Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Art Imitating Life, Steiff Style!

Life can imitate art, and in this case, the "art of Steiff" seems to be imitating real life!  Check out this note from Alison, who seems to be blessed with both a real Fox Terrier, as well as a collectible one by Steiff.  Let's hope the two never meet for a chew-fest!  She writes...

I have a small Steiff terrier dog that I was hoping you could give me some information on.  
He is slightly off white with about 4 black spots and brown ears.  He is approximately 16cm tall and 22cm long from nose to end of tail.   He is not jointed and has a black stitched nose and black stitched claws. I'm not sure but he feels like he's 'straw' filled.  His eyes are greeny/ brown with black pupils.  I think he is made from mohair but I'm not sure.  He is a bit bare but is in quite good condition overall.
There is a worn yellow label and a Steiff silver button measuring approximately 5mm which is on the underside of the overturned ear.
I  was wondering what year this terrier would have come from and I know you can't give valuations but is there any value to it.  I  have attached a few photos.
Looking forward to hearing  from you and I'm keeping this toy safely away from my real fox terrier Ricky who would love to play with it.

It is easy to understand why Ricky would be interested in his lovely Steiff cousin!  What Alison has here is Steiff's Fox Terrier. He was called Fox up to 1953 and Foxy from 1954 onwards. As she notes above, Foxy is unjointed and made from white mohair that is detailed with black airbrushed spots. This pattern has brown glass pupil eyes, a simple embroidered nose and mouth, and brown ears, which are felt in the smaller versions and mohair in the larger ones.  This overall dog model was produced from 1949 through 1975 in 11 sizes ranging from 7 to 36 cm.  Alison's Foxy, with the "lentil" style button, indicates that he was made in the 1969 through 1977 time frame. 

Fox terriers are a legacy breed for Steiff, first appearing in the catalog in 1899. Pre-war, close to 40 different models were produced in practically all forms, including sitting, standing, and lying toys; woolen miniatures; puppets; pincushions; rolling toys; and waterproof bath toys. The different models were named Foxterrier, Foxy, Fox, Ajax, Strupp, and Spotty, among others. Post war, Fox Terriers remained quite popular; the breed was one of the first items produced once the factory was up and running in the late 1940’s. Alison's Foxy is one of a large number of new smaller dog designs introduced in the early 1950's; other well known patterns of the time include Dally the Dalmatian, Peky the Pekingese, and Snobby the Poodle. In one form or another, A Fox Terrier has appeared in the Steiff line almost continuously to this day.

As for value, as always, Steiffgal believes something is worth what someone will pay for it.  Based on recent auctions and other sales, Steiffgal would think he would value in the $50-75 range, given his condition and age.  
Steiffgal hopes this "crazy like a fox" discussion on the history of Steiff's Fox Terriers has given you new insights on this beloved vintage pattern.  
Have a question about one of your Steiff treasures? Let's talk! Click here to learn more.

1 comment:

  1. I've got one since my childhood in the 70es. But my "Foxli" has come to us probably between 1965 and 1970 - as a gift for my brother; but I inherited or adopted "Foxli" later on. He has a broken leg but is still fine. I have it now close to me, as one of the dear souvenirs from childhood.


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