Featured Stein: February 2011
~  Historismus Stein ~
by  Roy C. De Selms
The early 19th century saw much destruction in Europe caused by the Napoleonic Wars and then the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. This was also a low ebb in the design and production of beer steins. By the 1870's Germany had become an independent nation and new efforts were being made to improve all things German including the design and manufacture of German beer steins. One of the first movements was called “Historismus”, an attempt at the revival of the best of earlier periods like Baroque and Renaissance using new techniques. Notable among the first manufacturers to introduce new designs and techniques were Villeroy & Boch at Mettlach and Rheinhold Hanke in Höhr(grenzhausen) and many others followed.

The magnificent stein featured this month was produced in the style of a late 16th century Raeren stoneware jug and should not be considered a fake, but rather a Historismus piece. Little has been reported about this manufacturer, Hubert Schiffer of Raeren, Belgium near Aachen, Germany and operating after 1885. (See: German Stoneware 1200-1900 by David Gaimster; Steinzeug by Konrad Strauss u. Frieder Aichele in the Battenberg series.) His mark is on the base as “S” over “H” (fig. 1).
Figure 1 Figure 2
The lid is original to the jug and marked “W. Schloemer Aachen”, but is not in the style of an original 17th century lid and does not have any significant relationship to the jug itself. The inscription on the lid (fig. 2) translates to: For the 200 year Jubilee of the Marksman Society of Gräfenthal from the Military & Land Protection Club 15-16 August 1886. This is probably a very true copy of an early Raeren Krug made by Wilhelm Menniken as noted by the cartouche under the handle of a grotesque (shown at the right ) with the initials “W. M.” from the famous Menniken family of master potters working in Raeren until about the 1580's when they moved to Grenzau and then to Grenzhausen. 
The cartouches around the body of the jug are of four members of a branch of the Hohenzollerns: (from the left to right)

    (Fig. 3)  Albrecht v. Brandenburg Erzbischof u. Kurfürst v. Mainz 1490-1545
    (Fig. 4 ) his brother,  Joachim I Kurfürst v. Brandenburg 1484-1535
    (Fig. 5)  son of 2,  Joachim II Kufürst v. Brandenburg 1505-1571
    (Fig. 6)  Albrecht Markgraf v. Brandenburg 1490-1568, (aka Albrecht of Prussia,
                 not to be confused with the other Albrecht v. Brandenburg.)
Figure 3 Figure 4
Figure 5 Figure 6
  Compliments of “Erste Gruppe” of Southern California


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