A Full-Color Schierholz Soldier

By George Felty

Here we have a Schierholz porcelain ½ L character stein of an enlisted soldier from the Kingdom of Saxony which was part of the Deutsches Heer (German Imperial Army) during WWI. His field cap, known as the, Krätzchen ca. 1867 to 1910, is the color of the Infantry, with blue top and red band on the bottom; all Krätzchen have the piping and the color usually matches the band; there are some exceptions… If this was a Kingdom of Saxony artillery soldier the top would be green with a red band on the bottom. In 1910 the Krätzchen was being phased out with the induction of model 1907 and then model 1910 field gray versions. This new version looks the same as the previous Krätzchen but it has a gray heavy wool top with the exception that it was not dyed different colors as the prior versions were. The band on all versions identify what Kingdom of Saxony army branch of service the soldier belongs too i.e. infantry, artillery, train, and so on… This version of the krätzchen was starting to be replaced in 1916. In most cases, prior to the end of WWI, the color of the top of the krätzchen matches the overall color of the uniform. Likewise, the color of the  Krätzchen band usually matched the color of the collar and cuffs of the sleeve. However, the red collar and cuffs usually meant the soldier comes from a Foot Troops Unit. All are identifying marks of what branch of service the soldier belongs too.

The stein’s field cap is adorned with two identifying cockades. The top one is of the Reichskokarde, red, white, and black ca. 1897 to 1918. This cockade was issued to commemorate the 100th birthday of the first Kaiser, Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig von Hohenzollern; Wilhelm I. The lower cockade known as the Landeskokarde identifies this enlisted soldier as being from State of Saxony.

This stein is marked with the oak leaves in shield and topped with a crown mark of Schierholz in and around 1910. This marking is the same mark found on the Schierholz character stein called the "missing link." SCI Master Steinologist Ron Fox talked about the missing link character stein in his Prosit article, “The Stein Discovery of the Century, Musterschutz and Schierholz: The Missing Link, September 1986.”

Schierholz character stein photo by SCI Master Steinologist Ron Fox.
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