Featured Stein: December   2010
~  Henpecked Husband Stein ~
by  Roy C. De Selms
Beer steins were made in Germany for every occasion and situation. This stein was probably bought for the situation after the occasion; perhaps by the wife with a message for the husband, if he already didn’t know it, on their first wedding anniversary. This stein was first featured in the 1899 Mettlach catalog and entitled “Pantoffel in der Ehe” (slipper in the marriage). The main theme should become obvious from the scene and the verse 

Er: Ich bin der Mann; das Hauptling!”  (He: I am the husband; the head!)

Sie: Ich bin die Frau; ich weiß das Haupt zu drehen!!”  (She: I am the wife; I know how to turn heads!!)

The slipper can be seen between the couple on the front of the stein and also on the lid with the text: “Ewig dein” (forever thine) and “Ewig mein” (forever mine). The "slipper" represents the woman's primary means of maintaining her dominance in the marriage. It's a common theme in German lore. Note the symbolism of the chains and the babies.

The base markings show that this “etched” or “incised” Mettlach stein was made in 1898, evidenced by the “98" to the lower right of the mold number “2050" before it appeared in the 1899 catalog. The impressed castle mark with Mettlach and VB for Villeroy & Boch was used on premium Mettlach items from about 1883 to 1905 and beyond. The legend in the middle reading “Gegen Nachbildung Geschützt” means legally protected against copying or copyrighted. 
 Compliments of “Erste Gruppe” of Southern California


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