Stein Collectors International
Featured Stein: April 2023

A Pretender to the Crown
by Christopher M. Dodd

In this contest we have a very unusual matchup - a heavy weight versus a light weight. (What was he thinking?)

In the "away" corner, we have heavyweight and firm-favorite, Mettlach #2090 "Woman and Tavern" stein, the work of Heinrich Schlitt on Mettlach #2090. In the "home" corner (I am after all, English), we have the "lightweight" pretender to the title, from the Sylvan factory of Stoke-on-Trent with the under glazed initials "SR". The factory was founded in 1894 by William Shaw and William Copestake, the "SylvaC" (with capital C) derived from their surnames. In 1930, production moved to Thomas Lawrence's Falcon Pottery, established in Longton in 1800 and a merger by family marriage followed in 1957 before Falconware ceased production in 1962 and SylvaC in 1982. Mostly remembered for its small ceramic animals, all records relating to styles and dates of production were then destroyed.

The quality of the SylvaC is not comparable to Mettlach, this being reflected in the price I paid, a mere £!0.00, but the piece raises many questions. Was this undated copy an homage or an unauthorized "rip-off" and just who was "SR"? This is a tankard with no obvious intent to attach a lid but at its Southern end, it does have a working musical box, playing a melody which is unknown to me. Why would an English factory make a tankard with a German verse? Either way, the two currently sit happily side by side.

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