from A. Stahl & Co.
by Frank Loevi
Editor's Choice: Best New Stein -- 1997
Regular readers will recall that Stahl's "Corona Iguana" stein was selected at the 1996 SCI Convention as the best new stein of the year. Since there was no formal competition held at the 1997 convention, I thought it would be appropriate to fill the gap with the first annual "Editor's Choice" award, which, once again, goes to A. Stahl & Co. for its new "Bulldog" stein, the first in a Man's Best Friend series. Cigar lovers who see him will be hard-pressed to pass up this uniquely appealing 9-¾ inch canine with a Churchill-size cigar clamped tightly in his formidable jaw. He's posed sitting on four boxes of cigars which, according to the literature that came with my sample, he's guarding for his master -- but I'm not so sure. He has a look that clearly says, "These are mine and I plan to keep it that way." The stein also features a cigar-shaped handle and, in keeping with the overall motif, includes a small chain linking the handle to the bulldog's spiked collar.
By way of background, the concept for the stein can be credited to Henry Cornell, owner of Cornell Importers, the sole distributor. The art work that turned the concept into reality was provided by Ralph Massey, a free-lance artist who's work is regularly featured in Cornell products. The edition size for this first in the series is 5,000 pieces. [Seven editions of this popular series have been produced, and an eighth is in the works (see below). While the Bulldog has been the inspiration for three separate editions, the Labrador, German Shepherd and Scottie have all been made in three variations within their respective editions.]
(reported in Prosit, June 2000)
Stahl's success in recent years resulted in growing production demands which they were unable to meet. To overcome these problems, a new company was formed to take up the slack. PKT, working out of space leased from the owners of Stahl, has taken over some of the production, working on a cooperative basis with Stahl. Trademarks of the two companies, shown below, are quite similar but easily distinguished.