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**)