Stein Collectors International
Featured Stein ~ October 2003
|~ 100 Years of Oktoberfest
By Ron Gray
citizens of Munich were invited to the fields in front of the city
on October 10, 1810, to celebrate the royal wedding of Crown Prince
(later becoming King Ludwig I) to Princess Therese of
festivities concluded with a horse race. The following year Munich
have another horse race, thus beginning the tradition of the annual
The fields are now called Theresienwiese, Theresa’s fields, in
the princess. The Germans, being smarter than us, decided to begin the
event in late September, when the weather is more conducive to beer
(Will the baseball commissioner please note that an earlier start to
Series would also be better, not just for beer drinking, but also for
our National pastime.) This year’s Oktoberfest began on Saturday,
20, 2003 and ends on Sunday, October 5, 2003. Visit the Library section
site for a link to an article on the history of the Oktoberfest.
This month’s stein of the month celebrates the 100th
anniversary of the Oktoberfest. The design features the two dates, 1810
1910, on each side of the symbol of the city, the famous Munich Child,
small coat of arms of Bavaria (designed for everyday use) appearing
symbol. This stein is ½ L, but it also was made in the 1 L size. The
designed by Franz Ringer (two articles about this Munich artist and
may be found in the Library area). Ringer's initials appear below and
left of the wreath containing the year 1910. While my stein does not
manufacturer’s mark (Ringer did design steins for several different
manufacturers), it is stamped "Offizieller Festkrug Oktoberfest 1910"
or "Official Festival Stein Octoberfest 1910." The lid is stamped on
the inside "Brüder Thannhauser München."
These official steins began to appear for each Oktoberfest every 25
thereafter (1935, 1960 and 1985). While initially there was no official
Oktoberfest stein, the Maße (one liter containers) in which the
brew were served seemed to be disappearing with increasing regularity
souvenirs of the revelers. Some customs are the same throughout the
to the 1978 Oktoberfest, officials of Rastal and the Oktoberfest met to
this problem. As a result, Rastal was licensed to produce an official Oktoberfestkrug.
Each year’s design would reflect the poster designed by an artist for
year’s Oktoberfest. A copy of the artist’s signature appears on the
of each stein. Not realizing the popularity these steins would enjoy,
initial Oktoberfestkrüge were subcontracted to Franz Stuber.
through 1984 Oktoberfestkrüge have his initials, "FS," inside
a diamond placed below the capacity mark. Thereafter, the Rastal name
this position. These initial Oktoberfestkrüge also were
the Maße they were replacing, with no lid. You can find some
early 1980s with lids, but the official pewter lids did not begin
until 1987. In accordance with the requirements of Oktoberfest
will not publish the annual production figures for the official Oktoberfestkrüge.
The Oktoberfestkrüge are quite popular collectibles,
Bavaria. There is even one site devoted to these steins, see Der
Oktoberfestkrug in the Library area of this site. Although it is in
it is easy to navigate and understand. The early Oktoberfestkrüge
hard to find and expensive. The more recent ones can be obtained from The
Shop or Sam’s
Steins, among other retail outlets. And of course, these steins
found on both the American and German eBay sites. The accompanying
the design for this year’s Oktoberfest stein. If you are not attending
year’s party, click
here to visit the Oktoberfest at leisure on your computer! Just
to pop a can of your favorite lager.
From the left, the pewter lid of the Official 2003 Oktoberfest stein
the relief portrait of King Ludwig III; the signature of artist
and the certificate of authenticity.