Featured Stein: January  2012
~ Expeditions into the Animal Kingdom ~
Stein Series From S.P. Gerz
By Peter Willis

Among the few limited edition beer stein series that S.P. Gerz produced in Sessenbach before closing down in the 1990's was the Expeditionen ins Tierreich (Expeditions into the Animal Kingdom) collection from Heinz Sielmann.
Heinz Sielmann (June 2 1917 in Rheydt, Germany – Oktober 6 2006 in Munich) was a famous German Animal rights activist, wildlife photographer,
Sielmann & Friend
zoologist and documentary filmmaker. Part of his work includes award-winning movies like Lords of the Forest (1959) --better known in the USA under the title Masters of the Congo Jungle, the English version of this film narrated by Orson Welles, Galapagos - Dream Island in the Pacific (1962), Vanishing Wilderness, and The Mystery of Animal Behavior.

His series Expeditionen ins Tierreich was broadcast on German national television from 1965 to 1991, made him well known in Germany.

In cooperation with Heinz Sielmann and S.P. Gerz the decision was made to produce a limited edition series of steins named after Sielmann’s famous television serial.

The series featured two high relief models consisting of the Stockente (Mallard) and the Panda-Baer (Panda Bear), both limited to 6500 bodies and two half relief models including the Braunbaer (brown bear) and the Luchs (lynx) limited to 9500 bodies. The resemblance of the half relief models with Ceramarte-Brazil is quite obvious, the competition between these two companies at that time was very tense and S.P. Gerz was already struggling to compete.

The most popular model on the German market was the Stockente  with its colorful hand painted 3-D detail. Quite large numbers where produced for Germany but the international sales where not as expected, the main guess is mainly because the name Heinz Sielmann was not at all that famous outside of Germany.
This series is proof that the dedication to quality and design was still very strong in the later years of the Simon Peter Gerz company.
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