Featured Stein: August 2012
~ Dueling Student Stein ~
By Joe Heater

Featured this month is a porcelain half liter character stein of a battered young man in a red tunic with red, blue, and yellow colors on his hat The stein features a thumb lift of a full body of a barmaid holding a tankard of beer and a lithophane depicting a courtyard with multiple people. There are no markings on the bottom of this stein which was sold as "rare."

The young man portrayed by this stein is a member of a German student dueling association. German student associations date back hundreds of years and cover most aspects of student life. During the Napoleonic wars, in particular, a strong bellicose sentiment emerged among the students and dueling was a major part of many associations. In some associations, the student was required to duel at least once annually.

The intent of the student duel, or Mensuer,  was not to inflict injury, but to allow the student to show honor and display courage. Although the students wore protective gear when dueling, injuries did occur, most often to the head. The student on the subject stein has injuries to his eye and notable scars. Injuries were often exacerbated to maximize damage and scarring as points of pride and honor. Some duelists would even rub irritants into sword wounds to enhance them in the hope forming a nice scar, or Schmiss. The Schmiss was considered to be such a badge of courage and honor, that many students who did not duel inflicted facial wounds with razor blades to produce one.

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