Stein Collectors International
Featured Stein ~ September 2018

My Butterfly Lady Stein...   by Joann Ellis

The reason this stein appealed to me is that I am particularly fond of butterflies. Butterflies are not found on many beer steins, although I have several steins where butterflies are the main motif. When people find out that I like butterflies, it seems to stick with them, and when they find things with butterflies on them it reminds them of me. Thus when Irene Groebner had this stein, she thought of me and brought it to a meeting for me to see and to purchase, if I wanted it, and of course I wanted it!

The decorative theme of this stein can be interpreted as a woman with butterfly wings, or a butterfly with a woman's body. While not exactly a butterfly, I was happy to welcome it to my collection. The lower part of the body is painted a terra cotta red, while the area above the central figure is gilded. Two small purple flowers flank the upper handle attachment. The artistic treatment has a definite Art Nouveau feel.

The body combines the historic baluster shape with the use of a pedestal base which was popular around 1900. The pewter lid is a "cone" or "steeple," the most common and least expensive type of lid around 1900.

The stamped green mark on the bottom of my stein is somewhat smudged and difficult to read, but clear enough to be identified as an exporter's mark (see figure) used by the Gräflich Thun'sche Porzellanfabrik Klösterle in the Austrian part of Bohemia. All of these items were from one large item family supposed to be like the porcelain originally produced at the former Royal Porcelain Factory in Vienna. Wares bearing this mark were imported to the U.S. by a succession of firms beginning in 1885 and extending well into the 20th century.


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