Stein of the Month: July 2002

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A Glass Stein
with an Unusual Lid

Ginger Gehres shows us this nice mouth-blown glass stein. The body has been ground on a wheel and the handle applied by hand, typical of glass steins produced in Bohemia during the latter part of the 19th century. But the most interesting aspect of this stein is the pewter lid.

The lid depicts a cat with his back toward the viewer. Around the rim of the design are the Roman numerals I through XII, arranged as on the face of a clock. Most curiously, the cat's tail may be turned, from one stop on the dial to the next, hence serving as a counter to keep track of the number of times the stein has been filled!

We know the cat as the well-known symbol for a hangover, and how fitting that as the cat's tail is wound, the implied punishment for over-indulgence becomes more and more inevitable! There is an additional symbol found on this dial at the eleven o'clock position, where the numeral XI is preceded by the paragraph () symbol, i.e., paragraph 11 (or 11). This is another familiar sight for stein collectors, taking its meaning from the beer codes adopted by the German university students - keep on drinking! Like most people who enjoy a few beers and begin a night of drinking with the intention of avoiding the Kater, after you've had 11, why bother stopping?

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