Stein of the Month: July 2007

An Early 18th Century Muskau Stein
by Walt Vogdes

The stein seen here was made in Muskau, in the Lusatian region of Germany, circa 1700. The body shows an incised floral design which has also been painted with cobalt blue against a cross-hatched or netting background. Incised decoration first appeared in Muskau around 1680, and leaf, vine and floral motifs were favored. The decoration on this piece was drawn from the Baroque style, which went out of favor around 1730.

In the absence of trademarks on the base, early stoneware pieces must be identified by studying the type of clay used, the color, shape, decorative technique and motif, among other clues. In this case the most telling feature is the cuts or fluting around the base portion of the stein, often slanted but here made almost vertically.

Reference: Early Stoneware Steins from the Les Paul Collection, Dr. Beatrix Adler, Krüger Druck + Verlag, Dillingen/Saar, 2005
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