Musicbox Steins
by  Steven Wessling

I have two steins in my "other" collection that I would like to share with you. The first is my "favorite stein". It is a 0.5 liter etched Mettlach, #2235 Schützenliesl or target girl stein that I purchased on Ebay approximately three years ago. This stein has a very unusual feature, a music box with the green Mettlach Mercury mark on the wood. It also has the original label with the name of the song it plays, "Komm Karlice Komm", typed on it. Since this is way out of my field I called Bob Wilson, a recognized expert on Mettlachs, to get some help. Bob told me that the Mercury mark should also say "MADE IN GERMANY" and that this was required after 1891 for export. Mine does, if you use your imagination. He also told me that 1 in 400 Mettlachs had music boxes and of that 10% to 20% were meant for export.         For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the Schützenliesl or target girl character, there is a great article in the June 1990 edition of Prosit by Liselotte Lopez. I will be glad to send anybody a copy who would like one. You may also recognize the target girl from the Blatz Beer advertisements of the past.

The second stein I would like to share with you is also a Mettlach with a music box. This one is unusual in that it plays two tunes. It is a relief # 2130 called "man drinking" in the Mettlach book. This stein was purchased at auction from Richard Hatch (Hatch Auctions,

Hendersonville, NC). The music box wasn't installed at the time of the purchase. It was in a rust stained plastic bag and Richard said it didn't work. Three weeks later, with a few new parts, the music box worked great. It plays two tunes by moving the cylinder left or right by way of an odd rectangular block at one end of the cylinder. The music box starts playing as soon as you pick up the stein and doesn't stop until you set it down. Even then, it continues to play until the end of the song. The next time you pick up the stein it plays the other tune. This stein doesn't have the Mercury mark or a label with the name of songs and I have been unable to find anybody that recognizes the tunes. I don't quite understand the purpose behind beer steins with music boxes but I do have a strong belief it has something to due with some sort of medieval punishment.







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