Featured Stein ~ January 2022
An Ulan Regimental/Butcher Occupational Stein
A Son's Name Day Gift Honoring His Father
By Don Strack and Roy De Selms ~ Carolina Steiners
Don just acquired this very interesting and unusual Ulan Regimental stein from an eBay auction. While regimental steins as gifts are not unknown, this one has a particularly heart warming story that can be substantiated and will be presented in detail here.
The front scene shows an Ulan on horseback with a lance in his right hand, obscured by the horse. The point of the lance shows over the horses head with the Prussian colors of Black over White on the pennant. The stein is named to Andreas Baÿer. The verse above the mounted Ulan is difficult to read, but it is almost certainly Es lebe hoch das Regiment, das sich mit Stolz Ulan nennt. Sieg oder Tod. (Long live the Regiment that proudly calls itself Ulan. Victory or death.)
One side reads: Prosit lieber Vater (To your health dear father) and bei der 4 Eskadron Westphalian Ulan Regt. No. 5 Düsseldorf am 30/11 1897 (no translation needed) The other side has a scene of what appears to be a butcher and would have represented the owner's trade/occupation after his service time. The text below this scene reads: Zum Namenstage gewidmet von meinem Sohne Bernhard (On Name Day given from my son Bernhard).
It is traditional in European Catholic countries to have the given name assigned on a saints day rather than a birthday. Each day of the year honors a particular saint with his/her name for some deed or consecration associated with that day. Name Day usually follows and is often times more important than the actual birthday. Here the date "30/11" (Nov. 30) is the day assigned to St. Andreas which happens to be the given name of the stein's owner. Also note that while typical regimental steins have the dates of service which would be 2 or 3 years, this one is dated for the father's Namenstag in 1897. Note also that the body of this stein marked "Gerz" would not have been available until about 1897 when it was presented from the son to the father. Another feature that indicates that this was a gift rather than having been purchased at the usual end of service is that there is no roster. While unusual, this is not uncommon. It is suggested that most if not all of those without rosters were made after the owner's service time for a variety of simple reasons such as gifts like this one or the owner just couldn't afford one at his end of service time.
It should be noted that the son must have been close to 20 years old as shown in the side scene and would make sense to the story. This would mean that the father's service time would have been about 1877 or a little earlier. Although this Ulan unit was raised in 1815, the reservist stein tradition didn't start until sometime after 1885 (see: Regimental Beer Steins 1890 to 1914 by R. Ron Heiligenstein). Therefore the father would not have been able to purchase his own original reservist stein when he finished his service time making this a much more significant gift.