Friday, July 2, 2010

This Mystery Steiff Feline is the Cat's Meow!

Isn't it great when an unexpected Steiff find ends up being the cat's meow?  Check out this inquiry from Karen about a most fantastic feline.  Karen runs an antique shop out of a restored 1880's blacksmith shop in North Dakota!   Through a series of communications she writes...

"I got your email address off of the internet and would appreciate any help you can give me in identifying the age and information for this Steiff Siamese cat I recently acquired.  

The button is more brass colored with Steiff in script lettering. The only words I can make out on the eartag are "Original Steiff, Made in Germany" on the front; the back says something about dralon and cotton.

Any help you may have is so appreciated.  It's AMAZING the number of animals this company has made!

Thanks again,

Karen"

A collector could go cat-atonic looking for this most unusual kitten!  At first glance, Steiffgal thought she was Cosy Siamy, a very dear 22 cm dralon Siamese cat with gigantic blue eyes.  Cosy Siamy was produced from 1970 through 1979.    However, Cosy Siamy is standing while Karen's kitty is sitting.   Additionally,  Cosy Siamy has a pink nose while Karen's cat's nose is brown - but Steiffgal has seen both pink and brown noses on various Steiff Siamese cats over the years.  

One of the very cool things about Karen's cat is its relatively rare button-in-ear.  This cat has the brass raised script button, which was only used from 1978 through 1980.  So, the cat's button precisely dates her manufacture to the 1978 to 1980 time frame.  This rarely seen brass "knopf" closely resembles the raised script nickel button used throughout the 1950's and 1960's.  

Steiffgal cannot find a sitting version of a dralon Siamese cat in the standard reference books.  So in which "nine lives" in the history of Steiff does this curious cat belong?   Steiffgal's best guestimate is that she is indeed a sitting version of Cosy Siamy, based on her similar look, material, and unusual brass button dating. (A picture of the "real" Cosy Siamy is pictured above on the left for reference; the photo was taken from Gunther Pfeiffer's 1947 - 2003 Steiff Sortiment Book.)  Karen's cat was produced towards the end of Cosy Siamy's run in the catalog; perhaps she was intended at one time to be the next iteration of this blue-eyed beauty? 

As for value, Steiffgal needs to approach this question on little cat's feet.  As always, Steiffgal is not a formal appraiser and believes that something is "worth" what someone else will pay for it.  It looks like this cat has been loved quite a bit - which is expected, given her appeal - but it does takes down the "collector's value" a little.  But because she has her neat, uncommon button and is not cataloged in the standard Steiff reference materials, she may be valued in the $75 to $150+ range.
  
Steiffgal hopes this research on Karen's mystery cat has everyone sitting pretty!

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

2 comments:

  1. So cute! I just discovered the site and really enjoyed going through it! I'll visit you again soon!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Steiffgal, hi Karen,
    in my opinion your cat is a very rare Steiff cat named "Simh". Simh is 9 inches sitting Siamese Cat and is pictured and described in Dee Hockenberry's "Steiff Bears and other playthings past and present" on page 82. Congratulations on this rare Steiff cat!
    best wishes,
    Karin

    ReplyDelete

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