A tankard is a large drinking vessel with a hinged cover and a handle which is used for drinking beer or ale. The decoration of these items vary depending on the period in which they were made – some were quite decorative and elaborate while others were very simple and plain. The concept of creating a tankard with a lid (as we recognize them today) was first developed in Germany in the 1400s. These early lidded tankards were known as ‘steins’ and were made from decorated stoneware. Gradually, similar designs began to be crafted in silver, pewter and glass. Tankards were originally crafted in wood for use in taverns; today however, they are predominately regarded as collectors’ items. Tankards are very often of quart capacity as they are usually much larger than mugs.