Mettlach Beer Steins
Do you know anything about these objects yourself?
Not really. I know that my father found them many years ago. Been in the family for about 35, 40 years.
Whereabouts did he find them?
I don't really remember, quite frankly.
Well, these are both German steins. And generically speaking, German steins are very collectable because of the interest in ale and beer through the years. More specifically, these were made at the Mettlach factory, which was also known as Villeroy & Boch. And if we look at the mark of one, we will see that the mark itself is an impressed castle. And that is the symbol for the Mettlach factory, and should be found on most of the steins. There are other impressed marks on them. The only other one that would be of great importance would be the date. And in this case the date is '94, which would stand for 1894. Most of these steins were made between about 1890 and 1920. This number on the bottom, the large number, 1675, is the model number. And it's a wonderful number in Mettlach. And why I say it's a wonderful number, because there are many books on Mettlach and much information on it. And Mettlach itself is very easy to identify. You can go to a book, you can look up that particular mark, and in this case, this particular one is of Heidelberg Castle. And when you look this up, it will tell you that under that number, it will be a half-liter stein for Heidelberg Castle, that it will be of an etched design, and that it will have an inlaid lid. Now, an inlaid lid means that the ceramic has been inset into the pewter top.
This stein is one of two that would have been made for the series of cards. And you have the various suits of the cards. The value on these steins are very, very similar, but for different reasons. Different collectors buy different steins by theme. Now, this stein here would be worth in the vicinity of $450 to $500, and this one would be worth slightly less, having the full metal cover rather than the inlaid cover, at $400 to $450. But they're both very collectable. Mettlach steins are a very organized group of collectors, a very, very competitive group of collectors, and basically they will buy the ones that are missing to help fill in.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.