||This is probably the term which
stein collectors most wish was used with careful precision. There have
numerous attempts at this definition, but the commonly accepted meaning
"a drinking vessel which has a handle and a lid". The lid is
frequently attached to the body and uses a hinge to open, but set-on
||The common use of this term
importance of the lid to qualify as a stein, since it connotes a piece
would normally have a lid, but unfortunately does not. (Thus a stein
had its lid torn off in an unfortunate accident becomes an unlidded
||This term is applied to pouring
which otherwise fit the definition of a stein. Historically, it was
for serving sets to be made in the same design; a large master stein
and a set
of smaller steins or beakers.
||A mug is a handled
drinking vessel which
does not have a lid. Many mugs, but not all, can be called unlidded
they were supposed to have a lid.
||In usage this term is similar to mug,
that it implies a handle but no lid. It frequently is applied to
vessels, and always to items which were made for drinking tea or
coffee. We have tea cups and coffee cups (or even
mugs!), but beer mugs or
||A beaker is the analogue
of a water
glass, having no lid and usually no handle. In shape it is taller than
wide, and was intended for drinking some sort of alcoholic beverage.
||The name Römer is generally
applied to glass
drinking vessels which have a large bowl and a hollow stem. The stem of
Römer is frequently formed in rings, or may be decorated with prunts.
It has no
handle nor lid.
||A pokal is a ceremonial drinking
tall, with a set-on lid but no handle.
||It should be no surprise that
given the various
uses of this term going back to 13th century England, there is
its meaning today. Historically it seems to have always implied large
most commonly, tankards had handles and lids. The term also strongly
that the object was made of metal. In 1984, SCI proposed that its
that the term would be used for "large drinking vessels, for beer or
similar liquids, equipped with handle and lid, having a capacity of 2
greater". This suggestion seems to have been met with resounding
indifference. Today the term is commonly used when referring to a large
pitcher (with handle but no lid!), especially those made of glass (see
||This term has come to be widely
referring to a stein which is "in the same condition as it left the
factory". Unfortunately, that allows the existence of firing lines,
smudges, bubbles, even torn decals. Make no mistake - these are
depending upon their location and severity, they can be very
Although there is no widespread agreement, the term "perfect" seems
like a natural choice to describe a stein which is not only mint, but
||While it seems obvious, this term
applied to transfer-decorated items, and it actually has several very
meanings. In its purest form we mean entirely hand-drawn and
by the artist. These steins are custom designed, and while copies
been made, each one is unique. However, many times transfer templates
designed for steins which required further customization. Two examples
student society steins, where the basic crest was the same on many
the colors and society name needed to be customized, and regimental
which had similar basic design but required customization. While the
hand-painted is commonly used for these steins, what is meant is customized
and colored by hand. A third example also arises where the transfer
actually complete in all respects, yet for artistic purposes certain
highlighted by hand - metal buttons on jackets, the foam on a beer
other decorative touches. We understand these as highlighted by hand.
||(German) Hand made. The
appearance of this term
on a stein usually suggests that the stein was made post-World War II,
difficult to say precisely what it implies. The term was rarely used on
from 100 years ago, because it was unnecessary!
||(German) Hand painted. The
appearance of this
term on a stein usually suggests that the stein was made post-World War
While it is an appropriate term for some very finely decorated pieces,
also found on relief steins where the glaze colors are applied by hand,
operation which bears little resemblance to what we think of as
||An image in porcelain, made by
thickness of the porcelain, and viewed with a light behind it.
popular in the bases of porcelain steins, and they came to view when
was drained. Still made today, a popular use is night lights.
||One of several factories of the
Boch company, Mettlach had by far the greatest stein production, and
steins are generally considered to be of high quality and design. They
well-catalogued and highly sought after.
||A non-vitrified (porous) ceramic,
at 850°C-1000°C, synonymous with "pottery". Requires glazing to
||A tin-glazed earthenware. Faience
predecessor of porcelain in Europe, and the glaze provided a
"porcelain-like" ground for decoration.
||True vitrified ceramic, lacking
the fine white
color and translucency of porcelain, fired at 1100°C-1300°C. Hard and
impermeable after firing. Made in the Rhine valley in Germany as early
||A glassy white, vitrified ceramic
with a degree
of translucency, extreme hardness and a very fine surface, ideal in
texture for decorating. Porcelain is fired at temperatures above
items present a hard, shiny, glass-like surface. Unglazed items have a
finish known as bisque. Because of its strength, porcelain wares are
made with a
thin cross-section. The first European porcelain was made by Johann
Boettger in Dresden in 1708.
||This term properly applies to
designs created by
removing material, whether by grinding, engraving, acid, diamond point
means, most often done on glass. The term is also commonly used to
steins where the design is formed in an outline appearing to be incised
body. Technically, since these lines are formed as part of a molding
they should not be called etched.
||Glass may be decorated by etching
with acid. The surface is first coated with a material which will
acid, then the design is formed as this protective covering is removed.
acid is applied to this exposed area, it etches the surface of the
||Most of the etched beer steins we
etched using copper wheels of various sizes and an abrasive to grind a
into the surface of the glass.
||Sometimes called cameo glass,
results from layering one color or glass over another. Layers may be
using two different colors at the time the gather is placed on the
by blowing a new color inside a piece after it has been formed.
many as four different colors may be used. Cased glass is always cut in
fashion, so that the underlying colors are allowed to show through the
layers (otherwise, what's the point?).
||Similar in its artistic ends to
flashed glass involves the application of a very thin layer of glass
object of a different color. The outside layer is then cut or etched in
fashion, leaving the underlying color exposed to form the design. We
see ruby flashed beer steins which have been cut to the clear base
Flashing is so thin that over the course of 100+ years it is frequently
with small scratches.
||A prunt is a separate piece of
glass which has
been applied as decoration to the exterior of a glass object. Prunts
found in a variety of shapes, including a nipple, a starburst or a
and are frequently in a different color than the base glass.
||A technique invented by the
English to decorate
pottery which involved printing a decoration on tissue, then
decoration to the biscuit (unglazed) ware. The tissue was removed and
holding the colored decoration burned off in a low temperature firing
final glaze was added and the piece refired. Frequently called PUG
Glaze), transfer techniques are very similar to decals, and they were
because of their consistency from piece to piece and their lower cost
decorating. Some transfer designs were either partially or entirely
uncolored, to be colored later by hand (hence "handpainted PUG's").
||This term is an acronym for Print
"transfer") Under Glaze.
||Sharply impressed into the body,
as a trademark
or form number on the base of a stein. Base markings were normally
impressing a metal die into the clay while it was still in the "green"
||Sometimes called "threaded
this term refers to designs which are formed in a raised
to a thread.
||more to come