Stein Collectors International
Featured Stein: August 1999

A Mettlach "Mosaic" Stein
By Walt Vogdes - SCI Master Steinologist

Mettlach 0.4 liter stoneware stein with inlaid lid, form number 1979, "mosaic style", dated 1890. Click on the image to see an enlarged view.

This stein was my intoduction to Mettlach. My mother bought it for me while attending a local auction as a form of evening entertainment. Actually, she bought two pieces, the other one being transfer decorated and made by the Saarguemines firm. That one had a handle and a lid, but also a pouring spout. It puzzled me for a while until I learned it was a syrup jug.

The marks on the base of this stein were quite clear, but at that time they meant nothing to me. And the stein had a significant crack down the back parallel to the handle. There was no sign that the stein was otherwise damaged, and I later concluded that this was probably the result of interior stress in the ceramic body which had just "given up," perhaps a result of too much warmth in a sunny spot. The stein holds obvious sentimental value, but the colors and workmanship also make it one of my favorites.

In "The Mettlach Book" Gary Kirsner describes a subcategory of etched designs referred to as "mosaic" wares. "Although some mosaic pieces contain etched sections, for the most part they were totally decorated with colored glazes on surfaces actually quite complex, compared to the usual etched pieces."

Click here to view a pictorial index of all Featured Stein articles.