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Höhr | 1845 - 1988

The Reinhold Merkelbach pottery was founded in 1845 in the Westerwald town of Höhr-Grenzhausen. Reinhold Merkelbach was a major name in ceramics - especially Jugendstil ceramics - that produced many collectable beer steins in late 1800s - early 1900s. Character steins were among the first steins produced in those early years. The 1895 Reinhold Merkelbach catalog included 29 different figurals. Art pottery was first produced there in 1882.

During early production years, Reinhold Merkelbach often marked their stein bases. This mark was usually the incised hexagram with an [RM] inside it. A mold number often accompanied this mark. The majority of their character production was hand-painted cream stoneware. Their first design, mold number 1, was a ½ liter Munich Child character stein which was introduced in 1882.

Pewter lid rims are present on many Reinhold Merkelbach character steins. However, many were produced without them. All character steins made by Reinhold Merkelbach were produced only one way, either with a pewter rim for the lid or without a pewter rim. Reinhold Merkelbach generally did not vary their manufacturing methods. However, if they changed the design of the stein, they sometimes also changed the use of the lid rim.

Merkelbach manufactured many steins intended for use at pubs, bars etc., and also distributed them through its own factory warehouse, founded in Munich in 1878. This Merkelbach subsidiary not only distributed these steins to the Munich breweries, but also to the entire beer-drinking southern part of Germany. Merkelbach’s retail shop was located at 85 Bayer Street in Munich, and from 1891 onwards went by the company designation: Beer stein factory branch, Frau Toska Merkelbach in Grenzhausen, Nassau, owner.

In 1921, the name was changed to Merkelbach & Wick. This company has had such a good reputation for their quality that they have been asked to make German beer steins for other manufacturers. In some cases, it was just the lid, and in others the entire stein. A few of the clients that sold Merkelbach & Wick under their brand names were J. Reinemann, Martin Pauson, Theodor Wiesler, and Josef Mayer.

From 1982 until 1988, Reinhold Merkelbach was part of the Goebel Company and was known as Goebel Merkelbach.

Source:, and

Collectibles by Reinhold Merkelbach

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