Featured Stein - November 2017
By Walt Vogdes
The figures below show a handpainted Mettlach stein, model #280, with
the image of a warrior woman by the name of Bellona. Who dat?
Bellona was an Ancient Roman goddess of war. Her main artistic
characteristics include the
military helmet worn on her head; she often holds a sword, spear or
shield, and brandishes a torch or whip as she rides into battle in a
four-horse chariot. In poetry the name Bellona is often used simply as
a synonym for war. While she does not figure as a character in
Shakespeare's plays, she receives several mentions. In Henry IV
Part I, Hotspur describes her as "the fire-eyed maid of smoky war"
(IV.i.119). In The Two Noble Kinsmen
, set in pre-Roman Athens,
the sister of Hippolyta will solicit her divine aid for Theseus against
Thebes (I.iii.13). At the start of the play named after him, Macbeth is
introduced as a violent and brave warrior when the Thane of Ross calls
him "Bellona's bridegroom" (I.ii.54), that is to say, the equivalent of
Bellona has been depicted in poetry, opera, painting and sculpture, as
well as in public statuary.
The base of this stein displays the conjoined letter V and B, trademark
of Villeroy & Boch, the model number 280, and the date code for