Stein Collectors International
Featured Stein: September 1999

~The Munich Child~

FEATURED: A half liter stoneware stein featuring a Munich Child design, form 5153, otherwise unmarked. Referring to "Kunst und Handwerk", a publication of the artists guild in Munich in early part of this century, Franz Hassmann identifies this piece as a Franz Ringer design for Marzi and Remy, with pewter fittings by Martin Pauson, a well known pewterer and distributor in Munich.

The Munich Child, or Munchner Kindl, is the popular symbol of the city of Munich. Its roots trace back to 1185 when a small group of monks settled on the current site of Munich. The figure of a monk was used as part of the seal of the city, and first appears on a legal document in 1239. Over the years the artists and sculptors transformed the figure into the youthful, child-like symbol which we know today. While there have been many variants in its portrayal, the child usually holds a book of city laws in the left hand while extending the right hand with three outstretched fingers, as on this stein. In more recent times, as the figure evolved from official seal to popular symbol, the child is frequently seen holding a foaming stein of beer in one hand and a radish in the other. While its history indicates the basis for the figure is male, its appearance in recent centuries has become more and more youthful and cherubic, leading some to refer to the figure as the "Munich Maid". We prefer to avoid debating that topic by using the term Munich Child.

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