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Gerz Art Nouveau Beer Stein

Posted Thursday, September 07 by Brian

Curious about what it is, if it's of any value and where it's from. Is it rare? and where could I sell it. Looks to be authentic. Thank you. Regards..Diane.
Gerz Stein.jpg
Your piece is a beer stein. In general, steins have lids, beer mugs do not. It was made in the early 1900's by Simon Peter Gerz in Germany. The Gerz company is still in business and a prolific producer of steins. The style of your piece is called Art Nouveau in this country and Jugendstil in Germany. Designs are characterized by flowing, stylized naturalistic motifs. The shape of your stein is also typical of the Art Nouveau style. You may not find a lot of them at garage sales, but I wouldn't call it rare either.

Gerz mark.jpg
The mark on your Gerz stein is shown at right. Its use began around 1900. Since 1960 Gerz has used at least three different marks.

In beer stein collecting, like every other area, there are pieces in great demand and those with limited demand. The reason your stein is in limited demand compared to others is a function of the reputation of the company that produced it. Other very similar looking steins may be valued 4 or 5 times this one because the designer of the piece is known and has a reputation for innovation and quality. Steins designed by R. Riemerschmid produced by R. Merkelbach are in favor with collectors and bring substantially better prices.

One of the best reference books and prices guides that I own (one of about a thousand) is The Beer Stein Book by Gary Kirsner. The photos and pricing are from auctions run by Kirsner, which means that the prices are what people actually pay for them. Kirsner is merely reporting market conditions, unlike many price guides that are written by collectors or dealers that reflect their opinions, historical pricing (that is no longer current), or even attempts to manipulate the market with inflated prices. The book also has information about the history of steins, marks for stein producers, categories of collecting and price trends. For more up to date pricing than the book, check out the past auctions on Kirsner's web site Gary Kirsner Auctions. The book is also available on his web site and at many other retail book suppliers.

As to the value of your stein and how to sell it. Your stein is likely worth $80-$120. Kirsners auctions typically handle more expensive items and only accepts steins in this price range as part of a larger collection. I would list it on Ebay and be sure to use the word Jugendstil in the title. The largest demand for these is in Germany, where the term Art Nouveau is not used. It may or may not reach that price level, but it is your best chance to get good value from your stein.

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