|In the years before World War I and for a short time after, the famous
Westerwald region of Germany was not only producing beer steins. At
this time, pipe smoking and chewing tobacco was very popular and
tobacco crops were seen all over the German countryside. It was off
course all but logical that the stein makers would make use of this
market and introduced various tobacco jars into their catalog lists.
A typical feature of these jars was that in the inside of the lid,
there was a recess which could house a special sponge material
(Humidor), when this was soaked with water (or even better rum), it
made sure that the climate in the jar was ideal place for storing
Apart from being used for tobacco, the housewife on the other side
quickly adapted the jars for other useful things, they were used for
example, as cookie and candy jars for the Sunday afternoon Kaffeezeit.
Because of this, the stein makers could now reach other potential
(feminine!) buyers who normally had no interest in buying and using a
Art Nouveau , Historical and Franz Defregger designs which were being
used for the beer stein production now appeared on tobacco jars. S.P.
Gerz, Marzi & Remy, Thewalt, Eckhardt & Engler and Merkelbach
produced large numbers of these jars and various German tobacco
companies ordered special salt glazed jars as custom articles with
their own personal brand designs.
The way of smoking changed in time and one by one the jars disappeared
from the market. There is no more stein maker that still lists this
product and today the few that survived time are a much sought after
collector’s item in Germany, especially even more when the lid is still
I would like to present a few Tabaktopf models from my
collection to illustrate these rare stoneware jewels from the
Kannenbaecker Land in Germany.