This interesting - and, yes, curious - stein was made in a popular barrel form using clays of varying colors which had been swirled together before the stein was molded. The body is formed to give the appearance of vertical barrel staves horizontally bound with reeds (withes). The swirled colors in the clay give it the appearance of wood. This same technique was used on some early barrel steins (form 675) from Mettlach. The contrast in clay colors on this stein is fairly unusual.
The central cartouche contains an appropriate verse for friends spending a night drinking.
On the bottom, the stein is marked in all capital letters with the name of the famous French factory which produced steins around the turn of the century in a quality similar to Mettlach steins - SARREGUEMINES. The pottery at Sarreguemines was established in 1784. At the time the territory was French, but it became German ninety years later. The company originally made only earthenware but by the turn of the century was producing fine stoneware and using unusual mixtures of clay for their body.
They enjoyed great success during the Empire period and Napoleon, who was a patron, conferred the Légion d’Honneur on Paul Utzschneider, the director of the company. A variety of colors and designs was used and a wide range of domestic utility, decorative and ornamental wares were made. By the middle of the nineteenth century, though, the color range had reduced to shades of brown and beige. In the second half of the century a range of domestic wares was introduced with relief decoration in the form of leaves and vines.
In 1876 after the Franco Prussian War, a new plant was opened at Digoin in France and the production of earthenware, stoneware and porcelain was carried out there well into the twentieth century. The Pyroblan range of china was introduced in 1960, and by 1978 production was confined entirely to china for the catering industry.