Featured Stein: May 2009
~ A Butterfly Stein ~
by Joann Ellis
 “Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing”, are words to a song by Dolly Parton. They also apply to my love of butterflies and my beer stein collection. Now there are all kinds of reasons for collecting beer steins. I have found a way to mix my two collections and make the stein hunt more challenging. I have found several beer steins where the butterfly is the central motif, however most uses of butterflies in beer steins are mainly to add decoration to side panels or the back. By collecting butterfly beer steins, not only does it include me in the hunt but my husband as well. Not that he needs another type or kind of beer stein to look for, but it does give us a common thread with which to bind our interests together.
What is it that you collect? Butterflies, dragonflies, flowers, birds, perhaps frogs or dogs? There is such a variety of subjects on beer steins, that one might find it more of a challenge to narrow your focus. Wives, it might be a way for you have a say in what to collect in the way of steins. If we would take a more detailed look at the steins available in auctions, on sales tables at meetings or conventions, we might find something that would catch our eyes.

I remember one particular Royal Vienna stein on display for one of the convention auctions. It so happened that the steins were in a glass display cabinet, so you could walk around the cabinet and see the handle and side panels. What I saw from the backside of the cabinet, were the lovely butterflies on either side of the handle. Of course that was not what the buyer was looking for, and the price of the Royal Viennas is still out of my price range. But it did catch my eye.

Here is one example of my Butterfly Steins and you will see more in an Prosit Article later in the year. Of all the glass colors, amber glass is probably my least favorite, but this particular stein caught my eye because of the butterfly. I must say that the stein would not be as beautiful if it were not for the amber glass. Several other things that make this particular beer stein desirable is the fact that the bottom of the stein has a ruffle of glass, and the thumb lift is a darling cherub with her fingers up to her mouth as if to say “Shh, don’t disturb the butterfly from the flowers. The flowers appear to be strawberry blossoms and some pretty orange and blue flowers. The butterfly appears to be a Small Tortiseshell. The lid is a basic steeple tower lid with the rounded ball although it has flowers and butterflies in the one layer up from the engraving.
The figure at the right shows the cherub thumblift. 

Below, left, you can see intricate alternating flower-butterfly pattern engraved in the lild.  

Below right is a close-up of the Small Tortiseshell butterfly. 

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