Stein Collectors International
Featured Stein ~ March 2021

Just a Little Old Annaberger Stein

By Salvatore Mazzone
Florida Sun Steiners

Eric Salzano’s article “Repairs: Detraction, or A Thing of Beauty?” in the December 2020 issue of Prosit hit close to home for me. For those of us who don't have deep pockets, the only way we can afford some of the steins we love is to accept less than perfect examples of them. Yet, as Eric pointed out, sometimes repairs done well can actually add to the beauty of the piece.

I have a few steins that fall into this category; this article is about one of them.

A few years ago I acquired an Annaberger Birnkrug (a pear-shaped stein) in an auction. I was able to afford it only because of two things: (1) It is a small example of its breed, only 6.8 inches tall, and (2) Its broken-off stoneware handle had been replaced by a pewter one – obviously done eons ago. I was the only one to have placed a bid on it and got it for a small fraction of what larger, perfect pieces go for—the ones I would never be able to afford.

Its lid is inscribed “A•I•B” and dated “1673.” It’s a lovely piece, the oldest in my collection, the repair was very well done, and I’m delighted to have it.

Like all collectors, I, too, prefer “mint condition” pieces and most of my steins are, indeed, in “mint condition.” But, sometimes we have to settle for less than perfect. And sometimes a repair, while still detracting from the collector value of a piece, can actually be a thing of beauty in itself.