Early Undated Wurstfest Mugs and Stein (early 1970s)

Producer: Opa's Haus, bodies by Gerz of Germany (OHI); Zeisig Imports, bodies by Werner Corzelius (Zeisig)

Sizes: .5 Liter

Edition Size: 500 total made on gray-colored earthenware bodies (OHI). Unknown number made on banded earthenware bodies (Zeisig).

Artist: Ernest Murphy

From the Book, 25 Years of Wurstfest Mugs: OHI version: "In response to customer requests received at its initial Wurstfest in 1970, Opa’s Haus in 1971 introduced a souvenir mug decorated simply with the Opa figure that was and is the symbol of Wurstfest. The Wurstfest Opa was the product of Bill Kneuper, a parttime artist among other endeavors. A total of 500 of these were produced using German-made (Gerz) Bavarian-shape blanks in combination with U.S.-made ceramic decals. The last of the 500 mugs was sold during the latter part of Wurstfest 1972. The mugs originally sold for about $3.95 each. Most recent sales have been for 100 times that! It was designed as a souvenir item—not a collectible. Am I, therefore, surprised at the demand (and value) of this mug? A: So surprised that I failed to acquire one for my own collection." --Ken Armke

From the Book, 25 Years of Wurstfest Mugs: Zeisig version: "Few are even aware of the existence of this rare mug. Walter Zeisig, an early Wurstfest president, operated a Wurstfest concession called The Alpine Shop until he retired and sold it to Opa’s Haus about 1974. Among many items sold in his booth were a few steins, including a mug with the Wurstfest Opa decor which I am sure was produced by the German firm Werner Corzelius, with which Opa’s Haus also did business in the 1970s. I have no records indicating how many of these mugs were sold, but I suspect it was very few as Zeisig did not specialize in nor sell the volume of steins we did during this period. I would be surprised if there were ever more than 200 of these mugs in existence. I recall the Zeisig mug being more expensive than the Opa’s Haus mug, but I don’t recall the price." --Ken Armke

Footnote: The lidded stein at right was recently acquired by us and has been made part of our in-store permanent collection. It was part of the Zeisig offering of the early 1970s, and this was the first example we had seen since that time. It should be considered exceedingly rare.

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