| Plates used by the rich elements of colonial society tended to be made of silver, But the common folk ate from plates made of pewter or wood. Pewter could be shined almost as nicely as silver, but was much cheaper, therefore it was favored over wood.
Plates tended to be known by the name of plate in sizes from eight inches in diameter up to twelve inches in diameter. Anything larger was given the name of charger. This particular example measures thirteen inches in diameter, so it would be a charger. It is almost one full inch deep. As can be seen in the images below, this charger bears a single incised line around its rim as its only decoration. The dark markings that cover the piece is a form of oxidation - i.e. a type of rust - that eats away at pewter.