The making of beer steins since 1945 has taken on many changes. Prior to WWI the stein and porcelain industry in Europe was second to none. Because of the ready materials (clay) to make pottery and ceramics, steins in particular, Germany was prolific with stein manufacturers. During the war because of shortage of material and personnel the making of steins dwindled. However, during the 10 years that followed WWII stein production gradually revived.
Most steins produced during the 50’s were reproductions of previous molds. Stein makers used the old molds but made new steins. As I stated earlier the numbers found on the bottom of most German steins are the mold number. Two of the most notably reproduced steins are the Regimental stein (see first stein post) and also souvenir steins for military personel (most notably pewter steins). The U.S. has had a significant presence of military personnel in Europe since the end of WWII.
Before I go much farther I want to show you a particular stein I have that I believe is a hard stein to find. This stein was probably made between 1947 – 1949.
A beer stein made in the French Zone during WWII.
Initially, despite being one of the Allied powers during WWII, the French were not to be granted an occupation zone due to concerns over the great historical animosity between France and Germany, as well as the smaller role played by the French within the alliance. Eventually, both the British and the Americans agreed to cede small portions of their respective zones to France. This arrangement resulted in the French zone consisting of two non-contiguous areas, although both areas shared a border with France itself. The headquarters of the French military government was in Baden – Baden. The Saargebiet, an economically important area due to its rich coal deposits, was enlarged and in 1947 turned into the Saar Protectorate. It was a nominally independent state, but its economy was integrated into the French economy. The above stein was made in the respective French Zone during that relatively short period of occupation. Reminds me of the French resistance during the war. Ha!
During the 60’s and 70’s the number of beer stein producers shrank. Now, a signicant amount of steins are produced by only a few major companies who modernized and automated their production. It is important for a collector to know which companies no longer make steins. Obviously, the steins no longer produced are the ones that will some day, if not already be the collectible ones because of their ongoing limited supply.
Echardt & Engler closed their doors in 1971
J.W. Remy closed in the 1960s
This is a Reinhold Merkelbach stein.
This is a George & Hans Stueler made stein ca. 1917 – 1931
This is a “salt glazed” stein. An early process used to color the stein in a cobalt glaze.
To see more from my collection go to my eBay store “Kelekchens“, by clicking on my Assistant “the Duck” and select Beer Steins in the left hand column.
In my next post I will talk about true American collecting when I talk about Civil War relics. There are no collector’s as gung ho as those who study and collect American Civil War history. So until next time Happy Collecting and remember “the best is yet to come“.