Need Information – Late 1800s Stoneware Stein

This topic contains 18 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  SEastman 1 year, 3 months ago.

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  • #737 Reply


    I recently purchased a one liter stoneware stein on eBay (Stein1, Stein2, Stein3, Stein4, Stein5, Stein6 ), which I estimate to be from the late 1800s . A major motivator for my purchasing this stein was the image on the porcelain inlay of the lid (Stein7). The image is the same as in on an old painting I had purchased some years earlier (Painting1 ). I would appreciate any information anyone can offer on the stein itself (estimated age, maker, artist, estimated value, its markings, etc). Further, I would appreciate any information on the original painting (artist, age, estimated value, etc.). I thought the artist may have been Franz DeFregger, a 19th century German artist whose works have appeared on many old German steins. I have researched DeFregger on line and have pulled up and viewed over 100 DeFregger and DeFregger genre paintings; however, my painting was not among them. Any information anyone can offer about the stein or painting, or whom I might contact to get such information, will be very much appreciated.

  • #917 Reply

    Greg P

    I can’t tell you much about the stein, sadly. It looks older to me than the late 1800’s though. The markings on the stein body (the “I” and the “X”) were scratched into the stein some time after it was made.

    The phrase “Der ABC Schütze” is a colloquial way of describing a young school student who is just starting school. It is a dated term, and is not used much today. It is more frequently associated with Austria than Germany.

    I did Internet searches using the term “Der ABC Schütze” and painting and couldn’t come up with anything. It is certainly very interesting…

  • #923 Reply

    Bill G

    I also searched a pretty extensive Defregger book and couldn’t find the painting.

  • #926 Reply


    Thanks Paul and Bill for your efforts in trying to track down information on the stein and the artist. When I used Google Translate on “Der ABC Schutze”, I got “The ABC Protection”, which didn’t make much sense to me. Thanks for clarifying the meaning. Re The age of the stein: In looking at the body, I first felt it was earlier than the late 1800’s. But in reviewing “Pewter Fittings Through The Ages” in the SCI library, it seems the hinge clearly dates it as the late 1800s. I am a novice at this, though, and I may well be wrong. Also, I guess it’s possible that the lid is a replacement, but it really looks original.

    • #1036 Reply

      Greg P

      When I used Google Translate on “Der ABC Schutze”, I got “The ABC Protection”, which didn’t make much sense to me

      Many Germans words are contextual (similar to English). “Schütze” can mean protection, or it can mean “shooter” or “guard”. It was originally used as the word for “archer” (as a medieval guardian) and is the word Germans use today for the zodiac sign Sagittarius (the Archer).

      Today if you tell a German “ABC Schutz” they will think you are talking about Nuclear/Biological/Chemical protective gear. (Atomic/Biological/Chemical). It is the more current/common usage. You want the older usage as in:

      “Mit Hilfe dieser Tabelle sollen die Abc-Schützen sich »alle Wörter der Welt« aus Lauten zusammenfriemeln.“

      (With help of this table should all the school children “all the Words of the World” assemble
      via sounds.)

  • #929 Reply

    Bill G

    Where is Ron when we need him?

  • #1034 Reply



    Is your painting the original or a copy? Examine it closely with a magnifying glass for the artist’s name. Perhaps there is a name on the back of the painting. The stein was thrown on a potter’s wheel, so there is no telling who made it. The marking on the front is probably a Maas mark, the common measurement before Germany switched to the liter in 1871. You can see the Maas mark on an HB stein on Jordan Vandenberg’s web site. Look under the August 2013 posting. You might asked Jordan to look at your mark to see if he agrees with me. It is an interesting coincidence that you had the painting and found a stein to go with it.


    • #1038 Reply

      Greg P

      Examine it closely with a magnifying glass for the artist’s name. Perhaps there is a name on the back of the painting.

      You might consider removing it from the frame if you need to. Sometimes an artist’s name is hidden by the frame.

  • #1037 Reply


    Thanks Ron.

    Prior to your response, I had done some experimentation. When filled with exactly 1 liter of water, the level matches the lower horizontal line of the upper figure on the stein. When just under 100 ml of additional water is added, the level matches the upper horizontal line. Since, as I’ve learned, the maas used in southern Germany equates to 1.069 of today’s liters, I have come to the conclusion that the upper markings on the front of the stein is a capacity mark that shows bot the liter line and the maas line. Thoughts, anyone? Any ideas what the meaning of the “X” might be?

