Napoleon - An Intimate Portrait Napoleon - An Intimate Portrait

On eBay Now...

HL Mencken " Baltimore's Sage" Stein collection Provenance letter For Sale

 HL Mencken

Buy Now

HL Mencken " Baltimore's Sage" Stein collection Provenance letter:

H.L.Mencken "The Sage of Stein Collection

A Collection of 35 Steins and Pre- Prohibtion Back Bar Bottles Offered For Sale With Provenance To H.L. Mencken.

Many of the steins are Mettlach. The Mettlach steins are probably the most well known or prestigious of steins. Early ones were produced by the Villeroy and Boch Company of Mettlach, Germany, and usually carried the mercury, old tower, or castle trademark. The value of a stein depends upon authenticity, condition, uniqueness or degree of rarity, age, and quality of workmanship.

The value of this collection is founded on its provenance of ownership to H L Mencken.

The stein collection, I am certain, will be of great interest to anyone interested in owning artifacts of Mencken's life because they provide such a perfect intersection of Mencken's great interest in beer, the act of drinking beer, and his great affection for his German heritage, and the fact that these steins were probably well used by Mr. Mencken and his many famous (and bibulous) friends. They are, in a literal sense, the 'holy' grails of Menckenania.


This unique collection of some 35 steins and a collection of 5 pre-prohibition back bar bottles with documented provenance to Mencken is offered from my Family's Personal Collection. 
My aunt, Sara Haardt , married HL Mencken in the 1930's.Mencken gave a number of his stein collection to his brother-in-law, my father, John Hall Haardt, in the 1950s. The steins have been stored for over 50 years in a glass case. Many of the gifts of steins are documented in personal letters from the “Sage of Baltimore” to my father over the years and an original letter from Mencken does accompany the collection.

Because of the provenance factor, this H.L. Mencken stein collection is valued above the market value of an average stein collection.

Mencken wasn’t the sort to turn down a drink, whether it be wine, gin, grappa or whiskey. “I’m ombibulous,” he confessed. “I drink every known alcoholic drink and enjoy them all.” He reckoned that the cocktail qualified as “the greatest of all contributions of the American way of life to the salvation of humanity.”

Every guest in Mencken’s home, which he called “the best bar in Baltimore,” received a beer served in one of the 267 steins he kept on hand.


One of Baltimore’s most celebrated literary figures is H.L. Mencken. His home at 1524 Hollins Street in Baltimore, had a “public room” in which Mencken entertained most of the major literary figures of the day — Fitzgerald, Pound, Eliot, Hemingway, Dreiser, etc. There was, however, a special sofa which Mencken purchased especially to take care of Fitzgerald when he was too intoxicated to go home — he spent some 351 nights on it.

On the mantel was the huge beer mug from which he enjoyed his beer. He always said, “Never drink if there is work to do, never drink before sundown, never drink more than two.” One of Mencken’s favorite haunts was Schellhase’s , which opened at 302 W. Franklin Street on April Fools’ Day, 1924. It was rumored some of Mencken’s steins were housed here for his regular visits.

Mencken had a large stein collection. At his death he bequeathed many of the steins to The Enoch Pratt. The H.L. Mencken Collection, in the Enoch Pratt Free Library contains his 267 beer steins, a collection of ivories. Hedescribed himself as “ombibulous’’ and he left proof ,including 80 bottles of various potables from around the world. The sage engaged in manufacturing his own spirits during the noble experiment, as he was fond of calling Prohibition.In the parlor were rows of antique beer steins and finely bound volumes of Shakespeare and Nietzsche, along with family photographs and German memorabilia. 

With the ongoing interest in H.L. Mencken, this collection would be a treasure as part of your "Baltimore Sage" memorabilia.

Mencken memorabilia is quite collectible. An sale item of an X-ray of Menckens’ skull signed by Mencken , was sold by Chris Bready, proprietor of the Baltimore Book Company on North Charles Street. HL Mencken Autographed letter sells for $450.00- to $1,000.00, depending on the Celebrity Value.

Please note: The Glass Cabinet is not included in the Sale.

The Steins offered each have detailed descriptions and photos to accompany them. I have in the following only listed a brief identity with only some of the many photographs. If anyone is interested I can send more information and very detailed jpgs of each Stein.

