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~ Porcelain Steins ~

Collecting Beer Steins - An Introduction to the Hobby


Porcelain steins in Germany date from the early 1700's. Porcelain is a very hard, vitreous and translucent white material, fired at high temperatures of 1300-1500 degrees centigrade. 

The main ingredient is china clay (kaolin), mixed with suitable purified extender clays and fluxes. 

The early pieces from the Meissen factory are quite intricately painted and usually finished with porcelain inlaid lids. In the late 19th century some manufacturers began using transfer decorations which, after firing, could be augmented with minimal hand painting. 

Many of these steins include lithophanes. The lithophane involves a difference in the density of the porcelain and when held up to the light (looking through the inside of the stein), a scene is revealed. Lithophanes can be quite intricate and interesting to the collector.

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