Loading Spinner

German Steins

Nothing sings of the gregarious German culture more than the ceramic stein. A symbol of revelry and rowdy drinking, the German stein is also a piece of history, with its origins dating back to the days of the Black Death.

In the 14th century, when the Bubonic Plague broke out and began ravaging western European populations, those who wished to thwart the disease began developing measures to increase sanitation. One of these measures was to add lids or covers to drinking vessels. This trend became law in Germany by the early years of the 16th century, resulting in development of a hinged lid for mugs and tankards.

At the same time, ceramists also began experimenting with stoneware, fired at extreme temperatures to create a more durable vessel. Such was the combination of factors that gave birth to the stein. This vessel has remained relatively unchanged to the present day, save for the level of decoration on the exterior. From family crests to souvenir scenes, German stein pottery comes adorned with a variety of motifs that will compel almost any collector.


Quick Facts

  • "Stein" is actually a truncation of the German word "steinzeugkreug," which roughly translates to "stoneware tankard"
  • Before the popularity of ceramic vessels, many beer drinking mugs were crafted from wood. This proved problematic, as the natural porosity of wood meant that the stench of old beer would linger long after drinking
  • Stoneware stein tankards were considered a symbol of status in the 16th century, as they were without a doubt a pricey investment

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

(13) Vintage German Beer Steins, Commemorative
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
(13) Vintage German Beer Steins, Commemorative
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$1206 Bids
bp parity badge
GERMAN BEER STEINS
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
GERMAN BEER STEINS
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$83 Bids
Lea Stein celluloid bracelet.
Oct 28, 9:00 AM EDT
Lea Stein celluloid bracelet.
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $40- $60
$303 Bids
bp parity badge
Kettenanhänger GG 0.333 mit rund facc.klaren Stein, 2,2 g.
Oct 29, 11:00 AM CEST
Kettenanhänger GG 0.333 mit rund facc.klaren Stein, 2,2 g.
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€401 Bid
Decorative Accessories
Oct 30, 9:00 AM EDT
Decorative Accessories
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$51 Bid
KAZAN, ELIA (1909-2003). A GROUP OF 3 TYPED AUTOGRAPH LETTE...
Nov 20, 10:00 AM CST
KAZAN, ELIA (1909-2003). A GROUP OF 3 TYPED AUTOGRAPH LETTE...
by Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
bp parity badge
German 1 L. Beer Stein
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
German 1 L. Beer Stein
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $75- $150
$301 Bid
A GERMAN PEWTER MOUNTED FAYENCE TANKARD WITH A LADY
Nov 09, 9:30 AM CET
A GERMAN PEWTER MOUNTED FAYENCE TANKARD WITH A LADY
by Nagel Auction
Est: €200- €201
€2001 Bid
regimental stein, 11. Comp. Kgl.Bayr. 17. Inft. Rgt
Oct 30, 10:00 AM CEST
regimental stein, 11. Comp. Kgl.Bayr. 17. Inft. Rgt
by Henry's Auktionshaus AG
Est: €200- €400
€2000 Bids
regimental stein
Oct 30, 10:00 AM CEST
regimental stein
by Henry's Auktionshaus AG
Est: €220- €450
€2000 Bids
WMF beer stein with handle, end o
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
WMF beer stein with handle, end o
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€800 Bids
bp parity badge
333er-Gelbgoldring mit facc. transp. grau-braunem Stein, RG 51/52, 4,3 gr.
Oct 29, 11:00 AM CEST
333er-Gelbgoldring mit facc. transp. grau-braunem Stein, RG 51/52, 4,3 gr.
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€800 Bids
Ohne Titel. Farb. Lithographie. 1958. 51 x 41 cm (70 x 50 cm). Signiert und nummeriert; im Stein zusätzlich signiert. (1)
Nov 20, 2:00 PM CET
Ohne Titel. Farb. Lithographie. 1958. 51 x 41 cm (70 x 50 cm). Signiert und nummeriert; im Stein zusätzlich signiert. (1)
by Dr. Andreas Sturies Moderne Kunst & Auktionen
Est: €0- €200
€1500 Bids
bp parity badge
925er-Silberring mit hellbllauem fac. Stein, RG 60, 6,4 gr.
Oct 29, 11:00 AM CEST
925er-Silberring mit hellbllauem fac. Stein, RG 60, 6,4 gr.
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€100 Bids
bp parity badge
925er-Silberring mit fac. Stein, 3,4 gr., RG 57, China
Oct 29, 11:00 AM CEST
925er-Silberring mit fac. Stein, 3,4 gr., RG 57, China
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€100 Bids
bp parity badge
Large German Beer Stein
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
Large German Beer Stein
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $100- $200
$400 Bids
bp parity badge
German 3 L. Beer Stein
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
German 3 L. Beer Stein
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $50- $100
$200 Bids
bp parity badge
German 2 L. Beer Stein
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
German 2 L. Beer Stein
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $75- $150
$300 Bids
bp parity badge
German 2 L. Beer Stein
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
German 2 L. Beer Stein
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $75- $150
$300 Bids
bp parity badge
J.W.R. Germany Beer Stein
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
J.W.R. Germany Beer Stein
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $100- $150
$350 Bids
bp parity badge
Pr German Beer Steins
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
Pr German Beer Steins
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $100- $150
$400 Bids
bp parity badge
2 German Glass Beer Steins
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
2 German Glass Beer Steins
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $60- $120
$300 Bids
bp parity badge
Fancy German Pewter Beerstein
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
Fancy German Pewter Beerstein
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $100- $200
$400 Bids
bp parity badge
German .5 L. Beer Stein
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
German .5 L. Beer Stein
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $75- $150
$300 Bids

Sellers Who Sell German Steins


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Barry S. Slosberg Inc

Barry S. Slosberg Inc

Auktionshalle Cuxhaven

Auktionshalle Cuxhaven

Auction Partners

Auction Partners