Stein Collectors International
Featured Stein ~ May 2021

A Jugendstil Serving Stein (Reinhold Hanke Model #2364, by August Hanke)

By Walt Vogdes
Pacific Stein Sammler

Just as collectors see a difference between a mug and a stein, there is a useful distinction between the terms pitcher and serving stein:  The stein and the serving stein are both set apart by the presence of a lid.

For German ceramics, Jugendstil designs came into existence around 1900, reaching a peak of popularity and production around 1910. The advent of World War I cut into industrial producton of all kinds, and the production volumes of all sorts of beer steins fell dramatically for an extended period.

A German term, the word Jugendstil is a combination of the words Jugend and Stil, meaning youth or young, and style. It represents a new, fresh, youthful, promising style of art, in the same way that we understand Art Nouveau, or the "new art." Often featuring organic motifs—leaves, vines, flowers, nature—which inspired curving, flowing designs, it also employed stylized or abstracted design elements. As part of this new aesthetic, ceramic glazes were used to enhance or complement the overall effect, no longer simply to add color. Glazes were often intended to sag, drip, or create a mottled appearance.

Here you see one of my favorite Jugendstil serving steins. This piece was designed by August Hanke ca. 1910. Hanke was a modeleur and co-owner of his father's firm, Reinhold Hanke, from 1901. Featuring a curled vine with berries on the body and around the rim, and employing a mottled dark brown glaze, it exemplifies the Jugendstil aesthetic. Even before being filled, this piece cries out for a cold brown beer which will bring beads of moisture to the surface.

Pushing this stein over the top for me is the custom recreation of the primary design in the pewter lid.

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