BSC #8

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Report for Sept. 10 & 11, 2005
Northbrook, Ill.

Stein collectors began to arrive in the late afternoon on Friday. The hospitality room was open at 5:00 PM and more than a dozen attendees were already huddled talking steins. We headed out for dinner around 8:00 PM to Amici's for a terrific Italian meal. As you would expect, stein tales continued throughout the evening.

The next morning our room was again opened at 8:00 AM for a tasty continental breakfast. The rest of the 25 attendees arrived to share coffee and pastries before the program started.

Promptly at 9:00 AM each collector introduced themselves before our first discussion leader began. Louis Foster kicked the talks off with American Cold War steins from the Bavarian area. He brought a couple dozen examples to pass around and let us get our greedy hands on them. This was followed up by Andre Ammelounx on University steins by Mehan (Figure 1). This is one of Andre's collecting categories which had yet to be part of a talk anywhere. Bob Groebner Jr. then discussed character go-withs along with the assistance of David Harr (figure 2). It was primarily variations of the Bohne Indian. This brought us to almost noon so we broke for a delicious lunch served by the hotel. It was the best hotel food I have had in a very long time.


Figure 1

Figure 2

Those that brought steins for sale, put them out and we bought and haggled steins until 2:00 PM when the program again proceeded.

Henry Bahr presented us with information about the many German singing clubs depicted on steins (Figure 3). He had over 20 examples from his collection. We learned the details behind it and how it continued with the German settlers coming to the states. Bob Groebner Sr. enlightened us on cut glass steins and the differences between the American and European.


Figure 3

The first day came to a close and we all went a few doors down to a steak house for dinner. They put us in a separate room (I guess they didn't want us to infect them with our stein disease) where we all had a very nice meal. We had a Birthday Tribute to Louis Foster who was born on March 7th but tries to celebrate being alive everyday. Bob Groebner arranged it with the help of 12 restaurant employees singing Happy Birthday. We all had a good laugh and Louis was speechless for once.

After dinner we drove the 15 minutes to the Groebner home to view his fantastic and varied collection of steins. For the true antique lover his home was filled with many other antique items. Napkins were handed out to keep the drool off the floor. This was simply the icing on the cake of a wonderful day.

Sunday began with the same continental breakfast and socialization. We were not as punctual with our start as Saturday. With our more laid back approach things got underway about 9:15 AM. Martin Dietrich talked about the several WWI American military steins he brought. These are much harder to find then the cold war era and we all learned a great deal. Al Hoch then gave us much information about the rise of stein collecting here from 1885-1915. The facts presented were thought provoking. After breaking for another quality lunch, Al Mahr talked about Imperial German reservist steins. He must have brought most of his collection as we were treated to more then 30 examples. Al favors unique finials and thumblifts, which was evident as we viewed his steins.


Figure 4

Figure 5

Both David Harr and Ron Fox did brief PowerPoint presentations. David covered the little known porcelain factory of Amberg and the unmarked character steins. Ron followed with Austrian Majolica steins. Though some needed to head home, many stayed behind not wanting the weekend's activities to end.

Intermingled throughout the talks were the show and tell presentations required for admittance to stein college. Here is a list of those individuals and their steins:

Ron Fox - rare glass mason occupational with figural mason's pointing trowel pewter lid.
David Harr - clear blown and cut glass stein with unusual music box in base.
Laura Sedlmayr - WMF blown and enameled, 2L glass stein. (she purchased it there)
Frank Held - pair of pottery relief WWI American service steins, patch & plaque.
Randy Farber - Austrian faience stein.
Dave Bruha - pottery card stein on a four-sided body.
Bob Groebner Sr - Porcelain socialist mason occupational.
Bob Groebner Jr - Pottery character of black woman.
Eddy Lindt - Mettlach #1998 with Trumpeter of Sackingen cavalier scene.
Louis Foster - Several Wheelock porcelain souvenir items including mini stein and a large group of Albert Stahl character steins.
Marion Kelley - Terra Cotta character of birch tree.
Don Birschel -
Al Hoch - a faience stein from the pewter firm of Wygang.
Roy & Soula Alexander -
Andy Jurgovan- Pottery relief 1/8L with unusual animal subject matter.
Andre Ammelounx -unusual sized American Cold War steins & 2 manufacturers books.
John Beyke -
Mike Whited -
Bill Fenger -
Al Mahr -
Martin Dietrich - Gerz pottery relief of Palmer Cox Brownies.
Alan Harrell - American Cold War stein with Bowling motif.
Henry Bahr -

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