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~ Gambrinus in a Goat Cart ~


This month we look at a relief stein by Adolf Diesinger showing Gambrinus, King of Beer, in a goat cart being pulled by monkeys! The body of the stein is "carved" to suggest a wooden barrel. This half-liter stein is one of the less common Diesinger works, and it was made in a couple of different versions. Although the base is simply marked GERMANY and 706, the high relief of the design helps to identify it as Diesinger, and it is well-catalogued in Patricia and Eugene Manusov's book, A Collectors Guide to Diesinger Steins. The handle is the one which they have called "number 3", and the stein shows the characteristic Diesinger beading near the base.

The vast majority of Diesinger steins are marked D.R.G.M.154927 with the appropriate form number. For many years collectors knew these steins as "DRGM", but in 1973 Master Steinologist Steve Smith published an article in Prosit in which revealing his discovery that "D.R.G.M." stands for Deutsches Reich Gebrauchmuster - this mark is basically a patent claim, not a trademark at all! Mr. Smith had also obtained a copy of the patent, which protected Diesinger's technique for decorating the bodies of his ceramic wares. A second patent was discovered at a later date dealing with a unique lid attachment in which the rotating portion of the pewter hinge is actually poured into an opening in the handle. The number of this patent (250365) may occasionally be found on a stein which has such a pewter attachment.

The figure below is a composite of the scene on this stein. Starting at the left of this scene we see two monkeys, each wearing a long coat and waving a whip in the air, urging their goats onward. Following behind them is another monkey who holds the reins to a pair of goats. Next in the procession is King Gambrinus, beer stein at the ready and seeming to ride comfortably. Two gnomes peer out of the dust behind the cart, but their presence is unexplained.

Stein Collectors International 1996-2000