A Guide to Collectible German Lidded Steins

Beer steins are more than vessels for drinking. They are forms of historical art, appreciated for their decorative as well as cultural storytelling value. Whether collecting vintage beer steins to use in your home bar or to display and store for their collector's value, a key part of building your collection is how you choose the particular vintage German beer steins to add to your collection.

What types of collectible German lidded steins are available on eBay?

One of the main ways preowned collectible German lidded steins are classified and valued is by manufacturer. Of these, of which there are many, one of the manufacturers whose steins are among those most commonly sought by collectors is Mettlach. Particularly collectible Mettlach steins are those produced between 1885 and 1910. Another type of German lidded stein commonly sought by collectors are regimental steins. These were a product of the Franco-Prussian War of 1840 to 1871 used to commemorate a reservist's active period of duty. The design of each regimental stein was unique to the individual reservist for whom it was crafted, based on that reservist's own specifications. Often these steins include images depicting scenes of combat or training.

What to look for in vintage and antique German beer steins

When identifying particular German steins for sale, collectors look at many factors include artist's signature, type of manufacturing, designs, body styles, handles, pewter fixtures, and markings. Collectors determine a German beer steins value by its age, rarity, uniqueness, condition, and workmanship. One significant factor to look for when buying vintage beer steins is its authenticity, as you can get a vintage beer stein made in Germany or you can get a reproduction, depending on what you're looking for. Patent marks and the distributor’s and manufacturer's reputation also factor into a German beer stein’s value. Steins may have unusual handles, subjects, materials, signatures, or hinge mounts, increasing its perceived collector's value, while other qualities a collector may seek in vintage German beer steins for sale include enameled, blown, molded, relief, incised, or etched manufacturing and features. Ultimately, however, the types of beer steins made in Germany that you collect should appeal to your own personal style, tastes, and interests.

Types of German beer stein lids

One other key way that collectors distinguish antique and vintage beer steins is by their lid. There are several common types of beer stein lids that can easily be found on eBay, those being:

  • Conical
  • Flat
  • Ornamental
  • Inlay
  • Stoneware