October 2016 Stein of the Month

An Etched Hanke Stein Designed by Rudy Dekker

by SCI Master Steinologist Walt Vogdes

This etched stein, No. 1755, was designed by Rudy Dekker and produced by the firm of Reinhold Hanke. It depicts a peaceful mountain scene: at left, a Jäger (hunter) with his rifle slung over his shoulder and his dog at his side; in the center a seated woman is knitting; and at right, a second man sits next to the woman, holding a stein of beer in his lap. Further to the right, next to the handle, is a snippet of German wisdom:

Ein fröhlich Herz heilt allen Schmerz

A happy heart heals all sorrows
rd_4_verseOn a stone below the verse and next to the lower handle attachment are the initials "RD", the signature of Rudy Dekker. SCI Master Steinologist Les Hopper (dec.) collected and wrote extensively about Girmscheid steins bearing the KB signature of Karl Beuler and noted the existence of the RD signature in an article in Prosit in March of 1996. Hopper found that SCI Master Steinologist Roland Henschen had previously identified RD as Rudy Dekker in his series of columns titled The Stein Makers which appeared in the Tri-State Trader between 1971 and 1981. Many Girmscheid steins are unmarked, as are many Hanke steins, they are often difficult to tell apart. In the years since Hopper introduced collectors to Dekker we have learned that Dekker's signature is found on Hanke steins, and he apparently never worked for Girmscheid. Of course, making that distinction is important, but in no way diminishes the appeal of Dekker-designed steins to collectors. The lid of this stein includes a pottery inlay within a pewter ring, seen below left. The base is marked with the model number (1755) and an ink-stamped mark which has resisted identification, but which is believed to be the mark of a distributor or retailer in the city of Coblenz.