Stein Collectors International
Show and Tell

~ G-Day from Down Under

March 2003 - from Lindsay

After coming to Stein Collectors International for nearly the last year seeking information on steins, etc., I thought it was about time I shared with all you great people in the world of stein collecting how I came around to collecting steins in Australia. First of all though, I would like to thank everyone at SCI that has given of their time in helping me in this great hobby, beer stein collecting.

I have always been a bit of a collector but had no real direction and really enjoy anything with a bit of age. I have a lot of Brass and Bronze items, some very nice old clocks and a lot of English Toby Jugs. I did have a few beer mugs, (Japanese, ssshhh, who said that?), but nothing any good.  Anyway, I had, over time, noticed lidded steins when visiting local trash and treasure markets in our area and what I also noticed was that these steins were jumping out at me. I mean, I started to notice the bold colours of the cobalt blue, the reds, the yellows and the patina of the pewter lids on the older steins, the mix of scenes displayed on these steins of groups of people all having a ball.

The first stein I actually picked up was a large musical stein by Wick - Werke (as I was later to discover). It has a beautiful old music box in the bottom and the tune was crisp and clear when I picked it up and it started playing. What I did notice was the weight of the thing, I was amazed at how heavy it was. Once I got home and placed it on the shelf with the rest of the mugs, I knew one thing for sure, and that was that my drinking vessel collection was about to shrink from about 15 of those mugs I mentioned earlier to one Musical Stein. It shamed the other items I had no end.

I remember asking Ron from SCI about the mugs I was going to get rid of and remember his reply, and I still laugh today about it. I asked the question at a time when Australia was in the grip of some pretty fierce fires, some which had been lit by arsonists. Ron informed me that a part of the punishment for starting the fires the arsonists should be made drink out of the mugs I had. Well that done me. Off they went. And, with that, my search for German steins began and I have sought them out ever since. Over time I have gathered some nice steins together, a lot are only contemporary but they really do appeal to me. I do have some nice older ones as you will see as you browse the pictures and 2 sets that I am very proud of, one is the Marzi and Remy master stein with its 6 original drinking steins and the other is my Cider set made by Werner Corzellius. I have steins by Thewalt, Gerz, Marzi and Remy, Wick-Werke, Reinhold Merkelbach, Eckhardt & Engler, Theodore Weiseler and Goebel.

We do it pretty tough finding good Steins in Australia and when some of the better ones turn up on eBay, etc., they are snapped up by buyers outside Australia, mostly because of the buying power of the US dollar against the Australian dollar. But that is only online, we still find nice steins at garage sales, Trash and Treasure Markets, and some of the live auction houses.

My pride and joy is the Marzi and Remy master stein and drinking steins. Not only because it is a cracker, but also because there is a story behind it. I first noticed the master stein for sale on eBay Australia; I followed the auction through to the end and ended up getting it for $70.00 AU. The lid of this master stein was engraved as follows, “L K C C The Kurringyup Cup 1952 Sid Briggs, Net 68.” It was a trophy awarded to this man for winning a golf tournament. I was later to find out that this is a very exclusive club opened only to members and only overseas guests. It is a course the Australian open has been played on. Then 2 weeks after I purchased this master stein, 2 drinking steins turned up for sale. These steins had the same pictures and designs that the master had, so I purchased these for $40.00 AU. When I got them, sure enough, they were by Marzi and Remy. They had the same pictures, marks and everything. After this, I emailed the seller and asked him if he had any more of the drinking steins and he informed me there were 4 more but they had been sold to a buyer from the US. After getting the contact information for the buyer, I emailed him and asked if he would like to sell the steins as they were part of a set that had a lot of Australian history. After a bit of begging, he agreed to sell them to me at a cost of $125.00 AU. All up, my set cost me $235.00 AU, but best of all I was able to keep a bit of Australia’s history at home.

2 years on, and I am a collector of German steins, which I am proud of, and have now started to talk to other collectors in Australia in the hope of setting up a chat group (this is in progress) for Beer Stein collectors across our wide, brown land. One never knows, a Stein Convention in Australia? Get the bar- b-que out and get a banger on the barby and bust out the beer.

Hope this has been of some interest to you. Cheers from down under!