Detail of H. L. Mencken Memorabilia - German Steins

  • Monk figure in red cassock on white porcelain, with lithophane CHARACTER STEIN. MUNICH CHILD REINEMANN, C 1900.
  • Two Meissen porcelain, blue on white porcelain, with lithophanes C.1890. This stein features a portrait of two figures in the lid and hidden in the bottom which can only be seen if held up to a light. The Other Lithophane porcelain is of a DUTCH WINDMILL SCENE in Blue- with Lithophane on bottom as well
  • SHELF Villeroy and Boch 1370 — Description: Man & Woman With Verse, Pewter Lid
  • One, 5" high, outstanding cream figures on terra cotta. Villeroy and Boch. Villeroy & BOCH A late Nineteenth Century German Mettlach 1-liter beer stein Measures 5 3/4" tall to lid top ~ 3 1/2" deep.: Villeroy & Boch # 2077, then Roman Numeral II & then # 21.
  • 210 GERMANY BLUE-GREEN PORTRAIT STEIN—TRIANGLE MARK— SIMON PETER Gerz MARKING Miniature beer stein is 8"tall, brilliant BLUE PORTRAIT., image in relief, porcelain with silver-plated lid, maker’s mark and numbered, good condition.
  • Bartholomey of Rochester, putty color, white porcelain cover. Villeroy and Boch. ------a RARE VINTAGE/ANTIQUE Villeroy & Boch Mettlach beer stein(PUG). The front reads: Bartholomay's Rochester.
  • One slate-gray, 8" high, outstanding figures, top cover hand-painted boy and girl, probably Mettlach.
  • One by unmarked maker, blue on slate ground, 12"
  • One 10" high, slate-blue, finial portraits (heads) of Pan and a Goddess, legend engraved over outstanding figures of man and woman in an orgiastic scene. Probably by METTLACH/early and rare.
  • One porcelain-type earthenware with a coat-of-arms in cartouche, the top cover with fruit and leaf figures. A rare item—small damage. 606 VILLEROY & BOCH 1874-1909-- pewter thumb lift. The letters "VB" stand for Villeroy and Boch Co Several Portrait Steins of man with pipe, 8 1/2" high, including finial. Probably Mettlach, unmarked. A e 9 1/2" high, hand-painted front reserve of cottage interior with a man and a woman.
  • One made for CLIFF HOUSE San Francisco bar, has cream-colored glaze with deep blue; has relief of Coffee House and Ferry building in San Francisco. The first Cliff House was a modest structure built in 1863 by Masters Butler and Buckley. A rare item, 6" high, including finial. Villeroy and Boch .
  • Large stein, 22" high overall, hand-decorated and very handsome. Made by Mettlach (in music room) METTLACH REGIMENTAL STYLE TOP WITH KNOME FIGURE HANDLE One pewter mug with glass bottom, older One bronze stein, trophy 1903 Conanticut Yacht Club Second Prize New York.
  • Bohemian glass stein;with etched deer and forest scene; Engraved Glass Beer Stein. Circa 1900. 1/2 liter, 7 1/2" tall Made in Germany. A very decorative, elegant beaker. Ruby red cut glass with four medallions, featuring nice floral decoration, and golden floral accents. Dates to ca 1840 -
  • Enameled Glass Beer Steins. Circa 1900. 7 1/2" tall. Body is hand-blown with applied handle and prunts. Enameled scene
  • One very old glass stein with painted cover of a hunter and landscape. Glass Beer Stein. Circa 1900.
  • One Small Chinese figure mug, ca 1840
  • One glass stein with plated silver cover Glass Beer Stein. Circa 1900. Body is hand-blown with silver plated lid with offset finial. No damage. Made in Germany.
  • EWTER FLAGON SKU: 03-01-99E Weight: 5 lbs Pewter Flagon. Circa 1880. 2 1/2 L., 14" tall
  • 5 PRE PROBITION whiskey bottles( Gottzchalk Co Norwood- Hunter, Buckwalt gottzchalk, clear, Sherwood,calvert rye, Catawba Sherwood in gold letters,Clear glass bottle rye in gold, Clear glass bottle brandy in gold, clear glass decanter Maryland in gold clear glass bottle hunter or Hunter in gold,exquisite back bar bottle clear with painted lady under glass in gold etc These antique pre prohibition era whiskey back bar bottles marked Rye. Brandy etc.. and dates to the 1890s or early 1900s period, and are a great piece of saloon memorabilia with the gold leaf lettering.All in excellent condition measuring 9 1/2" tall. Perhaps the most sought after group of label under glass bottles are the colorful and artistic whiskey labels.
  • Several .Decorative VINTAGE STONEWARE ceramic beer stein- BLUE SALT GLAZE.(SIMILIAR IN DESIGN TO WESTERWALD) Labeled as made in Germany, it probably pre-dates World War II, when Germany was partitioned. and several VINTAGE STONEWARE ceramic beer stein- BLUE SALT GLAZE, glazed in gray and cobalt blue on the body of the stein, the colors remain crisp and bright.
  • Portrait stein, WITH PEWTER LID-center portrait outstanding of lady in blue Marking-
  • Pewter lid, 6 “high, including finial.. Small damage. A character
  • One 9 1/2" high,. Probably Mettlach, METTLACH marking # 40 blue saltglaze – words; GAT … ADAm..barisch bier bessell… gall er….
  • Portrait stein, center portrait outstanding of man bust in center, 8 1/2" high, including finial. Probably Mettlach, unmarked. Small damage. Markng: 210 germany triangle gertz
  • One 5 “" high,. Blue earthenware engraved letters; THINK MIT FREDNDEN HAH DICK BESCHIEDON..OF FIGURES OF UNICORNS LIKE ONE OF PROSIT MARKINGS 03 T ON RIM possibly mettlach
  • One 6 " high,. BLUE EARTHENWARE . UNICORNS ON EITHER SIDE SALTGLAZE WORDS; TRINKE MIT FREUDE HALT DICH BESCHEIDEN WITH DEERS ON LID PEWTER TOP possibly Mettlach, not marked. . The pewter lid has a cast ornate design that stands as a raised relief
  • One 5 " high,. BLUE EARTHENWARE SALT GLAZE METTLACH MARKING 1370 AND 1310 MAN WITH GUITR WORDS- KOMTRINKEINNIAL AUS DIEVREM QUEL ..DANN HIM DU DIE WIEDER. 40. One large PITCHER stein, 2O" high overall OF FIGURES -tall muscians 22 ‘ knomes on top mark germany 521
  • Bartmann Jug—Large— German potters called these vessels Bartmann jugs, meaning “bearded man,” after the bewhiskered face that adorns the neck. Bartmann jugs were used for the storage and consumption of liquids, especially beer and wine. Dimensions: Width: 7.5", Height: 9.5", Weight: 5 lbs.
  • Visit My store: Deep South Vintage Antiques

