| Welcome to SteinTalk, an online forum for stein collectors.
Purpose of Stein Talk
This discussion group is operated by Stein Collectors International as a service to its members and the public. Your comments and questions about beer steins, both antique and contemporary, are welcome. We fully expect and encourage questions and comments in related areas, such as German verse and history; plaques, beakers, bowls; artists; buying and selling; commentary about steins offered for sale on eBay; ethics; repairs; public events of interest to stein collectors, and so on. It is not, however, a suitable place for sellers to list items for sale (see “Buy & Sell” for a place to do that), or to advertise items for sale on other venues.
Topics or Threads
This Forum is self-organized into Threads. Each thread is listed on the first page, along with its title, the name of the author, the number of participants who have contributed to the Thread, and the date and time of the most recent response. By selecting a Thread you can view/review all the comments which have been added to that particular conversation. You may enter a comment or reply to the initial post, or to any of the replies that have been made, by clicking Reply for that entry, which maintains the logical organization of the Thread. New questions or observations deserve their own separate Thread, which should be initiated from the top page of SteinTalk using the form below the listing of open Threads, where it says “Create New Topic in SteinTalk.”
Making a request of other collectors
Collectors respond to postings in this forum because they enjoy corresponding with other collectors, and exchanging information about our favorite hobby. They will not respond to requests for information which are impolite or which suggest that the requestor is not really interested in steins. For example, a posting which reads “I have a beautiful stein with a man and a woman seated at a table in a tavern, number 503 on the bottom, need to know how much it is worth by tomorrow” is unlikely to receive any polite response, for several reasons: the stein cannot be identified from the information provided, consequently the value cannot be determined, and there is clear implication that the request is only for information in support of a sale. Use the same degree of care and precision in your posting as you would like to see in any responses. Requesting information on a “Matlock stien” (or “stine”) is not only careless but suggests a very low level of knowledge of our hobby.
Identifying a stein
Many steins were produced without trademarks. Some bear the words “GERMANY” or “MADE IN GERMANY”, or “GES. GESCH.”, but these don’t serve to identify the manufacturer. If the stein does have a trademark you may find it in the article on marks in the Library. (If you don’t find it there, by all means submit a posting asking about the mark.) A description of the scene on a stein rarely helps to identify the manufacturer, because scenes are not characteristic of a factory. Of more use is a determination of the material used (esp. porcelain versus stoneware or pottery), a description of the handle and of other fundamental characteristics of the stein. Even then, identification is unlikely without a photograph.There are some notable exceptions to the above, however. Character steins, because they are so distinctive, can frequently be identified from a careful description. Because they are very well catalogued, Mettlach steins can be identified from their form number. Even without a trademark, steins bearing the most popular Mettlach form numbers (1526, 1909, 2140) can frequently be identified from the form and decoration numbers, or a description of the scene.Despite the ease with which many steins can be identified and a valuation determined, even with a photograph the makers of many steins without trademarks are destined to remain a mystery.
Valuation of a stein
If the manufacturer, form number and size of a stein are known, price guides or auction results may be used to determine market value. If those elements are not known, or if references don’t show any sales of the stein in question, then a value can be determined by using “comparables”. Keep in mind that price guides and auction results are based upon a market that is constantly changing. The most popular price guides typically show an estimated price range, where the upper figure is anywhere from 30% to 50% above the lower figure (e.g., $100-$200, or $800-$1100). These price estimates are for steins which are in perfect condition – proper lid and no damage or repairs. Other factors influencing the selling price of a stein include your ability to find a willing buyer and both party’s knowledge of the market value of the stein. If you find a buyer who intends to resell the stein, he will not purchase the stein unless the price allows him to resell it for a profit. Depending on the circumstances, negotiated sales for steins in perfect condition falling within the estimated range are generally considered fair.
How to create and use digitized photos
A picture is worth 1000 words… at least. Unfortunately, we cannot permit (and do not have the capability to allow) visitors to upload photos directly to our site. Read this article to learn how to make photos of your steins available to other collectors for their comments. How to Link Web Pages and Photos of Your Steins into the SCI Web Site
Use of the rest of this site
Try to become familiar with the information which is already available on this site. The best books for learning about the hobby are discussed in an article in the Library. The most common trademarks found on steins are shown in an article in the Library. You can contact the officers of SCI or the people who maintain this website by clicking on Contact Us in the navigation bar at the top of the home page.
Rights Reserved by SCI
SCI reserves the right to remove postings which we feel, in our sole judgment, are offensive, inappropriate or in any way inconsistent with the purpose of this forum. Concerns relating to Stein Collectors International, its officers, its publication Prosit, or this web site are welcome, as long as it identifies a specific concern and is addressed to the appropriate SCI officer via email communication. Individuals who insist upon using the SteinTalk forum as reflecting poorly on the organization may be blocked from posting. The SCI Website and SteinTalk are NOT appropriate forums for anything other than the interest and promotion of our hobby and such postings will be removed.