Featured Stein ~ February 2019
month’s stein is quite unusual. I acquired it on eBay a while back. At
first glance, it appears that it may have been handmade from a coffee
can. On closer inspection, it can be seen that the designs on the stein
have been impressed into the metal, indicating that it was mass
produced. The body and lid of this stein are made from an iron compound
– both are attracted to a magnet. The handle appears to be made of an
early plastic like celluloid or Bakelite. It doesn’t appear that this
stein was ever intended to hold a liquid, although it does seem water
tight. After starting this article, I came across an article about
this stein by Martin Kiely in the September
2002 issue of Prosit which
explains its origins and interprets the scenes and verses on the stein.
This stein was actually
a container for toffee candy produced in England by Bristows of Devon.
The bi-lingual label mentioned
in the article is shown at right. It seems strange that a product
obviously made for the German
market has a label in English and French. My guess is that this was a
special order and the
company just used their standard label.
The theme expressed in the scenes and
verses on this stein is that of a fond reminiscence of youth and
student days. The verse on the left of the stein is from an old student
song O Alte Burschenherrlichkeit, first published anonymously
in the Berlin journal The Free-thinker on August 9, 1825. The
first two lines of the song are shown below:
O alte Burschenherrlichkeit,
Oh those glorious old student days,
Wohin bist du verschwunden?
Which have long since vanished.
This theme is also found on many other
steins and postcards produced during the Golden age of steins. It has
also occurred in song, Golden
Days from the Student Prince, Bruce Springsteen’s Glory
Days, and even the song that was sung to me as I started out for
first grade: School days, school days, dear old Golden Rule days...
For more information on the stein and candy company please link to
Martin Kiely's article in Prosit.