Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yes/No... Steiff Or Not?

Well, there's no question at all that Steiffgal extends a hearty hello to all SteiffLife readers!

It's time again for "What Do You Know", where Steiffgal answers questions emailed in from Steiff collectors around the globe. Today we have a really interesting inquiry submitted from Steve, from Pennsylvania. He writes....

"Steiffgal, Here's a recent purchase of mine I need help with.

I believe this is a Steiff Jocko. No Button or
Tag can be found. Fur is only on body parts exposed to sight. There is no fur under the chef's outfit so I have to believe is original to doll. Is 9" tall sitting down. When you move the head the tail also moves so they are connected. Any idea about age or if is a Steiff?...

..Yes under his clothes is no mohair but IS NOT worn off just never put on. Eyes are black pupil with brown around them. Tail is about 2 1/2" long. Arms and legs are jointed. I did purchase from an estate that the person collected Steiffs that had about 50 other animals.

Thank You and God Bless!


Steve, thanks so much for writing and sharing this precious treasure with Steiffgal and the SteiffLife readers. When Steiffgal first viewed your photos, her first reaction was that this was not a Steiff Jocko even though he certainly has some characteristics in common with the well known Steiff chimp. Upon gathering more details from you, and doing some additional research, she is certain that chef monkey was not made by Steiff.

Here's why:
1. Upon extensive research, and even a conversation with another well versed Steiff collector, Steiffgal can not find any record whatsoever of Steiff ever producing a Yes/No (i.e., tail turns head) Jocko.

2. The Steiff Jocko who is 9" sitting has legs that are bent at the knees, not straight as pictured on your chef monkey.

3. Post war, except for a small series of his and her dressed animals including "Pupphase Bub and Maedel" (Rabbit Doll Boy and Girl), "Pupp-Bazi Bube and Maedel" (Dachshund Doll Boy and Girl), and "Pupp-Fuchs Bube and Maedel" (Fox Doll Boy and Girl), no Steiff character dolls have bare (i.e., mohair-less) bodies and limbs.

4. Chef monkey's face, although Steiff-like with its black and brown glass pupil eyes, felt eye pockets, and white chin, is slightly different than the traditional face of the 9" sitting Jocko. Steiff Jockos of this size have slightly ajar mouths, not closed like chef monkey's mouth. Jockos also have extensive airbrush shading around the bridge of their nose and eye area; chef monkey does not appear to have this level of detailing. It also appears from the photos that chef monkey's nostrils are stitched; Steiffgal has never seen a Jocko at any size with anything but airbrushed nostrils.

Ok, so chef monkey is not a Steiff. Then what is he?

It is Steiffgal's best opinion that chef monkey is a "Schuco Yes/No Tricky Patent Monkey." From what Steiffgal could discover, Schuco has been producing Yes/No animals from at least the 1920's. Schuco produced a series of dressed Yes/No Tricky Patent Monkeys in the 1950's in at least two sizes: 10" and 13". The 10" versions were lightly attired while the 13" models were elaborately clothed. Your chef monkey, which is 9" sitting, is most likely 13" standing and one of these beloved Schuco collectibles.

Schuco is a German toymaker founded in 1912 that also made and exported mohair and other toys globally, much like Steiff. The company has changed hands and has gone bankrupt several times but is still in business today, primarily manufacturing high end model cars and vehicles.

Steve, Steiffgal hopes that this information is helpful as you piece together the recipe behind your precious and collectible chef Schuco monkey.

Have a question about one of your Steiff treasures? Let's talk! Click here to learn more.


  1. Many thanks for visiting my blog.

    The little monkey is ever so lovely and I am not able to help you with if it is a Steiff or not. I will have a look in my Steiff book when I get a chance.
    Also love the little Fox terrier.

    Have a great weekend

  2. I am not sure if my comment came through so I will try this again.
    Something funny going on with blogger.

    thank you for visiting my blog.

    The little Monkey is really cute and I do not know if it is a Steiff or not.
    When I have a moment I will look through my Steiff book.
    I love your little Fox terrier.


  3. it realy is a tricky from schuco. I have the smaller version without clothes. from 1953. I believe that the shape of teh face is taken over from steiff. especialy in the way they made the eyes you see the steiff design.

  4. I was wondering when you have seen Steiff yes/no pieces. I collect steiff dolls (character dolls pre 1930) and recently purchased a yes/no gnome that I believe may be steiff. I have found the exact doll labeled in a book as steiff but have never seen a yes/no steiff doll before. Any thoughts?

  5. it realy is a tricky from schuco. I have the smaller version without clothes.


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