Over 210 years ago, T.D. Boardman and his brother, Sherman, began selling products handcrafted in pewter and silver in Hartford, Connecticut. As other Boardman craftsmen entered the business in various locations throughout the Northeast, the Boardman name became celebrated for unmatched quality and fine craftsmanship.
The Boardman family heritage flourishes today at Boardman Silversmiths under the management and direction of Burton Boardman, who succeeded his father, Joseph, in 1972. As previous company administrators, Burton served a youthful apprenticeship in the business under the direction of the master spinners and silversmiths the company employed. As the company president is a skilled craftsman with a deep respect for his trade, Burton does things differently. There are no assembly lines, no supervisors – every artisan maintains total control of the custom piece all through the total fabrication stage, and is in charge of confirming its flawlessness before he begins to work on it and again after he finishes the piece. Perfection thus becomes a matter of personal pride and, thus, a matter of course. Boardman products of today are handcrafted solid, unweighted sterling silver and lead-free pewter. Products include flatware, holloware, giftware, and trophy cups.
Finest Quality Materials
Boardman utilizes only the best and the heaviest lead-free pewter in the industry. It is an alloy of 92% pure tin, 7% pure antimony, and 1% copper. Only costly lead-free solder is used, removing any chance of food or beverage contamination.
Boardman spinners leverage up to 900 pounds of pressure per square inch to produce the exact curves and contours required.
All Boardman pewter is hand polished by artisans using imported pumice, and hand buffed to a perfect bright or satin finish.
Of key importance, Boardman pewter does not tarnish so it does not need polishing. Its undemanding care is perfect for today’s lifestyles, but with the appearance of expensive sterling silver.
From the experienced touch of superb master craftsmen, every piece of Boardman silver and pewter emerges as a unique work of art.
The process begins when blanking presses cut geometric shapes from sheets of the finest sterling with 925 parts of fine silver and the finest and heaviest lead free pewter used in the industry – Pewter being an alloy of 92% tin, 7% antimony and 1% copper.
In the capable hands of the Boardman craftsmen, the full potential of the exceptional sterling or pewter is realized.
With the tools they made years before during long apprenticeships, Boardman spinners leverage up to 900 pounds per square inch into exact curves and contours. Especially constructed “sectional chucks” enable them to create a wide range of shapes on their spinning lathes.
By means of a steady freehand touch, Boardman’s silversmiths and pewtersmiths then solder solid and hollow fittings. Artisans produce the solid fittings by centrifugal casting; hollow fixtures are hand-formed in bronze via slush casting techniques dating back to the 1600′s.
To finish, craftsmen hand polish all pieces with imported pumice and hand buff them to a perfect brilliant or satin finish, whether it is sterling or pewter.
Every Boardman piece so created is distinctive, unique – yet perfectly matched with all others of its kind thanks to each craftsman’s unerring eye and touch.
Since Boardman has retained and expanded its work force of craftsmen at a time when other organizations have come to rely on automation, it is now an unmatched resource in the area of customization and special production. With a variety of methods, including hand or machine engraving, acid or photo etching, dies and molds, Boardman can customize any item to a client’s particular needs. They can also craft a unique, one-of-a-kind item for a presentation or to commemorate a special event.