Stein Collectors International
Featured Stein ~ January 2021

Teddy Roosevelt Lithophane in a German Military Stein

By Don Strack and Roy De Selms
Carolina Steiners

Why would a lithophane of U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt be found in a German military stein?  The short answer is that Roosevelt visited Germany on an unofficial diplomatic mission in 1910 in order to try to establish a firm relationship between the U.S. and Germany.   He appeared with Kaiser Wilhelm II reviewing German Imperial troops at Döberitz near Berlin in May 1910.  Kaiser Wilhelm II had already been trying to build a relationship in 1902 with Roosevelt during Roosevelt's presidency from 1901 to 1909 and this 1910 meeting was the culmination of that effort. Even though there were historically strong family ties between England and Germany, the British and German relationship had been growing tense. There was also a natural relationship between the two leaders because Roosevelt had traveled with his parents as a youngster to Europe and had stayed for 5 months in Germany and learned to speak German and French and later studied German among other subjects at Harvard. 
This stein is undoubtedly a souvenir of the meeting of the German and U.S. leaders and fairly rare as it is the only example that we know of with this Roosevelt lithophane.  It was probably made by Ernst Bohne Söhne as similar examples were described in the Bohne catalog as Schrapnell (shrapnel), but usually called "Artillery Shell".  It is seen in the "Encyclopedia of Character Steins" by Dr. Eugene Manusov as ECS #333.  The pewter fittings are marked "N.B.M." and identified in Chris Wheeler's "Stein Marks" as the mark of pewterer Nathan Bauernfreund of Munich who operated in this time frame.