Featured Stein: October 2008
A Very Unusual Regimental Stein
by Ron Heiligenstein

This month’s featured stein is most unusual. Possibly it’s even unique.

It’s a character stein that has everything required for it to also be classified as a regimental stein, specifically, the original owner’s name which is painted on the soldier’s chest, his service dates engraved on the pewter rim of the lid and a regimental unit designation seen on the soldier’s shoulder straps. It’s what regimental stein collectors call a “regimental character stein.” What you see is a half liter, pottery character stein named to the
2. Nassauisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 88, which was originally owned by Reservist Ströder who was garrisoned at Mainz from 1903 to 1905. 

This stein also features several things important to soldiers in those days: his flask, his swagger stick and a mug of foaming beer. What else could this smiling young man possibly want (or need)? Perhaps a regimental pipe, George? 

The 88th Infantry Regiment was raised on 13th August 1808. In June of 1815 it fought against the armies of Napoleon Bonaparte in Belgium during the Waterloo Campaign, and then in 1866 it fought against Austria in the Seven Weeks War. In 1870 – 1871, once again it fought against France during the Franco-Prussian War. Soon thereafter the regiment, originally garrisoned in Wiesbaden, was moved to Mainz. During the First World War the regiment fought on the Western Front in northern France, in the Vosges Mountains, before Verdun and at the Second Battle of the Somme. On 15th December 1918, after the armistice, the 88th Infantry Regiment was disbanded.

For reasons unknown to this writer, regimental beer steins named to the 88th Infantry Regiment are most diverse, some with rather typical porcelain half liter bodies and others with either tall or short pottery bodies. And they vary considerably as to how they were decorated from year to year. Nothing was ever traditional with steins named to this regiment, which is an exception to the general rule.






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