The Stein Auction Company

Terms / Conditions

Terms of Sales

The price displayed is the final price (including shipping) for all purchases being shipped within the contiguous United States by FedEx Ground Service. There will be an extra charge for shipping to Alaska, Hawaii and all foreign countries. Illinois residents will be charged Illinois sales tax.

For residents of Alaska, Hawaii, Europe & other countries outside the U.S.A.: Additional shipping will be billed after the purchase has been made. Please contact our office if you have a question about shipping charges.  

Export shipments will be sent without insurance. If insurance is needed, it must be specifically requested.

Payments by Zelle, please direct payments to this email address:

Payments by credit card, please follow the prompts. 

Illinois residents will be charged Illinois sales tax. Illinois residents providing a signed resale certificate and a copy of their current resale permit are exempt from sales tax. Residents of other states who have their purchases shipped out of Illinois will not be charged Illinois sales tax. Our sales are conducted in Illinois, all disputes will be resolved under applicable Illinois rules, regulations and/or laws.

We guarantee the merchandise offered in this sale to be free of repairs or damage unless noted in the description of each listing. Please refer to the DEFINITIONS for terms used in this catalog for clarification of our terminology. Sizes may be approximate. Should you need additional information about an item that we are selling, please contact us. If the condition is found not to be as stated, the item may be returned within one week of receipt.

Using The Shopping Cart

Please take the time to thoroughly review and carefully consider our Shopping Cart Terms before proceeding with your purchases.

It is essential that you fully understand these terms, which outline the specific conditions under which you can utilize our shopping cart and successfully complete your transaction.

Placing items in the cart is required to start the purchase transaction.  Items can be placed in the shopping cart by multiple people; the first person to pay is the buyer. While you may view our listings without being registered or logged in, to make a purchase you must be registered and logged in. Registering before shopping will make it easier to complete the purchase of your selection.

DEFINITIONS for terms used on our buy it now shopping cart:

Browning: See staining.

Cameo: A raised decoration that is translucent.

Chip: A piece of missing material, usually around .25” to .5” at the widest point, with some depth. The size can vary.

Crack: An open line in the body, more serious than a hairline.

Crazing: Very fine lines in the glaze that do not go into the material of the body.

Dates: Items that do not have a date in the description can be assumed to be from 1880-1920s. Earlier and later dates will be specified in the description.

Enamel: Painted decoration, usually on glass.

Etched: A decoration that appears to be engraved.

Factory flaw: A visible flaw or defect occurring at the factory when manufactured; not considered damage. We will mention factory flaws when they are visually distracting.

Firing line: A factory flaw, separation of material when fired, generally small, tight lines with minimal depth. We will mention firing lines when they are visually distracting.

Flake: A piece of missing material, usually around .25” at the widest point, with minimal depth.

Fracture: A horizontal line at the top or bottom rim. The line continues through to the inside, forming a chip that has not broken away from the body.

Gasthaus: A bar or inn that serves food.

Glaze flake: A flake that penetrates only the glaze; see flake.

Glaze line: A tight line that appears only in the glaze; it does not go through the body. See crazing.

Good condition: Describing items that due to age or material are not generally mint. Includes factory production flaws and imperfections, normal wear, and minor abrasions and roughness. Better than normal condition for similar steins.

Hairline: A very tight line in the body.

Hand-painted: Decoration done by hand, usually with a paint brush.

Hinge: A device, usually pewter, that enables the lid to swivel open on a stein.

Hinge ring: The hinge usually has five or three rings rotating around the hinge pin. Sometimes one ring is missing, usually the center ring in five-ring hinges. The hinge ring will usually still operate without difficulty.

Incised: A decoration that has been or appears to be engraved.

Inlaid lid: A pewter (or metal) rim containing a ceramic, stoneware, pottery, porcelain or glass insert.

Light wear: Wear to the colors caused by use. Visible, but not very distracting.

Lithophane: Transparent porcelain scene in base of many porcelain steins.

Lithophane lines: Tight lines frequently found in lithophanes, generally not distracting.

Minor paint flakes: Very small flakes, less than 1/16” at the widest point, minimal depth.

Minor pewter repair: A well-executed repair to a small area, such as a tear on the handle strap.

Minor pewter tear: A tear that has not harmed the structural strength of the lid.

Minor scratches: Visible scratches, noticeable, but not very distracting.

Mint: In the same condition as it left the factory, with no more than normal indications of wear and with no seriously distracting factory flaws. Steins with pewter inscriptions are considered mint. Normal wear can be expected and will be described if we feel that it is distracting. If you need further clarification about the precise condition of an item, please contact our office.

Mkd.: Marked.

Paint flakes: A flake that penetrates only the paint; see glaze flake.

Pewter lid: Most common type of lid, made primarily from tin.

Pewter tear: Usually located where the lid attaches to the tang (rear of the lid); tears here are very common, frequently they are visible but not a structural problem.

Print-over-glaze: A transfer decoration fired over the glaze.

Probe: A mark found on Mettlach wares. Factory proof or sample.  Sometimes found on items that were not put into production. Also found as just the letter “P.”

P.U.G.: Print under glaze, similar to transfer.

Rare: Used to describe some Mettlach, Character and Regimental steins. Only a small number are known to exist, generally ten or less. When used to describe other types of steins, less than five are generally known to exist.

Relief: A raised decoration.

Scuffs: Minor scratches or wear on handle or base caused by normal use. Commonly found on glass or glazed surfaces.

Shank: The pewter running from the handle to the hinge.

Staining: A discoloration from use or over-firing. Often called browning when found on the inside of Mettlach steins. Will be mentioned in descriptions if we consider it distracting.

Strap: The pewter band that wraps around the stein handle.

Strap repaired: The pewter strap around the handle has been repaired by a pewtersmith. This usually occurs because the strap has become loose. Properly done, this type of repair is usually not detectable. If not otherwise described, these repairs can be assumed to be of excellent quality.

Tang: The pewter running from the hinge to the lid.

Threading: Thin raised lines that create a scene or design.

Transfer: An applied decal type of decoration.

Unusual: An item or style that is not normally found.

Very good condition: Describing items that cannot generally be described as mint. This would include early faience and stoneware as well as items made from materials that are usually subject to more than slight wear. No serious damage, close to mint.

Very rare: Very few known. For Mettlach, less than five, for Characters and Regimentals, one or two.