Featured Stein: April 2010
~ Kronprinz Friedrich Wilhelm  ~
by  Robert Groebner & Herb Rangl

Friedrich Wilhelm Victor August Ernst (6 May 1882 – 20 July 1951) of the House of Hohenzollern was the last Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire. He was the eldest son of William II, German Emperor (1859–1941). When he was born, he was third in line for the throne, behind his grandfather and father, as his great-grandfather was still the reigning Emperor.

This exquisite porcelain stein was most likely produced in 1888 to celebrate Friedrich Wilhelm acquiring the title of Crown Prince on the deaths of his great-grandfather and grandfather. The stein features a portrait of the six year old crown prince looking resolute as he takes on the great responsibilty bestowed upon him. The ornate pewter lid shows symbols of leadership and knowledge along with the phrase "Ehre * Freiheit *  Vaterland" (Honor * Freedom * Fatherland). The stein has an uncommon colored lithophane which does not seem to have anything to do with the occasion celebrated by the stein. The text around Friedrich Wilhelm's picture reads:

O junger Sproß von altem Heldenstamme,
Wohl magst du freudig aufschaun und voll Muth,

Bis daß dereinst in ferner Zukunft Tagen,
Du wirst die Last des goldnen Reifes tragen.

Oh young sprout of the ancient stem of heroes,
You may well look forward with joy and bravery,

To that call in distant future days,
For you to bear the burden of the golden crown.

Friedrich Wilhelm never realized the future that was hoped for him by this stein. After the outbreak of the German Revolution in 1918, he and his father signed a document of abdication. Friedrich Wilhelm went into exile, returning to Germany in 1923 after giving assurances that he would no longer engage in politics.
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