Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Not Your Father's Easter Bunnies

It's Easter time and naturally your thoughts drift towards... chocolate. Hey Steiff people, let's try that again. It's Easter time and naturally your thoughts drift towards BUNNIES!!! Steiff bunnies, that is. Rabbits are a really popular Steiff species, so much so that they have their very own chapter in each of the Steiff Sortiment books. Not even elephants or monkeys can make that claim. First cataloged in 1892, rabbits have since been produced in every size, position, and material imaginable. Let's take a look at an unusual herd of rabbits that live in my warren.

The "Runny" Bunny
This athletic looking hare is none other than "Joggi Rabbit". He is 55 cm, unjointed, made from woven fur, and has an open felt mouth with rabbit buck teeth and black whiskers. He has really long floppy arms and legs in the typical "lulac" style. Dressed for action, he is attired in an orange vest and blue sweat pants with an orange stripe up the side. Produced from 1981-1985, he truly does have that "big 80's" look to him. Could that "v" neckline be any lower? Or chest fur more prominent? All he's missing is a gold chain or two. Joggi was purchased at auction.

The "Punny" Bunny
Like a good pun, the more ways you noodle with it, the more interesting it becomes. So it is with this next adroit hare, better known as the "Changable Rabbit". This 17 cm bunny has really flexible back leg jointing, which allows her to be put into running, sitting, or upright positions. Her head is jointed but her arms are not. She is made from tan mohair and was produced from 1957-1970. She also came in a larger 25 cm size. If Joggi is the marathoner, Changable is the gymnast. Changable rabbit was purchased at auction.

Finally, The "Money" Bunny
Around here, things are referred to as "money" if they are dependable, good to have, and a solid asset- like a faithful friend, a Honda, a meatloaf in the fridge, or in this case, this rabbit. (But not my 401K, but that's a different story.) This wonderful 18 cm sitting "money" bunny is made from maize colored mohair, has a swivel head, and retains her original red silk ribbon. She has glass pupil eyes and a red floss nose and mouth. Her ears are lined in pink felt.

This model, also available in 15 cm, was only in produced in 1949. She has a very unique combination of IDs: a US Zone tag and a blank steel button. The post-war blank button first appeared 1947 and was used for just a handful of years. Sometimes the blank button was painted blue, but not in this case. Money bunny was purchased at a local antique mall; I was so excited when I discovered her and her rare credentials that I actually started dancing in the store aisle!

Thanks for letting me bend your ear about these unconventional Steiff rabbits. So hop to it and have a very Happy Easter!

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