No doubt you've heard of "singing in the rain", but how about "Steiff-ing in the rain?" Most enthusiasts can agree... there's nothing like the thrill of the hunt for vintage Steiff. So how about doing just that in a torrential downpour! Steiffgal recently had the pleasure of attending Antiques at Elm Bank, a delightful outdoors antique event produced every summer by New England Antique Shows. Despite the umbrella weather, check out the Steiff collectibles she discovered on her most recent, albeit soggy, "Steiff safari."
It was in the stars that Steiffgal would come across this first fantastic find. He was keeping company with a bunch of vintage pill boxes when he was spotted. This is Rocky Steinbock or Rocky Capricorn Goat, who made as part of Steiff's "Zodiac" series of animals. Rocky is 22 cm, standing, unjointed, and made from lovely tan mohair plush. His face is detailed with black and green slit pupil eyes, light brown airbrushing highlights, and a simple black and brown hand embroidered nose. Clearly his most impressive features are his huge, oversized horns, which are three dimensional, made from felt, and have been brought to life with brown paint to give them texture. Rocky appeared in the line from 1963 through 1976 in 14, 22, and 28 cm.
Many of us would climb every mountain for this second Steiff sighting. This is Heideschaf Snucki or Mountain Sheep Snucki. He was spotted in a booth amongst some lovely vintage linens, sewing collectibles, and fabrics - and his very own original vintage Steiff box! Snucki is 17 cm, standing, and unjointed. His body is made from very long tan mohair, while his face, legs, and tail are made from very short black mohair. He has tiny black felt ears, green and black slit pupil eyes, and a simple pink hand embroidered nose and mouth. Like Rocky, Snucki also has prominent felt horns. However, his are scaled smaller, are made from thick flat felt, and circle back towards his sides. Snucki was made in 12, 17, 22, and 28 cm from 1959 through 1974.
It's ok when this mouse is in your house! Steiffgal spotted this darling albino Pieps Maus or Pieps Mouse amongst a series of children's playthings. She is 8cm, unjointed, and begging (meaning she is ready to share in whatever treat you are enjoying at the moment.) Her body is made from white mohair. She has tiny light pink felt ears, feet, and hands and sports a very long felt tail. Her face is detailed with tiny red button eyes, a black button nose, monofilament whiskers, and an itty-bitty black mouth. Her little bell is not original, but would be most welcome by most cat friends (or foes!) Precious Pieps was produced in 8 cm between 1958 and 1978 in gray or white.
No need to get pugnacious over this next perfect puppy pair! Here we have a mother-daughter set of Steiff's Mopsy Pugs. It is fitting that "Mops" means "pug" in German. Both are sitting, head jointed, and made from tan mohair. Like real pugs - and Steiffgal can say this with confidence being a "mother" of two - these Mopsys have the most endearing faces. Who could resist their wide black and white google eyes, big black hand embroidered noses, "wrinkle-y" foreheads and muzzles, and quizzical, asymmetric looks? And of course, their happy tongues and folded-over ears. Nothing not to love. Mopsy was produced in 12 and 22 cm from 1960 through 1981.
Let's end this safari in a "jumbo" way. Here we have Steiff's beloved post WWll elephant. This big beauty was spotted on top of an antique china cabinet, along with a few other pieces of brand new Steiff. He is 22 cm, unjointed, and made from short, traditional grey mohair. He has big floppy grey mohair ears, white felt tusks, black and white google eyes, and a red felt saddle blanket, complete with bells. His open felt-lined mouth really makes him appear to be grinning from ear to ear! This classic style of Steiff elephant was manufactured in 7, 10, 17, 22, and 35 cm from cm from 1950 through 1978.
Steiffgal hopes this rainy adventure has "wet" your appetite to take a Steiff safari on your own soon!
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