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But Will They Float? Wooden Beer Steins & Drinking Vessels. [3] A Very Unusual Wooden “Peg” Tankard / “Peg” Stein” (Also called “Pin Tankards.”)


Showing carved relief scenes of “The Gnome King , Andvari”, being cared for by his subjects or family.

“Das Gnome Konig Andvari” on his throne, awaiting his beer and food.

ABOVE:  Details from left facing side going to the right; showing gnomes bringing their “King” items to drink and eat! The participating baby gnomes show a great artistic touch to me. I found this one at the “Black Angus” in Pennsylvania on my way to a Keysteiners’ meeting a few years back.It was to be my “Bring and Brag” stein for that day, and many more! [FWTD]


(Detail) Even the baby gnomes, on far right, get to bring something to their king!


Two views of the unusual heavily cut lid, flower design, with a pomegranate style thumb-lift.


The row of wooden “pegs” going down the side of the stein. (Not the big one – that is to secure the handle, and this is known as
“Pegged Construction”!)

Another interesting touch and not seen often a carved “rosette” on the bottom. The four hundred year old worm holes didn’t cost extra!

Some history on “Peg tankards.”

In his book “Drinking Vessels of Bygone Days / From the Neolithic age to the Georgian period,” G.J. Monson-Fitzjohn has this to say:

“About the year A.D. 960 wood tankards were in everyday use in all households, large or small, the early specimens being made with small  staves held together by hoops of wattle or hide on a solid wood base, the inside being well lined with pitch.”

“These tankards were fitted with wood handles and lids, and were recognized drinking vessels in taverns and inns during the reigns of the last Saxon kings; they were made to hold two quarts of liquor [ale] and the contents were consumed at such a speed that both the State and the Church had to step in. King Edgar [957-975], the son of King Edmund  [940-946], was the originator of the idea of decreasing drunkenness by limiting the quantity to be drunk at one time; thus we read that he: “Ordained certain cups with pins or nails set in them , adding thereto a law, that what person drank past the mark at one draught should forfeit a penny, whereof half should fall to the accuser and the other half to the ruler of the town where the offence was done.”

“These vessels became know as “peg” tankards, and were divided into eight sections, each marked off by a peg driven into the wood on the inside of the tankard. The theory was to prevent a member of a company drinking more than his share , or to a point below the next pin, but apparently it did not have much effect… .  (Ed. note: again, who would have been the “pin” police?). “…for we read that in later years Archbishop Anselm  [Canterbury 1093-1109] found it necessary to inveigh against the practice of over-drinking, also decreeing: “Ut presbyteri non eant ad potations, nec ad pinneas bibant,” which being translated means that priests shall not resort to taverns or banquets, “nor drink to pins”! (Editor’s note:

Farther along in his book Mr. Monson-Fitzjohn pictures a very nicely carved wooden tankard [beer stein], and includes the following information about it.

“What may be considered one of the oldest drinking vessels in England, with a romantic origin, is a Saxon “peg” tankard in the possession of the Lord Arundel of Wardour. It is known as the Glastonbury tankard and is made of oak which has been heavily lacquered, thus preserving the wood to a marvelous extent.” …(here there is a lengthy description of the religious figures carved on the body)…… “and the feet upon which the tankard rest are three couchant lions.  Made about 800 years ago and originally belonging to the abbots of the ancient Abbey of Glastonbury, the tankard commenced its life with a halo of romance around it, for legend has it that it had been blessed at the high table in the refectory hall of the great monastery.

THE GLASTONBURY TANKARD  = The large carved wooden one in the middle [?] .

A little web info on Anvari; The Gnome King .

And for more info on “Pegged Construction” please see this page, this web site :  (Coming in mid -May 2013.)

[END – SOK – 10  – DD]

If winning isn’t everything why do they keep score?”


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