Antique salt-glaze lidded German beer stein by Mathias Girmscheid in a dark blue-grey color with a pair of kissing cherubs on the front, with ornate scrolls, leaves and other cherubs on a cobalt blue underglaze finish and a spun conical ornate lid with decorative thumb lift.
The top reads "Wer Ruhig Will Ins Wirtshaus Gahn", and the bottom reads "Des Hauses Schlussel Muss Bei Sigh Han"
"Ye who wants to calmly enter the pub ...must bring his house-key." Perhaps a better translation for understanding would be, "Don't go drinking unless you bring the keys to your house, for no one would want to let you back in once you are drunk!"
Mathias (sometimes spelled Matthias) Girmscheid founded his company in the Westerwald town of Höhr in 1870. Since he was a merchant by trade, no manufacturing began until 1893, and production of beer steins probably did not begin until the turn of the century. In 1920, Girmscheid merged with the stein-making factory of Gilles & Sohn. This collaboration lasted until about 1931. After Mathias's death in 1928, his son Karl took over operations.
One interesting observation regarding character steins by Girmscheid is that the majority seem to be made of cream stoneware. Only a small percentage are found in blue-grey stoneware. The word GERMANY is usually found impressed into the figural stein base.
We believe that this is an early Mathias Girmscheid salt-glazed beer stein from the design, the age, the thumb lift detail and from the marks on the base - especially the shape of the number "5:. Very good condition with the following notes: The lid is a bit loose - wobbles a bit from side to side and there is a tiny surface scratch on the lid, a tiny area on the right side within the decoration that seems to be discolored and a tiny nick at the base of the handle and an even smaller surface chip at the lip. Other than those, an antique beer stein of this age would be considered in excellent condition!
This Mathias Girmscheid salt-glaze lidded German beer stein measures just a hair under 6" at the lip, 8" tall at the stein lid finial, nearly 2.75" in diameter at the stein lip and nearly 4" in diameter at the base; weighing 1 pound 4.1 ounces. Incised on the bottom with GERMANY, the number "5" and hand incised "7 3". 1/2L
A1979 - Antique Mathias Girmscheid Saltglaze Lidded GERMAN Beer Stein - Cobalt Blue / Kissing Cherubs