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A type of steinkrug (stone jug) made in Austria, the plutzer has been used since ancient times to keep beverages cool. The high looped handle was useful for carrying the jug filled with "birnenmost" (translated to the English: "perry,"an alcoholic beverage made with pears)---or water---to the fields. The short neck could be plugged with a cork and the small spout enabled the farmer to drink easily from the jug. All of this is explained on the handwritten history accompanying the plutzer, shown in our photos (the printed copy will accompany it when it's shipped).
This plutzer comes from the Villa Comagena, a re-creation of an Austrian farmhouse in Shellsburg, Iowa, owned by Inge Schminke, who fled her hometown of Tulln, Austria, in 1953 during the Russian occupation. Her home is open to the public and there is a gift shop with European goods. She also leads tours to her hometown and Tulln is a short trip from Stoob, famous for its stoneware, especially plutzers. The jug is marked "Handarbeit" ("handwork" in German) on a foil label on one side and there are labels on the bottom reading "MADE IN AUSTRIA" and "Villa Comagena Austria" (the "2104" in the small tag is probably a stock number). Comagena is the name the Romans used for the village of Tulln 2,000 years ago.
Plutzers are still made, mostly for decorative purposes like this one. It's in like-new condition, handsome with its matte brown glaze. It stands about 7 3/4 inches tall, about 5 1/2 inches across at the belly and weighs 1 pound, 10 ounces. With a fascinating history (not to mention a fun name to say) and a simple, rustic look, this jug works beautifully with many different décors from primitive to modern.
The watercolor by listed American artist Mildred Waters shown in our photos is listed here: