Featured Stein: October 2014
~ An Interesting Majolica Stein ~
By Ron Hartmann – St. Louis Gateway Steiners



  This month’s featured stein is an attractive majolica pottery stein. While not a rare, significant example, it is certainly an interesting stein to be enjoyed. A colorful tin-glazed (majolica technique) pottery stein, it decoration has a cartouche stating: Hopfen und Malz Gott erhalts (Hops and Malt, God preserve them.) with a depiction either side of Eros riding Capricorn.




The pewter lid carries a ceramic insert with a twelve-petal chrysanthemum in raised relief, possibly referring to the zodiac and the seasons. A lack of a capacity mark would date the stein prior to 1875 and Germany’s adoption of the Metric System that required capacity marks on steins. No maker’s exists, but “B3” and “2707” are impressed into the base of the stein. Could these indicate size and mold numbers?






  The use of Eros (also known as Cupid) riding Capricorn (a horned goat with forked-end fish tail) is quite interesting. Capricorn, Capricornus in Greek mythology, represents the Winter Solstice (December 21st or 2nd). Eros riding the back of Capricorn across the sky appears to have some connection with the seasons, but let’s leave that for someone more familiar with the subject.





  So it appears this stein is promoting good growing seasons for the production of Hopfen und Malz, and Gods help in producing good crops for the making of, what else, good beer. What a wonderful idea that is! Ben Franklin would agree: “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” As for the maker of this stein, the name Rudolf Ditmar is often referred to. Perhaps the use of a black background and vivid green and brown colors will be a clue. If anyone cares to comment on any unanswered questions resulting from this article, an email would be appreciated. (swords@usroute66.net)



  Rudolf Ditmar Majolica Steins, Ron Fox, Prosit, March 2006, pp.1936-39

 An Austrian Majolica Stein – SCI Featured Stein, Seguei Artiouchkov, October 2013