  • #1039 Reply

    Greg P

    For what it’s worth… Franz DeFregger wasn’t German. He was Austrian by birth and only moved to Germany when he was 26 years old.

  • #1048 Reply



    Did you go to Jordan’s blog and ask him to look at your mark? If it represents both maas and one liter, then it looks like the date of your stein is 1871.


  • #1130 Reply


    I did go to Jordon’s website. The maas mark he shows on his HB stein is a horizontal line with “/” marks at each end with the letter “M” above it.

    As you can see, on my stein the upper horizontal line has “/” marks on either end but no “M” above it. The lower horizontal line has neither “/” marks on either end nor a 1L designation. Nevertheless, I think it’s more than a coincidence that the lower horizontal line coincides with a water level of 1 liter and the upper horizontal line coincides with a water level of 1 maas and have to conclude that was the intent of the markings.

  • #1135 Reply


    The plot thickens. I’ve taken a closer look at the markings on the front of the stein with a magnifying glass.

    The markings all appear to have been incised after glazing. However, there are differences.

    The uppermost horizontal line, which is terminated at either end with a “/”, as well as the vertical line emanating downward from it, appear to have been cut only partially through the glaze (or done after glazing but before firing).

    The remaining lines, including those in the “X”, are somewhat narrower and deeper, cut completely through the glaze, and have a somewhat different, not as neat, appearance. They appear almost certainly to have been wheel cut as the cut depth at the line ends decreases in a circular arc.

    In contrast, the ends of uppermost horizontal line, its pair of “/”, and the vertical line emanating downward from it do not exhibit this characteristic. If they were not done at different times they at least seem to have been done with different methods and/or tools.

    Question for the experts: Could the set of uppermost markings been done after glazing but before firing? I’ve never heard of such a thing, but it might explain the difference in appearance of the lines.

    The differences in the lines creates yet another enigma.

  • #1141 Reply


    Check out the German Painter Franz Thone (German, 1851–1906). He had three or four paintings called “Der ABC Schutze”. Also, Schutze may mean shooter or rifleman. (From Steve B).

  • #1161 Reply


    Steve B,
    Thanks for the tip. I was able to find one Der ABC Schutze by Thone. Although it was of a young boy, it wasn’t the one I have. Style seems a bit different also.

  • #1306 Reply

    martyn brown

    an article in “Das Munchner Kindl” a catalogue of an exhibition at the Munich Stadtmuseum says that the Letter “X” on beer mugs is representative of the roman numeral for 10,thus 10 decaliters. If so then it looks as tho’ the lower mark on your stein is for 1 liter and the upper for the Bavarian Mass of1069cl.

  • #1307 Reply


    Thanks Martyn!

    I believe I now understand the markings on the front of the stein.

    Now, if only I could track down the artist of my painting, which as outlined in my original post, is the same image as on the lid of my stein.

    I have found a slightly different, somewhat smaller yet nearly identical version of my painting. It was signed F Hartogh and dated 1856. I haven’t been able to find any information about the artist except an obscure reference that listed his birth and death dates as 1830 and 1919 respectively.

    Since the image has been reproduced not only on the lid of a stein but also on (at least) two oil paintings, I find it unavoidable to believe that the original image must have been held in high regard, whether or not my painting is that original image.

    • #1308 Reply



      I think you have your answer. The artist was F. Hartogh and the painting was dated 1856. It is not unusual for stein designers to take some liberties (such as using only a portion of the painting, moving things around or changing colors) when copying a painting. It now appears your stein is probably from the 1856 to 1871 period.


  • #31227 Reply


    I found this discussion very interesting. Taking a further look I found some better photos of this and a companion painting.

    Notice that in the other painting a schoolmaster is complaining to a mother while the child looks guilty.
    In the painting reproduced on the stein, the mother has the child reading the alphabet, with a switch (bundle of sticks) at her hand.

    Trying to make sense of the signature F. Hartogh Gel Enthoven, it rather looked to me as if it really was Geb. Enthoven. That might mean as in geboren (born) and Geburtstag (birthday, as in Zum Geburtstag on birthday steins). Enthoven is a Dutch, so is Hartogh (though now found mostly in South Africa). The painting looks very similar to Dutch genre paintings of the period. The subject seems particularly feminine.

    Would it make sense for the painter to be a Frau Hartogh born Enthoven? Would a lady of the period sign that way?

    There is some additional writing on the companion painting that I have not been able to read.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  SEastman.
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