Stein Collectors International
Featured Stein ~ December 2014
By Dr. Roy De Selms, SCI Master Steinologist
It seems probable that these
relatively rare "Stolen Steins" were worth it to the original owners
for their advertising value. This one was property of the "Hotel
Restaurant Gerstenberg in Washington, DC" which opened in 1887 and
closed in 1917. The photo transfer is presumably Ernst Gerstenberg, the
proprietor of the establishment.
The stein without lid (Adding a lid at the time would have at least
doubled the cost of the stein.) can be dated to between 1888 and 1906
by comparing the distinctive handle to those on dated regimental
steins. The stein was made for the American market by Bauscher
Porcelain Manufactory of Weiden, Germany (See: Chris Wheeler's "Stein
Marks" and article to appear soon in Prosit.) and marked "Made in
Germany". This also helps to
date the stein to after March 1, 1891 because that's when the marking
of "country of origin" went into effect for imports to the USA. Great
Britain had a similar law, but slightly earlier in 1887. Note the use
of the German "s" in "Washington", etc. This form of "s" that looks
more like the "f" in "Stolen from" was also used in the early English
script and print including here in the USA. Also the capacity mark in
"Liters" is interesting because Germany adopted the metric system in
1875 and the USA never has. However the entire scientific community
worldwide does use the metric system exclusively.
The closure of the restaurant was
coincident with the entry of the USA into WW I and the beginning of
Prohibition. Even though the largest ethnic group in the US was of
German decent at the time, there was so much anti-German sentiment
including among some of those of German decent, that it caused some
German restaurants to close and aided the cause of the
Anti-Saloon-League and the WCTU (Women's Christian Temperance Union).
This is when "Frankfurters" became "hot-dogs" and "German Toast" became
"French Toast"........... Fortunately in the end sensibility prevailed
and we still have Bier und Sauerkraut und Wurst!
Compliments of Erste Gruppe
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