Just a Little Old Annaberger Stein
Florida Sun Steiners
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broken-off stoneware handle had been replaced by a pewter one –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.