RASTAL WERKE

The Rastal GmbH & Co. was founded in 1919 by Eugen Sahm. It was managed by his two sons, Werner & Günter, until Günter's death in 1985. Werner and Günter’s children now manage the company. The earliest Rastal character steins were modern Girmscheid figurals to which Rastal applied their own basemark. According to Werner Sahm, Rastal had the market and Girmscheid did not. In the 1970s, Werner Sahm observed the lucrative American market for character steins and began offering many figurals carrying Rastal’s mark. Not a single character stein was produced in the Rastal factory; every character stein carrying the Rastal name was produced elsewhere. Rastal designed them and handled their distribution but had the pieces made and marked elsewhere. Many original character steins were exclusively offered by Rastal. Most were recreations of tried and true older figurals. Looking over the list, you will see how diversified these offerings are, ranging from a porcelain Munich Child with a lithophane to a blue-grey stoneware Frauenkirche Tower.

During one of Werner's early visits to my home in the mid-1970s, I suggested he re-create the popular Frauenkirche Tower stein. A few months later, I was surprised to receive one in the mail. He had created a perfect copy of the original that he was able to offer for sale for only $50. At that time, an original cost four times as much. A joking suggestion that he should also have made it in porcelain resulted in just such a stein.

Werner Sahm was the first to go to the Schierholz factory in 1986 and, noting that they still had the original molds there, he induced them to recreate some of them. For awhile, he was able to offer some of the more popular Schierholz figurals carrying the Rastal mark. This book identifies as Rastal only those character steins that Rastal created. The Schierholz and the Girmscheid pieces are called by their own names.

MATERIALS

It is hard to specify what materials Rastal used. Sometimes their character steins were made in blue-grey stoneware, sometimes in porcelain, and sometimes in both. Rastal created or recreated whatever the market demanded.

Drunken Monkey ½L Porcelain
Hunter Rabbit ½L Porcelain
Bismarck Head ½L Porcelain
Bismarck Head ½L Porcelain
Hops Lady ½L Porcelain
Frauenkirche Tower ½L--1L Blue-grey stoneware
Frauenkirche Tower ½L--1L Porcelain
Nürnberg Tower 1L Porcelain, blue-grey stoneware
Nürnberg Tower 1L Porcelain
Munich Child ½ & ¼L Porcelain with lithophane

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