Stein of the Month: February 2001

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~ A Faience Wedding Stein ~
Faience, which originated in Italy, is a porous ceramic (earthenware) which has been covered with a white tin-glaze to provide a fine surface for decorating. It was developed as an alternative to Chinese porcelain which had been imported into Europe since about 800 A.D., but which the Europeans were unable to duplicate until Böttger unlocked the secret about 1710 in Germany. As porcelain (and glass) became more available and affordable, faience declined in popularity.

This stein, about 1 liter in capacity, was made in 1882, well after the period of fine faience production. Even so, it is very nicely hand-painted, the entire body surface being covered with a "medieval" design. The central figures are a man and woman, probably in a marriage ceremony. They are flanked on either side by attendants, and behind the handle are two shields, partially visible above, signifying the union of two families. The stein is signed ("B.F.") and dated 1882 below the lower handle attachment. The date is repeated on the pewter lid..

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