Stein of the
Month: April 2001
The Gooseman of Nürnberg
by Shierholz & Sohn
The figure of the Gooseman, a
well-known symbol of Nürnberg, is taken from a statue in that city. This stein,
in typical honey-tan and white coloring, bears the stamped word Musterschutz
on its base, along with a tic-tac-toe mark (sometimes called a hash-mark) in
blue ink. Although the word literally means "copyrighted" or
"patent protected", collectors quite naturally referred to these stein
as Musterschutz - until Master Steinologist Ron Fox discovered evidence
pointing to the real manufacturer.
In Prosit in December 1986 Ron wrote about an evening spent with a
California collector when he was able to examine a stein which he felt certain
was by the same manufacturer, but which bore the trademark of Schierholz &
Sohn. That article, entitled "Musterschutz and Schierholz: The Missing
Link" made the first widely understood connection between these steins and
the firm that made them.
With the assistance of Master Steinologist Werner Sahm, Ron was able to uncover
five original Schierholz catalog pages that not only show most of the known
character steins attributed to them, but also some that have never been seen.
One such example is catalog number 107, a stag wearing a monocle and a ribbon
around his neck. Another is a head of Ludwig II with a spiked helmet. The
mystery was unlocked, but offered new challenges to collectors.
This discovery led to a series of articles which are important to understanding
the steins produced by this factory, and they are mentioned here for your
September 1986, "Musterschutz and Schierholz: The Missing Link" by Ron
December 1986, "Schierholz Character Steins" by Ron Fox
March 1987, "Listing of Schierholz Character Steins" by Ron Fox
In 1989 the German firm Rastal began to market reproductions of the Schierholz
character steins made from the original molds which had been stored for decades
in the factory in Plaue in East Germany. The steins were hand-decorated in the
same manner as the 19th-century originals, using the same type of china paint,
by top decorators. Every attempt was made to be faithful to the earlier pieces,
and some very nice steins were produced. In fact, the Gooseman stein shown at
the top of this page is one of the reproductions. Because the new pieces carried
the same base markings as the originals, collectors naturally found it difficult
to tell them apart. In December of 1989 Master Steinologist Mike Wald authored
an article for Prosit entitled "Telling the Old from the New:
Schierholz Character Steins." In that article he describes both general and
specific similarities and differences for collectors to be aware of.
|Cat. #16 - Caroline
||Cat. #56 - Uncle Sam
|Cat. #107 - Stag with Monocle
||Cat. #59 - Kaiser Wilhelm I
The last article we will mention appeared in Prosit in March 1991 when
Master Steinologist Patricia Manusov wrote about "The Schierholz Look-Alikes".
She discusses a number of fine porcelain character steins which might at first
glance be supposed to have been made by Schierholz, even though they don't bear
the normal basemarks.
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