In 1893 the firm made a 2.1 meter (almost seven feet) tall stein (see photo below left) for a brewery in Chicago. While the photograph does not identify the people, I presume that Albert is on the left (he had ten children) and Peter is on the right (he had five children). Werner Sahm of Rastal-Werk offered one of Rastal's 1L steins as a reward to anyone who could locate this large stein (see the June 1983 Prosit). I am not aware that the reward was ever claimed or if the large stein was ever found (the March 1984 Prosit indicated the reward still was unclaimed). The firm also made a 1.3 meter high vase, seen at right below, which is one of the city's landmarks.

Since Chicago hosted the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, I suspect the 2.1 meter stein, which was free turned by hand, might have been displayed in the brewery exhibit. My search on the Internet was not successful, but if anyone in Chicago has access to a more thorough listing of photographs from the exposition, they may have more success. I did find a site that has some photos from the exposition and it did show some interesting photos of the brewery exhibit (see reference 9). I asked Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry to search their archives for the 1893 Exposition to see if they could find a photo or information on this 2.1 meter stein. Unfortunately their search was unsuccessful. Perhaps a search of the Chicago newspapers from 1893 would be more fruitful. There had to be some publicity for such a large and expensive stein. I still think it would have been displayed at the 1893 Exposition.

Robert Ripley, of Ripley's Believe It or Not fame, also was a serious collector of beer steins. The pride of his collection was a stein he claimed to be the world's largest beer stein. It is on display at the Ripley Museum in Niagara Falls, New York, but the museum claims it only dates from the 1920s.

With the death of Peter in 1907, Albert took over managing the firm along with Peter's widow. Production of Jugendstil steins began around this time. While Paul Dümler, Peter's son, designed the terra sigillata steins, Albert no doubt had a say in selecting terra sigillata, a very smooth, lustrous coating of clay which resembles a glaze, usually red and virtually waterproof (see reference 10 for a site that has information on early Roman terra sigillata). According to The Encyclopedia Britannica, the Latin term literally means wares made of clay impressed with designs, while another source translates it as sealed earth. Perhaps his choice of material was influenced by the fact that Albert, his daughter Paula and his father share a common trait - they all had red hair. I furnished a photo of this stein to a ceramic instructor to get his comments (ref. 11). He had not encountered it before and thought it was an interesting piece. He opined that it appeared to be just a refined clay slip without being polished. The Roman terra sigillata wares have a high gloss finish because the terra sigillata is polished to help seal the pottery.

Albert retired from the firm in 1913, but had to help run the company during World War I. When his sons returned from the war (Peter's son Paul died in World War I), Albert had to take over the management of his uncle's firm, Simon Peter Gerz I. The inflation of the 1920s virtually wiped Albert out. In a letter to his daughter Paula, he stated he could not even afford a beer. Herr Breiden died in 1926 at the age of 65. The firm of Dümler and Breiden, however, survived until sometime after its 100th anniversary in 1983.

This stein has three scenes: the front shows a bowler approaching the line while the side panels have a banner with two crossed pins and a bowling ball above them. One side scene says Gut Holz (good wood) and the other says Alle Neun (all nine, or strike).

The bright blue-green interior of this stein,
and the capacity mark
The incised base mark seen next to the mark found in literature for terra sigillata by D&B
The inside of the stein has a greenish or turquoise glaze. The ceramic instructor in reference 11 stated that iron in the material could cause the glaze to be a soft green, but that copper or chrome was probably used for this rich green color. The lid is inscribed Unserem lieben "Tupp" gewidmet vom Kegelklub "Fröhliche Gesichter," which roughly translates to "Our dear "Tupp" dedicated from the Kegel Club "happy faces." The mark on the bottom of the stein is one of the two marks you will find on their terra sigillata steins. The other mark is a plain "T" with the "S" intertwined with the "T." Although I could not find a specific reference to the use of these two marks, I believe they were specifically designed for the terra sigillata steins. If anyone has either of these two marks on a stein other than terra sigillata, please let us know. The other Dümler and Breiden marks are shown below. Like last month's Rosskopf & Gerz stein, this one is also marked on the bottom with "ges. geschutzt," which means registered design, on two lines. In this instance, however, it is in lower case letters rather than upper case letters. The mold number of this stein is 1290. My recent review of 295 stein auction catalogs, approximately 115,000 steins, revealed only 31 listings of Dümler and Breiden terra sigillata steins. Two molds had multiple listings and five listings did not identify a mold number. The mold numbers included 116, 838, 953, 972, 980 (four listings), 1033, 1181 (11 listings), 1202, 1215, 1284, 1384, 1524 and 1614. Earlier catalogs included some steins that appeared to be Dümler and Breiden terra sigillata steins, but the mark may not have been known at the time to identify them as such and I could not verify that the steins were terra sigillata due to the photos being black and white. The book in reference 3 lists an additional four molds: 939, 981, 1032 and 1103. These 19 or so terra sigillata steins would make a nice display. I am not aware of any other manufacturer of this era that made terra sigillata steins. It is not so unusual to find so few of these steins however, since this is a more difficult material with which to work.

(1883) - (1925) 1925 - ca. 1930 (1910) Vor 1900 - (1924) unk.
Note: the parentheses ( ) indicate "between", thus the first mark was used between 1883 and 1925, or 1884 to 1924. Presumably, the third mark was only used in 1910. The fourth and fifth marks have only been noted on terra sigillata wares.

Marks 1-4, "Keramik-Marken Lexikon: Porzellan und Keramik Report 1885-1935 Europa (Festland)" by Dieter Zühlsdorff, published by Arnoldsche in 1994.

Mark 5 - "Die Neue Ära", see reference citations below.

Left, the Albin Müller monogram as depicted in Die Neue Ära. Right, as shown in Keramik-Marken Lexikon.
One further mark deserves comment (see right). While "Die Neue Ära" shows the mark on the left as though it were a Dümler and Breiden mark, it actually is the mark of Albin Müller. The one piece shown with this mark is identified as being designed by Albin Müller. The mark, a large "A" over a smaller "M" in a rectangle (a smaller "A" over a smaller "M" in a square is also shown as another mark), also appears in Keramik-Marken Lexikon cited for the marks in the table above. Müller probably used this mark on steins designed for other firms, too.

One last comment: I purchased my stein from Marc Lang at If you have not visited his site or seen his listings on eBay (his handle is hicfuit), you are in for a treat. His site is interesting and his eBay listings generally include a little history about the theme of the stein listed and are worthwhile reading even if you are not interested in the stein listed.


  1. 100th Anniversary Catalog of Dümler and Breiden published by the firm in 1983.
  2. Die Neue Ära: Westerwald Steinzeug Jugendstil und Werkbund 1900-1930,
    Jürgen Erlebach and Jürgen Schimanski; published 1987 by Contur Verlag.
  3. "Müllches Albert" - ein Schicksal vor 100 Jahren by von Frieda Krebs:
  4. Rip Van Winkle with illustrations:
  5. International Bowling Museum:
  6. Brexbach Stream:
  7. Information on Burg Grenzau and the mill:
  8. Westerwald stoneware information:
    rough English:
    or German:
  9. Brewery exhibits at World's Columbian Exposition of 1893:
  10. Early Roman terra sigillata:
  11. Ceramic instructor: and
  12. Burg Grenzau (Stein-of-the-Month, November 2003)

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