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Stein of the Month: February/March 2008
The Frog and Gnome Party on HR 519

by Justin Pimentel

When I began collecting HR steins, I had always had my eye on several steins from the firm that I found particularly desirable. And, working on a limited budget, I felt that these pieces would always elude me. However, if by chance, I did have the opportunity to purchase one of these fine pieces, I certainly wouldn't let it pass.

My acquisition of a one liter HR 519 was purely by chance. Although I spend time scouring through local auction listings, I came across this item when I least expected to. I had been attending a regular monthly (stein-free) auction, when, on the way out, I happened to pass by an upcoming auction flyer that pictured a very non-descript stein photo in black and white. However obscure the image might have been, I was fairly certain that one of those aforementioned opportunities was about to present itself.

On the following day, I raced to the auction house in hopes that I would not be disappointed. After meandering through various antiques I saw my prize, a beautiful one liter HR 519 stein. It was even more attractive than I had imagined; brilliantly standing out amongst the other inferior wares. And fortunately enough, I was able to add it to my collection.

The stein itself depicts a wonderful scene that is both whimsical and inviting. A frog band strikes a tune in the background while dwarves imbibe on some brew. The pastoral setting which blends into rolling hills provides an appropriate setting for such revelry. Each gnome is depicted in various degrees of indulgence; most have a stein in one hand and a pipe in the other. The frog band enthusiastically strikes a tune to accompany the festivities. The entire scene is framed in subtle images vines, steins and wurst which accent the overall motif.

But aside from the scene which is both fantastical and alluring, the stein imparts some valuable wisdom. At last, a bannered saying reads "So leben wir, So leben wir alle tage" ("So we live, so we live all days"). The interpretation of this verse may at first seem illogical, but with some minor analysis, I would like to suggest that there is a "carpe diem-like" notion. For each day that we are gifted with life, we should make the most of that time. And in the celebratory scene on this stein, we can certainly see that the chimerical characters are relishing every minute of their lives.

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