J. Reinemann & Jos. Lichtinger. München.
Knöbelstraße 14, Munich. Bavaria.
Zinngießerei. / Pewterers
Jakob Reinemann (1831–1881) was born in Altenmuhr in Middle Franconia where a Jewish community had existed since the early 18th century. From 1867 onward, he was proprietor of the Glassworks Schliersee and registered a subsidiary at Knöbelstrasse 14 in the neighbourhood of Lehel in Munich in 1876, which was deregistered two years later. It was replaced by a "Glashandlung en gros”—a wholesale glass business—where, for the first time, decorated beer steins were sold.
When Reinemann died at the age of just 50 in 1881, Otto Löwenstein (1859–1935) from Ellingen, who had moved to Munich in 1879, acquired his distant relative’s company. In early 1882 he amended the entry in the registry but kept the name "J. Reinemann,” and was granted permission to set up a pewter foundry in 1888. In 1897 he bought up a large number of pewter lid moulds from the assets of the bankrupt pewterware factory, Josef Lichtinger & Cie. By this time Löwenstein had already established a flourishing beer stein decorating business with Jakob Reinemann’s company, marketing character steins such as the "Münchner Kindl” and "Shrapnel” models, brewery steins, and many others. From circa 1905 the company produced a range of steins based on Merkelbach & Wick blanks, using the designers of the day, i.e. Messrs Holwein, Moos and Ringer. These were all marked , either under the handle or on the base with pen written G.Sch (Geschützt) or M.Sch (Musterschutz).
Around 1910, Otto Löwenstein also began producing wooden toys and fashion accessories under his own name which were often based on drafts made by artists. Lyonel Feininger, for instance, designed toys and Franz Ringer bentwood boxes and "Räuchermännchen” (incense smokers) for Löwenstein. In 1914 Löwenstein sold the company "J. Reinemann” to Siegfried Berendt (1888–1947) and Lippmann Ullmann (1890–1973) but continued making wooden toys under his own name. In 1928 he moved his company called "Fa. Otto Löwenstein. Fabrik bemalter Holzgalanterie- und Spielzeugwaren” to Mauerkircherstraße 13 in the Bogenhausen neighborhood. He closed the company in 1932 and went into retirement.
Otto Löwenstein died in 1935 in Munich and was buried in the New Jewish Cemetery. Both of his sons, Alfred (1887–1964) and Karl (1888–1970), had already emigrated to the USA in 1933. Otto Löwenstein’s widow, Mathilde, née Oppenheim (1868–1946), emigrated to the USA in 1936 and spent the rest of her life at her son Karl’s, who was professor for law and political sciences in Amherst.
Purchased stein bodies from: Merkelbach & Wick, Marzi & Remy, Regensburg.
Designers involved: Ludwig Hohlwein Franz Ringer Carl Moos Bruno Mauder
References: Character Steins Abcap Lichtinger Reinemann
Text supplied by Bernhard Purin, Director of the Jewish Museum, Munich.