For a long time I have coveted a stein by August Saeltzer! However, every time I have seen one for sale there has always been a last minute feeding frenzy, taking the price well beyond my means. When I saw this piece I knew I had to have it. I loved everything about it: the highly detailed copper casting Katzenjammer scene inset into the pewter lid, the shell thumb pull and the massive 3-ring hinge. The strong but simple hand-painted design in a beautiful blue with burgundy red detailing reminded me of peacock feathers. Every delicate pen & brush mark seemed as if it was done yesterday and Saeltzer's ornate mark on the base was one of the best I had seen. The translation on the front in old German script reads as follows:
However, to the auction! There was no maker's attribution in the description which boded well for me; the Saeltzer experts would have difficulty in finding it. This proved correct during the auction as the number of "lookers" was a lot lower than I would have expected. Never has seven days gone so slowly. Toward the end of the auction I placed my bid, which was more than I wanted to spend, more in desperation than expectation. Imagine my elation when I won, and at a price one would pay for an old relief Marzi & Remy! It seemed like I was enjoying seven Sundays in one week. A few days later, I opened the parcel containing my precious stein to find that it was absolutely perfect. Just a little soap and water restored it to "as new" condition.
Gazing on my acquisition later that evening, I could imagine the pride of the original purchaser as they left the shop. Had it been a gift to a loved one, or for a presentation, or just someone treating themself? I will never know, but I am grateful to whoever it was for starting its eventual journey to my front door.
"The August Saeltzer Factory" by Ron Fox. 1998
"The Stein Reference" by Chris Wheeler