Featured Stein: August 2014
~ Münchner Kindl vs. Münchner Mädl ~
By Roy De Selms, SCI Master Steinologist

This month's Stein of the Month is a pottery character stein in the figure of a Münchner Kindl (Bavarian dialect for "the Munich Child" or "the Monk Child") holding a Maßkrug (1 liter stein) marked HB for Hofbräu (the court beer of Munich) and a Radi (radish, a Bavarian delight to go with the beer). It is one of the more common Münchner Kindl character steins, made by Merkelbach & Wick, and numbered #209. The stein is fully described on Chris Wheeler's "Stein Marks" site under the mark of "Josef Reinemann".

I had always thought that "das Münchner Kindl" was the term used for the mascot of the city of Munich as shown on a whole host of steins commemorating Munich. One maker, Dorfner of Hirschau, has produced steins with the Münchner Kindl designs, ca. 1900, in many different sizes (see picture below). The smallest of these are called Kinderkrüge (children's steins) and were given to children for special occasions like birthdays, name days, confirmations or just for being a good kid. The mid sized steins, 0.5 to 1 liter, are called "Trinkkrüge" (drinking steins) and were used for drinking at home or at the pub. Larger steins are called "Bringkrüge" (bringing steins) or "Holkrüge" (fetching steins) not shown here and were in the 2 liter and larger sizes used to take to the local brewery or tavern to fill with beer to be brought home and stored for very short periods and served from.

Recently it has come to my attention that the "Münchener Kindl" has evolved thru the years into a more mature "Münchner Mädl" (Munich Maid). The terms "Kindl" (remember going to Kindergarten = children's garden) and Mädl (Bavarian dialect), "Mädel" or "Mädchen (maiden) are all neuter gender nouns signifying that they haven't really reached that mature state where they might have a real gender assigned. German uses "der" (masculine, the), "die" (feminine, the) and "das" (neuter, the). However when the term "Münchner Mädel Bilder" (Munich Maid Pictures) was subjected to a Google search, there appeared a whole new meaning to the term "Munich Maid". Wow!!! It turned out that the term Münchner Mädel lost its umlaut over the "a" and became "Münchner Madl" that I would now translate as "Munich Babe", but the subjects of the photos still had their "umlauts" if you get my drift. As a result I think the family oriented "Stein World" should stick to using the translation "Munich Child" and avoid the terminology "Munich Maid" altogether. Furthermore there is a recent book titled "Das Münchner Kindl" published by the Stadtmuseum München (city museum of Munich) which does not have "Münchner Mädl, Mädel or Mädchen" mentioned once on its 292 pages.

Many of the Münchner Kindl steins made by Dorfner of Hirschau.

For more info on steins from Amberg/Hirschau, see: Prosit, March 2014. Also search Chris Wheeler's "Stein Marks" website for "Dorfner" of Hirschau and "E. Kick" of Amberg.

Compliments of Erste Gruppe
Hit Counter