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There may also be several steins in a series, within a theme.Europeans often engraved dates on the lids of steins to commemorate specific occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, sporting events, weddings, and retirements. As a result of the bubonic plague and several invasions of flies in Europe, Germany established laws to require beverage containers to be covered for sanitary purposes.The insert can also be made of glass, porcelain, or wood.The lid is made of stoneware and held in place by pewter fittings.Many stein-decorating styles and techniques were developed over the centuries, offering further diversity to the stein.
Character steins have a shape designed to represent a person, animal, or object. A more relaxed way of life, combined with a German artist's renaissance and a desire for beautiful, unique, and personalized drinking vessels, created the motivation to design, manufacture and use character steins.They usually have a glorified conical shape and a finial (a figural representation or common design at the top), and feature detail and handwork.