Dümler & Breiden was founded in 1879 by Peter Dümler & his brother-in-law Albert Breiden in the Westerwald town of Höhr (now known as Höhr-Grenzhausen). Peter Dümler died in 1907, and his wife Bertha continued the business with Breiden. In the 1920s, one Sebald and sister Dietrich are listed as running the factory. Dümler & Breiden ceased operations in the 1950s.

Although Dümler & Breiden produced many prize-winning designs, they offered very few character steins. In one early catalog containing hundreds of pieces, only one character stein is pictured, but the ones attributed to them are well designed. Studying and identifying character steins made by this factory is extremely difficult. Most of the steins attributed to Dümler & Breiden in this book are listed with some hesitancy.

In the case of the cream stoneware military bodies that carry different lids of famous German leaders such as Bismarck, Frederich III, and Wilhelm II, (#---,---,---), the only identifiable connection is the unusual, distinctive base. Also shown is a blue-grey Wilhelm II minus this base that seems to match this set; however, because this base is absent, it cannot be positively identified as Dümler & Breiden.

Two other character steins that are trademark Peter Dümler designs raise questions. These are the Roman Military Frog (#___) and Knight's Head (#___). Both of these are documented to exist in both cream stoneware and in blue-grey stoneware but the body markings on these steins are baffling. On the Frog, the markings appear on either side of the handle near the top. On one side there is an elongated panel with the words SCHUTZ above it and MARKE below it. On some versions the letters D & B appear inside the panel. On other examples, the panel contains either XX or a marking that seems to have been filled in with slip. Upon close examination, the D & B is still partially visible on some examples. On the other side of the handle, the number 27 appears alongside either the decimal capacity mark 0,5L or the fraction ½ Lit. The handle on the cream version is basically simple while the one on the blue-grey figural is more ornate. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why these differences occur. Similar inconsistencies also occur on the Knight's Head.

There are several possible explanations for the above. One possibility is that they were made by different factories. But, if this were the case, it would be assumed that they would use a different mold number. It is more plausible that, because Dümler & Breiden did not have a large market for their character steins, they produced some to be marketed by other companies. This would explain why the D & B mark was either crossed out or obliterated with slip.


When examining the character steins made in cream stoneware, different degrees of coloration are noticeable. For example, the military bodies and the Knight's Head have been spotted in both accented cream colors and in full color. It seems likely that all of their cream stoneware figurals were available in these varieties.


There seem to be discrepancies in Dümler & Breiden’s system of numbering. Regarding the Military Frog and the Knight’s Head, the mold numbers (#27 and #46) are present only on the stein body. Some figurals carry no mold numbers at all while others display three-digit numbers incised into the base.


All of the character steins determined to have been made by Dümler & Breiden appear to carry pewter lid rims.


Almost every character stein made by Dümler & Breiden is ½ liter in size. The only exception discovered so far is the ¼ liter version of the Monk (#___).


Even though there are various factory marks attributed to Dümler & Breiden, very few characters actually carry these marks. Marks have only been noted on a later version of the ½ liter Monk and on the Skull. These marks are the crossed D and B version (see #___ & ___).

Monkey with Mutton Chops
Roman Military Frog
Wilhelm II
Frederich III
Hobo (cream)
Hobo (full color)
Jolly Fat Lady (cream)
Jolly Fat Lady (full color)
Skull (17th Hussar regimental)
Monk (holding scroll of verse)
Monk (with club design)
Monk ¼L
Knight's Head (blue-grey)
Knight's Head (cream)
Knight's Head (full color)