The earliest antique German beer steins date to the fourteenth century, a time when earthenware was being improved, Germany was making new and improved brews and Europe was ravaged with the bubonic plague. Beer steins evolved as a result of the laws passed in several German principalities stating that covers had to be on all beverage and food containers. The laws, and others related to sanitary conditions, were in reaction to the fear that a recurrence of the bubonic plague, also called the Black Death, would be caused by several invasions of flies throughout Central Europe in the mid to late fifteenth century. Up until that time, most common folk drank beer from mugs made of porous earthenware or wood. The well-to-do and upper class drank from glass, pewter or silver vessels, called beakers or tankards.
Dating German Steins
How to Identify Vintage Beer Steins | Our Pastimes
We offer you images, descriptions, producer and designer information on 13, steins from private collections and 20 stein producer's catalogs , and our collection is growing almost by the day, so check back often! Are you looking to identify your own beer stein or steins that you found on a fleamarket or in an antiques shop? Just enter the mold number of the stein in our search-box and we'll show you all matching beersteins in the database. Most steins on our website have pictures so it will be easy to recognise your steins and attribute them to a specific producer and a production period.
How to know if My German Beer Stein is Real
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Determining the year a beer stein was produced is a difficult task that must take into account a variety of information about the stein's shape, decorations, materials and markings. A beginning collector can sometimes find certain clues that help place the stein in history. But for definitive dating and appraising, it is best to consult an expert. Even steins that match the characteristics of an older style can turn out to be modern reproductions. Examine the style of the beer stein, including both shape and decorations.