The Regimental Steins of Imperial Germany


Victory over France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71 brought with it an unexpected economic boom for the newly founded “German Empire”.

Alsace-Lorraine was once again part of the German Empire. France’s reparations helped the German Empire became the largest domestic economy in the world. The Imperial German soldiers from 1871 to 1918 were proud to serve the emperor, the empire and the people.

This pride – patriotism even – led many soldiers completing their last year of service to order a memento of their time in the military, their regiment and their comrades, with the individual’s name and rank featuring prominently. As such, each item is one of a kind.

Special dealers sprang up in the garrison towns offering the soldiers a wide variety of keepsakes such as regimental steins, pipes, plates, cups, glasses, etc.

The manufacturers of the regimental steins were predominantly located in the Upper Palatinate, in Thuringia, in Koblenz, in Munich and in the Westerwald region. The steins were made of porcelain, ceramic, glass and tin. Whilst the early regimental steins made of porcelain were often completely or partly hand-painted, mass production soon brought with it a changeover to steel artwork masters, which meant only a minimum of detailing work by hand was subsequently required. Uniforms and crests were still finished with coloured enamel.

The privations they suffered are testament to the importance of the regimental steins for the retiring soldiers – they often had to pay up to a month-and-a-half’s wages for their memento.

Gardeabend in Bad Hersfeld 1899 „von Colen“ Mettlach – 5

Tin Lid






Names of the comrades

Attention to detail


The Tin Lid

The lid figure on the tin lid usually indicates the branch of service: artillery, cavalry, navy or machine gun division. The screw-on lids, some of which even have two threads, are particularly highly sought-after among collectors.

The Thumblift

The thumblift is often decorated with the Prussian eagle, the Baden griffin, the Bavarian or Hessian lion, the coat of arms of Württemberg or Saxony and many other versions such as a kneeling soldier taking aim.

The Body Of The Stein

The bodies of the steins are often decorated with scenes from the soldiers’ day-to-day lives as well as views of the barracks or towns. Bivouac scenes, guard duties with sentry boxes, battle scenes, patrols, etc., are also common themes. In addition, the steins also often feature sayings associated with the life of a soldier, the reserve and the garrison or special events.

Fascinated by the myth

Are you starting too?

The images provided aim to illustrate the beauty, versatility and sometimes even the rarity of a stein. Perhaps you will become enthralled by the myth of the story of the regimental steins and start collecting them too.

Did you enjoy this journey through time to visit the regimental steins of Imperial Germany?
Naturally, each of the steins shown has its own interesting story to tell.

If you would like to find out more about the regiment history, please feel free to give me a call or write me an e-mail.

What was it our great German poet
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said?

Collectors are happy people.

Think about insurance

Art Insurance

If you have a regimental stein at home and would like to organise an appraisal, please feel free to contact me. If you already have a collection, don’t forget to insure your valuable treasures! Standard household contents insurance is not recommended as the scope of the insurance is not sufficient to cover the requirements. A special art insurance policy is recommended instead. The insurance broker GVk mbH will be happy to put together a no-obligation quote for you.

All visitors to this website will surely understand that all the pages are protected by copyright. If you would like to use the pictures of the steins or their descriptions for your own purposes, kindly ask the copyright owner for permission in advance: Walter Schreiner.

To finish up, here’s a tip to help you expand your specialist knowledge:
Many museums such as the Military Historical Museum Rastatt (WGM) have large collections.

If you have any questions fell free to write me an e-mail. Perhaps we will meet someday coincidential on convention. There is also a WhatsApp chat group that is free for you. If you are interested, please give me your contact details by phone (+49 151 24138205) or email (

Thomas Schreiner
89584 Ehingen, Germany
– Stein collector –