Stein of the Month: April 2004


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~ Moritz ~
provided by Ronald E. Gray

April starts with everyone trying to fool us and by April 15th everyone is trying to fool the IRS. This month’s stein is half of the Max and Moritz duo that was known for fooling around all of the time. Max and Moritz is a children’s book by the beloved German poet Wilhelm Busch (1832-1908), which was written in 1865. The German and English version of the tale of these two mischievous boys can be found at http://www.fln.vcu.edu//mm/mmmenu.html.

The Moritz stein is attributed (there is no mark and it does not appear in any known Bohne catalog, but it does have the characteristics of a Bohne stein) to Ernst Bohne Söhne of Rudolstadt, Thurgina, Germany. The firm was founded in 1848 and continued production until shortly after World War I. Steins represented a small portion of their wares. Some of the Bohne steins, including this one, had a bisque quality to them. Many of the molds ended up with the firm of Albert Stahl (he was the former accountant in the firm that bought Bohne), which began reproducing some of the steins around 1985. Stahl also began a new line of high-quality character steins, including Corona, Superman, Batman, Looney Tunes’ characters, Budweiser frog, Bud Light penguin and Man’s Best Friend. The Stahl steins are easily distinguishable from the Bohne steins. The Stahl character stein production was transferred to a sister company, PKT, in 1999. Some of the marks used by Bohne are shown below, although some of the Bohne pieces may not be marked.

This is the only known Moritz stein to appear in a stein sale catalog and Max has yet to surface. By the way, you will need a big tax refund if you want to add this stein to your collection. The Moritz stein was sold in the Andre Ammelounx auction at the 34th Annual SCI convention in July 2000 at Houston. The winning bid was a mere $4,510, including the 12% buyer’s premium. This bid easily exceeded the estimated range of $2,000 to $2,600 as a lot of people were interested in adding it to their collection.

Our thanks to Frank Loevi and The Beer Stein Library for the photo of this month’s stein. The Beer Stein Library has articles and catalogs of the Bohne and Stahl steins. Membership is required to view the catalogs, along with accompanying articles, on that site. Some articles, however, and a sample of the catalogs can be viewed by merely registering with that site (see the SCI Links section). My personal opinion is that it is the best site on the Internet to view a wide variety of steins.

These two imps also appeared on a relief stein which was featured in our Stein of the Month article in May of 2001. To read about that stein, follow the link to "Archives" in the navigation bar at the top of this page, then page down to find the link to the article.

Max and Moritz also inspired The Katzenjammer Kids, Hans and Fritz, billed as the oldest comic strip still in syndication. Rudolph Dirks (1877-1968), a German immigrant to the U.S., started the comic in 1897. Follow the links below for more information. Where’s Max? Who will be the first to find him? Let us know if you have him as we would love to see him reunited once again with Moritz.

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