Monday, 3 November 2014

Hofbräuhaus HB Stein Registry Is Now Online

The Hofbräuhaus HB Stein Registry is now online. I had been hoping to get it online for sometime, as it was time consuming, and difficult to update and send out in the old format. I came across The Collecting Bug website and it offered the perfect template for the registry, and it was free! So far I have managed to upload 190 of the steins that were in the registry, and I still have about 40 more to go, but the rest should be in shortly. The site makes it easy to update. You can check it out at the link below.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Often Imitated Never Duplicated

With the Hofbrauhaus' noteriety and success often comes others trying to imitate and capitalize on that success. When they started to mark their drinking vessels and other things with an HB some other competing breweries seemed to follow suit. In 1879 the Hofbrauhaus trademarked their logo to eliminate this. Even though the logo was trademarked other breweries still seemed to push the envelope creating logos that were still very similar, but obviously just different enough to get away with it. Below are a couple of images of steins from a competing brewery that I also initially believed belonged to the Hofbrauhaus, but in fact were from another brewery, proven in the postcard depicting the steins. I have seen a couple of these steins appear on eBay having an HB placed on it at some point by a previous owner, which in one case was apparent from the hinge which had been damaged during the lid switch, and the other pictured below did not have a picture that showed the back of the stein which would likely give evidence of whether or not a lid was switched. I would hazard a guess that either the stein had no lid to begin with or the lid was switched based on the fact that the HB is screened on which is something done on HB steins later than 1939 when the Hofbrauhaus no longer was known as the Kgl. Hofbrauhaus, but rather the Staatl. Hofbrauhaus.

Friday, 3 October 2014

A Style of HB Stein I Hadn't Seen Before

Recently I came across a style of Hofbrauhaus stein that I had not encountered before. I was able to purchase the stein, but I have not been able to take a good look at it, since it is in transit. This style of HB stein seems to fall in between the more crudely etched HB steins with the trademarked logo on the lid and the stein featured in my "Bridging the Gap" post, that has a neatly etched blue HB on the body with no crown above it and the trademarked lid. Like these steins it has the trademarked logo on the lid, but the HB on the body has no crown above it and no colour. The style of the HB is slightly different than that of the one in the "Bridging the Gap" post. The stein however apparently has a stein mark by W.Wild as does the other two, but I have not seen it to determine which of his stein marks it is. I am not sure how many of this type of stein was produced, but it is the first one that I have encountered. It is numbered with the #8095, indicating it likely had seen use in the Hofbrauhaus. I am inclined to believe that the stein likely dates from in between 1888 and 1895.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Slight Lid Variations

One thing that seems to become more apparent as more antique HB steins appear online are that there are a number of variations, often times very slight ones in HB steins that are of the same style. This poses the dilemma to those of us who collect these steins of whether or not to try and obtain a stein in each of the different styles the Hofbrauhaus produced, or whether or not to collect each different variation. The latter is very daunting task. As you can see from the photos below, the differences in variation are often very subtle. These differences however are also interesting, because they may also enable a more accurate dating for the steins.

In the first picture you see three HB steins from my collection that at quick glance seem to be almost identical. When you look more closely at the pictures of each of the lids individually, you can see that on stein #5643 the circle the HB is found within is sunken inside the outer ring and the HB is embossed outward from it. The hinge on this stein has 5 rings, and on the inside of the lid is an early stein mark from Ludwig Mory. This would make the steins age date from likely between 1889-1895. My guess would be likely 1889 or 1890. The next stein #1163 has a circle where the HB is found that is level with the outer ring that defines it. You can also see there are slight differences in the outer rings. This stein has a 3 ring hinge and is older than the last one. There is no maker's mark and the HB etched into the body of the stein is pretty crudely carved. This stein likely dates from the late 1870s. The third stein #1810 is similar to the last one in that it has a circle where the HB is found that is level with the outer ring that defines it, but the outer ring is wider than in the last stein. This stein has a five ring hinge. This stein is mostly likely from either the late-1870s or the early-1880s. The fourth stein pictured #432, is one that appeared a few months ago on eBay. The differences in this steins lid are more apparent than the previous three steins. Although the style is the same, the centre area where the HB is found is much smaller than on the other ones and the number is larger. It is very similar to #1163 in that has a circle where the HB is found that is level with the outer ring that defines it, and in the style of outer ring. The photos posted did not show the hinge, but I would hazard a guess that it would be a 3 ring hinge. The HB on the stein body was very crudely carved. I would guess without being able to examine the stein more closely that it dates from the 1870s and is perhaps slightly older than #1163.

