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(imprecise, but clearly implying very recent vintage).Producing fine steins was not the exclusive domain of old stein makers.Much factual information, especially factory records, was lost in the devastation of two world wars.

Those with less craftsmanship are presumed to be of recent vintage and worth far less.

Others suspect the stein's age can be determined by signs of wear (which can easily be faked), not realizing that many old steins were never used for drinking, and may consequently appear almost new.

Reliance on these dates, however, is very uncertain.

Old lids are easily - and frequently - attached to steins which lack a lid, and anyone who wants to misrepresent the age of a stein can easily have a date inscribed in the pewter.

Outstanding pottery centers were Cologne, Siegburg and Frechen in the Rhineland, and Kreussen in Bavaria.

Many small, unimportant peasant potteries came and went, their wares, names and locations long ago forgotten.) confuse the issue when they refer to steins made 30 or 40 years ago as "old".The problem created is in deciding what to call a stein which is 100 years old. In this article we will use terminology which not only acknowledges the full period of stein production, but which has come into common use by the large body of stein collectors.This is a composite of two earlier articles authored by SCI Master Steinologists Liselotte Lopez and Les Paul, corrections regarding import laws by John Mc Gregor, with editing, photos and photo captions by Walt Vogdes People who have acquired a stein or two through inheritance or as a gift often assume that it is easy to determine the value and age of a stein by simply inspecting it.If a stein is well made and attractive, they figure, it is automatically old and, therefore, valuable.Contrary to these common assumptions, steins can be real puzzles, and numerous pitfalls await those who take anything for granted in the beer stein hobby.

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