(The large majority of reproduction regimental steins are made of porcelain
with a lithophane in the base.)
markings except for occasional mold numbers. If marked, the most common
producers are Merkelbach & Wick and "Paul Klutsch, Coblenz".
Porcelain steins are similarly unlikely to be marked. Lithophanes typically
portray a soldier and sweetheart, mother and sweetheart reading a letter, or an
indoor/outdoor tavern scene. They are never erotic.
Original regimental steins are not stamped "Germany" on the base.
reproductions frequently display the trademark of Simon Peter Gerz,
Porcelain reproductions often use lithophanes of a nude or partially nude
woman (see images below).
The word "Germany" is frequently stamped on the base.
||May be either
straight-sided or tapered bodies. Often there is a large amount of hand-painted
"fill-in" on the design: for example, you can feel the buttons on the
soldiers' tunics. The scenes on the body are all from a single branch of service
- infantry, artillery, etc. - and never mixed (e.g., airplanes and Zeppelins).
The dates of service are consistent with the uniforms and equipment depicted. (A
stein dated 1888 should not illustrate a 1905 locomotive or 1902 Maxim machine
||Tapered body shapes
are common, and the use of transfer designs which were intended for cylindrical
bodies will result in misalignment of the design on both sides of the handle.
Reproductions often depict designs at the base and lip representing such
patterns as twisted rope, interlocking acorn, leaves, etc. These designs are
never found on originals. The transfer design is predominantly smooth, with
little evidence of hand-painted fill-in. Scenes may be of mixed branches of the
service, or inconsistent with the finial and thumblift.
||The entire inside
and outside curvature is smooth with no "bumps". The rear of the
handle is either plain, has a simple straight stripe along its axis, or shows a
stylized floral design.
of all reproduction steins made to date have the characteristic "bump"
on the inside of the handle. This "bump" is never found on originals.
The rear of the handle almost always has some sort of design, and if it differs
from the two mentioned at left, the stein is a repro!
typically symbolize army corps district in which the reservist served. E.g., the
lion represents Bavaria or Hesse; the Griffin, Baden; the Eagle, Prussia; etc.
The thumblifts were seldom "stylized" except on pre-1900 steins.
on reproduction steins do not match the Army Corps district indicated by the
scenes and the writing on the stein body. They frequently consist of
"imaginary" shapes or figures, such as serpent heads or gargoyles,
|Lids and Finials
||The outside of the
lid is normally darker than the inside due to natural oxidation from exposure to
the air. The finial always matches the branch of service indicated on the body.
If a man's figure is included in the final, his uniform should be the same as
that shown on the body scenes. This is especially true of the hat, which is
often the most distinctive part of the uniform.
||The pewter lid may
show a uniform darker color both inside and out, which is a clear sign that it
has been dipped in chemicals to simulate oxidation. The finials are frequently
chosen for their appeal instead of being matched to the branch of service. A
horse and rider (cavalry) are as likely to be found on an infantry stein as a
man with pick and shovel (pioneer) is to be found on a naval stein.