Buy Now

 HL Mencken

HL Mencken " Baltimore's Sage" Stein collection Provenance letter


39.68LB Natural yellow crystal Ball Quartz crystal energy ball  HL69 picture

39.68LB Natural yellow crystal Ball Quartz crystal energy ball HL69


97.88LB Natural yellow crystal Ball Quartz crystal energy ball  HL72 picture

97.88LB Natural yellow crystal Ball Quartz crystal energy ball HL72


97.88LB Natural yellow crystal Ball Quartz crystal energy ball  HL72 picture

97.88LB Natural yellow crystal Ball Quartz crystal energy ball HL72


St.Christopher Woodcarving, Hl. Christophorus picture

St.Christopher Woodcarving, Hl. Christophorus


Saint Christopher Wooden, St.Christofer With Child, Hl. Christoforus Mit Kind picture

Saint Christopher Wooden, St.Christofer With Child, Hl. Christoforus Mit Kind


St. Elmar With Book. Hl. Elmar Mit Buch. Sant' Book Wooden picture

St. Elmar With Book. Hl. Elmar Mit Buch. Sant' Book Wooden


56.87LB Natural amethyst quartz crystal cluster mineral specimen HL22 picture

56.87LB Natural amethyst quartz crystal cluster mineral specimen HL22


Images © Chalençon
A Traveling Exhibition from Russell Etling Company (c) 2011