Since Hachiya Brothers first came on the scene, they have been considered manufacturers of character steins in Japan. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hachiya Brothers is actually an import-export firm but with no records as to who actually manufactured the earthenware character steins that were bought and sold.
In 1972, an enterprising stein dealer in New York named John Kent was offering a package of Hachiya Brothers character steins (at a price of about $8.00 each). Through a flyer, many dealers purchased the steins and were disappointed in their quality. The steins are made of a brittle ceramic earthenware and are generally poorly decorated. The hinge mounts are attached to the body and handle by screws, and the steins tend to break very easily.
Because of the type of construction, none of the Hachiya Brothers figurals contain any sort of lid rim, thus making even more obvious the poor match of the lid to the base.
Almost all Hachiya Brothers character steins are ½ liter in size, but none of their pieces include a capacity mark. The only figurals that appear to be larger than ½ liter are the four Colonists (figures __ to __).
Very often these steins carry no marks at all. Occasionally, one might be found with a Hachiya paper label on the base (see figure __). Some of the later pieces carry a blue stamp made to look like an early English mark (see figure__).
MUSIC BOX BASES
Some of the Hachiya Brothers steins were made with working music boxes, and two different methods were used in applying them. Five of their pieces were simply mounted on a revolving music box base. These include the Mountain Man, the Sailor, the Tipsy Monk, the Dog with Hangover, and the Dapper Dog. Another method was to recess the music box into the hollow base. This was done only on the three Soldier Heads (see figures __to __).
|*revolving music box base||**photo not shown|