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Tankard Facts

Product Specification

Medieval style Jack

A Medieval style Jack has the same base diameter as the top at approx 10 cms, thus it is cylindrical. Large Jack approx 15cms high. Small Jack and Thumb beaker both approx 11cms

Tudor style tankard

The Tudor style tankard has a broader base at 11.5cms than the top at approx 7.5cms and is conical. A large Tankard is approx 15 cms high and a small Tankard is approx 11cms high.

Large Bombard

A Large Bombard is approximately 29 cms high with a base diameter of approximately 15 cms. A Small Bombard is approximately 24cms high with an approximate base diameter of 13cms

Key Stone Beaker

A Key Stone Beaker is approximately 13 cms with a base of approximately 6cms

Multiperiod Jack

A Multiperiod Jack is approximately 18 cms high.


A Goblet is approximately 17 cms high.

Vessel Capacity

Both tankards and jacks are offered in large and small sizes approximating to pint and half pint capacity respectively. Bombards are also offered in large and small sizes approximating to 4 pint and 2 pint capacity. Key Stone Beakers are offered with an approximate capacity of a third of a pint. None of our vessels are sold as legal measures because the manufacturing variables do not allow them to be Crown Stamped.

Historical Period

Throughout history, certain periods have been designated a name, dependent upon their dominant culture. 

Viking times are generally referred to as occupying the 8th to 10th Centuries.

The Medieval period can be said to run from roughly from the 8/9 Centuries to the mid 15th century .

Tudor times are taken as referring to Henry VIII but in fact began in 1485 when the forces of Henry VII beat those of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 which resulted in Richard's death.

 Medieval Jacks were used from Medieval periods through to the time of the Crimean War, whereas Tudor Tankards were used from Tudor Times onwards.  The chronological point is that early designs could be used after that period but later designs, obviously, could not be used before their allotted period.

Internal Linings

Historically, leather Jacks were lined with the boiled resin of the birch or pine trees.  However, we now use Brewer's Pitch, a more easily obtained and longer lasting material which mirrors the original lining very well.

Hidebound vessels are waterproofed, or beer proofed, with brewer's pitch, being the traditional method of caulking wooden beer casks, or lining water tanks and pipes prior to the advent of modern epoxy resins.

Brewer's pitch is an oil based product purified by having hot oxygen blown through it.  It is acceptable in contact with cold consumable liquids when the contact is transitory and not long term storage, as ale and wine normally is, at least in the leather tankards as used by us !


Wash by swilling out with clear cold water and clean the outside with a wet cloth. It does not matter if the outside gets wet but it must not be immersed in water.
Use ONLY FOR COLD drinks. The vessel will take anything except cola and neat spirits.

Do not attempt to squeeze the vessel. If it were made of glass you would not squeeze it because you would know the result. The same thing can happen to the lining, simply treat it as though it were made of glass.

Repairs and Re-pitching

If you do crack the lining we can re-pitch it for £17.00 including return carriage (within mainland UK). However first try to repair it by smoothing over the crack with a hot knife blade. Careful use of a gas powered blow torch can be beneficial by slightly softening the surface to make it more receptive to the hot knife treatment, however, be sure you do not overheat the vessel because it can cause scorching of the outside surface of the leather for which we cannot be held responsible.

Should you wish us to re-pitch your tankard, go to the repair order form by clicking here. When you receive your emailed order confirmation, make note of the order confirmation number and include that number in the parcel in which you send the tankard to us, including your return delivery address. This is to ensure that we correctly match the tankard we receive to your order


The leather we use is of British origin and tanned in the UK.  It varies from 3mm to 5mm in thickness depending on the vessel it is used for.  A vegetable tanned hide is an excellent material for hand carving whilst its natural colour also proves to be the most receptive for the many colours we use.

Leather is normally worked wet to allow moulding to a shape that is permanent once it dries; this is particularly important for leather carving, the process we use to decorate our tankards jacks and bombards.  The process is called leather carving because the initial design is cut freehand into the surface with a vertical bladed swivel knife and the wet leather is moulded with various tools on either side of the cut to eventually create a 3D effect. 

We stain the main bodies with a water based vegetable stain and often use acrylic paints for enhancing the patterns.

Alternatively, dates or initials can be engraved into the surface of the leather.  The process depends upon the nature of the design and we will be pleased to discuss the correct one for you if you ring or email us.