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.Beer steins are a favored gift in Germany, frequently being inscribed with the owner's name and the date of a special occasion on the pewter lid or rim.1896)- the date of registration of the pattern at the Patent Office - the presence of a dated dedication - the date of the event (example: King/Queen Coronation or Jubilee commemorative spoons) - "Ltd" or "Ld" on the mark denotes a date after 1861 (but in most cases not before 1890) - a registered number (Rd followed by a number) denotes a date after 1883 - "England" denotes a date after 1891 (mandatory for export in the USA - Mc Kinley Tariff Act of 1890-) - "Made in England" denotes a 20th century date (mandatory after 1921 for export in the USA) The largest manufacturers introduced, on a voluntary basis, a dating system of their silver plate based on series of letters of various style contained into shields or geometric figures. The first was Elkington (1841), followed by Walker & Hall (1884) and Mappin & Webb (but other less known makers tried to do something similar). o SV)e(Viet^ $n i Tllust^atbd HANDBOOK OF INFORMATION ON f etoter aitir JMelfa f late WITH FULL PARTICULARS OF TOUCH MARKS, MAKERS' MARKS, ETC. R.6.8., Author of ' Money, Currency, Precious Metals, and Hall-Marks on Gold and Silver Plate," and other works. The great success of our previous publications, consisting of about twenty thousand copies, together with the numerous inquiries we have had of late years respecting the marks and quality of Pewter, has induced us to venture on a work of this description, which we hope will in some measure meet the requirements of those who are interested in the collection of Old Pewter and Sheffield Plate. 5 wares when produced ; and have sufficiently gauged or anticipated a section of the public taste as to produce what would sell. William Blackwood, the great publisher, was always anxious to get able men to write articles for his magazine. Quite a number of our friends and others have expressed great surprise at the idea of our writing and publishing books on such rare and complicated questions.
If a stein is well made and attractive, they figure, it is automatically old and, therefore, valuable.
Each tankard may only be used by the people whose names are engraved upon it and the student currently holding the position.
A tradition exists within the Union Bar whereby the person with their name engraved earliest on the tankard gets priority over someone whose name is engraved more recently.
Had we been as diligent in our search years ago as we have been recently, we might have acquired many interesting and valuable examples of a variety of Old Plate at considerably less cost and less trouble than is possible to-day, when collectors are increasing in number and voracity, and when everything that is worth having has become very rare and expensive.
Of late years we have devoted a large portion of our time to this hobby.