Saturday, September 19, 2009

Stepping Into The Ring With Steiff Boxers

Steiff's designers have excelled at creating beautiful, lifelike toys and collectibles for more than a century now. Steiffgal thinks that there is no category of animals where this is better demonstrated than with Steiff dogs! Take a look at this question from a reader who asks about one of Steiff's classic canines. Peter writes...

"Hello, My mom just gave me a boxer dog on wheels that she says is a Steiff.

Its ears, eyes, and tail are long gone. The dog measures 24" long by 17" tall. It has a ring on the back of its neck that when pulled, produces a barking noise. It looks to be stuffed with sawdust.

Have you ever heard of this? She says its from the 50's.

Best, Peter"

No need to step into the boxing ring to sort this one out! Your mom is right, what you have here is a handsome Steiff boxer on wheels which was produced from 1950 through 1961. From 1950 through 1958 Steiff called him Reit Sarras, or Riding Sarras; after 1958 he was called Reit Boxer, or Riding Boxer. He is 50 cm, excelsior stuffed, unjointed, and made from mohair. His voice is pull-cord activated. When he was new, he had black airbrushing around his wrinkled muzzle to add further definition to his prominent face. He also was detailed with brown shading around his body to give him a more athletic and toned look.

Because he is a riding animal, his "insides" are reinforced with a metal frame, which when new, could support the weight of an aver
age adult!

Steiff boxers are a "relatively" new addition to the Steiff line. They were one of the first new breeds of animals introduced post WWll. In addition to this riding boxer, Steiff introduced both a sitting and standing boxer in the early 1950's. They are pictured to the left. The standing version, produced from 1950 through 1970, came in 10, 17, and 22 cm; the sitting version, produced from 1951 through 1961, came in 10 and 14 cm. All were made of mohair, had pink felt or felt lined ears, and featured a tiny leather collar and an elegant black velvet muzzle.

Fast forward a fe
w years, and boxers again are featured in the Steiff catalog. Steiff made a 60 cm plush standing studio (life sized) boxer from 1978 through 1984. They have also produced a few soft stuffed boxers designed for play in the 1980's and 1990's. But perhaps the "modern" boxer most interesting to Steiff collectors is an unusual pooch made from 1983 through 1987 for the US market only. He is pictured here on the left. This lying tan, white, and black mohair boxer is 25 cm, unjointed, and has black and white "googly" eyes. He was manufactured in an edition size of only 2,000 pieces. He is one of the earlier "Collector's Editions" Steiff produced for the US in the 1980's. Unlike the limited editions of today, these were not actually numbered per piece and did not come with a certificate. Other items in this series included a lying tiger, unicorn, and lamb.

Peter, Steiffgal is happy that we were able to step into the ring here and talk about the legacy behind your "new" old friend.

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

2 comments:

  1. Steiffgal,
    I have had a Steiff kitten since 1957 or 58 when I pulled a temper tantrum in Aachen because my parents threw away my security blanket. The kitten was bought in Frankfurt. I ripped the ear tag out (what a monster I must have been) but I know that it is a Steiff.
    I haven't been able to find out much other than it seems quite rare. There is some stretching of the fabric in three places to show the horsehair underneath. I am anticipatung my first grandchild and would like to know if I should try to get it repaired, and more or less what the value might be.
    Could you possibly help me. I'd be so grateful. It is tabby and about 7 to 8 inches high.
    Best Regards,
    Tracy Saunders, Spain
    headstartlearningcentre@yahoo.com

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