Thursday, August 6, 2009

"Felt" Good To Answer This Question!

It felt really good to Steiffgal to be able to help out this reader from New Jersey. Check out this question from Freddy, who writes about a vintage filz, or felt, Steiff bunny:


I ran across your web site and I figured I would ask you. Seems nobody is able to tell me anything about my old Steiff rabbit... (she) is 6 inches long and she also has a bell with a red ribbon that is tattered from age. She is a very light orange-ish color. No tears or holes.

She has a red tag #2109 saying "Made in Germany." There are also some German words. Attached are a few pictures of my little treasure... what do you think of this cute little rabbit?"

Steiffgal thinks, or more like knows, that you have a "blue ribbon" bunny on your hands! This Hase, or Rabbit, is unjointed and made from felt, the fabric that essentially "launched" the Steiff company into the toy business 1880 with the creation of felt elephant pincushions. Elegantly basic in design, the rabbit has glass pupil eyes, delicate airbrushing around the face, a light pink horizontally stitched (meaning she's a girl...) nose, and a rose colored mouth. This felt rabbit was made from 1928 - 1930 and came in seven sizes: 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15 cm. Freddy's model is number 2109, the 9 cm version.

This rabbit design was very popular during its day. It is interesting to note that two almost identical models (i.e., simple construction, lying down
position, ears positioned towards the back of the head, positioned horizontally to the body) to Freddy's rabbit were also produced in the 1927 - 1930 timeframe. One was made from white mohair and had pink eyes, the other was made from white velvet that was airbrushed with brown spots.

This rabbit retains several original features which increase her collector's appeal and value. The first is her red ribbon and bell, which are both original to the rabbit. Steiff is very particular about the type of ribbon they use on products - both in terms of color fastness and durable manufacture - so it is not totally unexpected that her original ribbon has survived close to 80 years. Second, of course, is her pristine red ear tag and button from the time period 1926 - 1934; perfectly bracketing her date of manufacturer. The writing on the red tag basically translates to... Steiff original design, patented, and "Made in Germany".

As for the value of this beautiful bunny... as always, Steiffgal is not a formal appraiser and strongly believes that something is "worth" what someone else will pay for it.
The recession has tended to favor buyers over sellers and depressed sales prices a bit; hold onto this treasure if you can! On the other hand, rabbits have always been favored by collectors, and her lovely condition (1920's felt items sans moth holes are rare), and crisp red eartag insure that you will be able to find a buyer in any economic climate. That all being said, Steiffgal has recently seen 1920's and 1930's felt rabbits in similar condition sell at auctions in the $200 to $300 range.

Freddy, Steiffgal hopes this information concerning your vintage Steiff rabbit has put a little spring into your step today.

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

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