This is just one of a number of examples found in HB steins of how there can be small variances within the various styles of HB steins.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

My HB Stein Collection Thus Far...

Since I have been fortunate enough to find a few more steins to add to my collection lately I decided to update the pictures of what I currently have in my HB stein collection. My main focus is on the early numbered HB steins that would have been used in the Hofbrauhaus, rather than the variant steins that they would occasionally put out. The first two pictures are of 1L steins that range in date from 1875-1890, with the exception of the one in the center on the bottom row which pre-dates 1872 and could likely be from the late-1860s. The third photo includes two steins that are similar that are like from between 1890-1906, as well as the stein featured in my last post that has the tobacco advertisement inside the lid, and a 0.5L stein that has a unique lid with the trademarked logo with the words Schutz-Marke. It age could be as early as 1879, but is uncertain for sure. The last picture includes steins that are post-1900, one of which is accompanied by an original sales receipt for the stein from the Hofbrauhaus. I also have accumulated about 50 unlidded HB steins that range in date from 1900 onward. They were the first HB steins I purchased from antique stores and garage sales before I focused my collection on the antique lidded steins. I am trying to add different variations of pre-1900 steins to my collection, preferably that are numbered. All but two of the steins pictured are numbered.


Saturday, 20 September 2014

HB Stein With Tobacco Advertisement Inside Lid

Pictured is a fairly uncommon HB stein that I recently picked up. It  most likely dates from early-1900, and bears the marking of CH. Reck from Munich (in business circa. 1893-1930) on the side of the stem just below the hinge, as can be see in the last photo. The lid is pewter with what appears to be porcelain in the centre bearing the HB logo. On the inside of the lid, is the advertisement for Regie Virginier; which is a toabacco company I believe in Austria. I have seen a handful of HB steins in this style and a couple of them have slight variations from the one that I have.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Bridging the Gap

Since I had started collecting HB steins, I had always really liked this particular style of HB stein. I recently was able to add one to my collection. It is an interesting stein, since it is seems to be the style that bridged the gap between the early HB steins that were crudely etched, and the ones that bear the trademarked logo on the body that we are all familiar with. The trademarked logo can be found on the lid, but the stein bares just the HB on the body. I don't believe this style of stein was manufactured for very long making them somewhat uncommon. All of the ones that I have encountered seem to bare the mark of Munich's W.Wild on the inside of the lid. This style of HB stein in all likelihood dates from somewhere in between the late-1880s and early-1890s.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

My Holy Grail of HB Steins

A couple of years ago, while conversing on the Stein Talk forum at Stein Collectors International, one of the members of the forum told me about an HB stein that he had seen that bore the measure of the Bavarian Mass rather than the Litre. Why is this significant you may ask? It is significant, because when Germany was unified in 1871, they converted to the metric system of measure, thus the Bavarian Mass was replaced by the Litre. The Mass is equal to 1.069 litres, so when the conversion was made the customer would receive slightly less beer for their money. What is significant to me the collector is that a stein bearing the M for the measure denotes that the stein was made prior to 1871 (which is very old in terms of HB steins), and most likely made in the 1860s. As strictly an HB stein collector, a Pre-1871 HB stein is to me the Holy Grail of beer steins, and the stein that I had most desired. I have been fortunate enough to come across one, and add it to my own collection. The stein pictured below is # 806. It bears a 3 ringed hinge, which were believed to be circa 1875, but appears here on an evidently earlier stein than that. The lid is flat with an acorn thumb lift, and an engraved B on the top, as well as the stein #806. The body is combed with an incised HB, and there are no apparent maker's marks. The lid is fastened to the body soundly with no loose hinges that might indicate that the lid was a replacement or from a later date than the stein body. The gentleman whom the stein was purchased from indicated that in his 30+ years of collecting Munich Brewery Steins it was the only one bearing the Bavarian Mass that he had ever seen, and I personally had never seen one where the measure is **clearly visible** to confirm its age. Below are some pictures of the stein.

(**referring to the unlidded one pictured from a very low resolution image found in an article discussed in a previous post**)

Monday, 4 August 2014

Fellow HB Collector with a Fantastic Collection

This post is to showcase the collection of a fellow HB stein collector who has put together a fantastic collection. Dan has managed to accumulate a number of numbered HB steins of different variations. One of which is a very tough to find HB stein with the Hofbrauhaus Keller lid that dates from the 1870s. In his collection are also a number of other pre-1900 steins. His is definitely a collection worth showing off, and one to be proud of.