valuable Spice Trade was one of the main objectives for those voyaging to the New World and to the Far East during the Age of Exploration.

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