Thistlewoods' Website



Butterfly and Tulip
The Rebirth of an Old Mould
G & S Thistlewood and Howard Seufer


Dugan Butterfly and Tulip

Fenton Butterfly and Tulip

Dugan (Classic) Butterfly and Tulip

Fenton (re-issue) Butterfly and Tulip


Spot the difference?

On the left is an old, Classic Butterfly and Tulip bowl in deep purple made by Dugan. On the right is a Fenton re-issue - and it's a show stopper. A magnificent, massive and showy item, measuring 11" across, the Fenton 9 ruffled bowl is made from black base glass with a marigold stretch-effect iridescence. The color is called "Golden Ebony" and it is (in our opinion) one of the most beautiful effects that Fenton have ever produced. The exterior design is a diamond optic and it has a collar base instead of the four feet of the Dugan original. There is a letter (F for Fenton) in an oval cartouche on the base.

We asked our good friend and Fenton contact, Howard Seufer, for help regarding the pattern, as we could see there were a number of small differences between the Fenton re-issue and the Dugan original. Howard went along to the factory and he took the superb photos you can see below of the original Dugan plunger.

Plunger for Butterfly and Tulip

Plunger for Butterfly and Tulip

Here's what Howard said after his visit: "The Fenton piece was made with a new plunger.  It was not possible to use the old one, which was part of a group of moulds, etc. purchased from Indiana Glass. The old plunger had a flatter profile on the end, so its butterfly pattern was copied into the new plunger, but the rest of the pattern had to be chipped new. The relief depths of the tulips, leaves, stems had to be modified so the plunger wouldn't trap glass into its side patterns. I talked with Jerry Stevens who made the new plunger, and he explained the above conditions to me.  Viewing the Dugan bowls in the museum I could follow Jerry's explanations.  There was a number on the top of the plunger: 3593."

Howard further told us that the Butterfly and Tulip plunger was purchased by L.G. Wright in 1939.  Fenton obtained it from the Wright sale a few years ago. No trace was found of the Inverted Feather mould; and no Fenton bowl mould matched the plunger's shape, thus a new plunger had to be cut.

Below you can see the differences between the Dugan and Fenton versions of the exteriors: Dugan, on the left, used Inverted Fan and Feather (aka Feather Scroll) on a four-footed base, and often deliberately left the exterior un-iridised. Fenton, right, uses a diamond optic design and a collar base.


Exterior of Dugan Butterfly and Tulip

Exterior of Fenton Butterfly and Tulip

Exterior of Dugan Butterfly and Tulip

Exterior of Fenton Butterfly and Tulip

  Exterior of the Classic Dugan Butterfly and Tulip - Inverted Fan and Feather (aka Feather Scroll) and footed base

 Exterior of the re-issue Fenton Butterfly and Tulip - diamond pattern with (F marked) collar base


Sincere thanks to Howard Seufer and Jerry Stevens for their help