Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Strange Bedfellows

Whenever Steiffgal travels, she always finds the local antiques district... of course, on a quest to find unusual Steiff treasures. This week, she is about as far from home as she could be while still remaining on the same continent! As luck would have it, she discovered two outstanding Steiff collectibles at a beautiful, clean, and friendly antique mall in Reno, Nevada called Antiques and Treasures. These two friends, not typically "companions" in nature, will remain together in her collection as a wonderful souvenir of a delightful day. So take a look!

The first find is an absolutely pristine 14 cm unjointed Steiff Lamm or Lamb. She has a charming, youthful innocence to her; her simplicity makes her so appealing. Lamb is made from wool plush (which feels like an ultra dense, slightly rough mohair). She has beautiful green glass pupil eyes, a little bell which is tied on with a light blue ribbon, a simple red stitched mouth and nose, and delicate pink airbrush detailing on her eyes, ears, and paws.

Lamb was one of the first Steiff items produced post war, starting in 1948. She was manufactured in six sizes, ranging from 10 to 35 cm through 1976. What makes this Lamb even more special is her crisp and clean "Made in US - Zone Germany" tag on her front left leg. This id, coupled with her raised script Steiff button in ear, puts her date of production at somewhere between 1949 and 1953.... even though she looks like she was made just this morning!

The second find really makes Steiffgal feel like queen of the jungle. This baby king is a 12 cm mohair Loewe Leo, or Leo Lion. Leo is unjointed, sitting, and has brown glass pupil eyes, mono-filament whiskers, and a prominent pink embroidered nose. He also has a very pronounced brown tipped mane; the same mohair and tipping details the end of his tail.

Steiffgal was thrilled to find this little love tucked in the corner of a display counter, but had no idea of his delightful and unusual surprise. Upon close inspection, Steiffgal discovered he has not one, but two Steiff lentil buttons in his ear! (The lentil button, which a puffed out hollow rivet with the word "Steiff" written on it in tiny script letters, dates the piece from 1969 through 1977.) Steiffgal literally started dancing in the aisles of the antique mall with excitement upon discovering Leo's secret! This "double button" is a highly unusual occurrence; such "mistakes" are usually culled or corrected via Steiff's rigorous quality control processes. Leo is the only "double button" item in Steiffgal's collection, and only the second time she has seen such such an oddity. Have you seen anything like this?

Traveling can be fun, finding Steiff treasures along the way makes it fantastic!

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