Saturday, August 6, 2011

Trolling For Answers On An Old Steiff Friend

Dog-gonit... another question about a Steiff "mystery mutt!"  And Steiffgal couldn't be more pleased!  Take a look at this inquiry from a reader from "the land down under" concerning a vintage Steiff treasure.  Through a series of communications, Vivian from Australia writes...

"Dear Steiffgal,

Hello from way down here in Aus!  Wondering if you can help me?  This was my husband's childhood toy.  He was born in 1946.

It is an original Steiff dog. He still has the button in his ear but sadly he is missing an eye. He is all original and some of his mohair is sparse in patches. He has creamy colored fur, which is spotted all over, and darker, burnt orange colored patches.  He measures 12" long plus his tail which is another 5".  He is 11" high.

Many thanks for your help!

What a wonderful question and perfect timing for the dog days of summer we are experiencing around these parts.   Although it is impossible to truly identify and value items without seeing them firsthand, Steiffgal thinks what we have here is a rare Steiff dog called Troll because of his eyes, body proportions, and appearance.  The biggest clue here, however, is his very unusual spotted mohair material. Troll was made in 17, 22, and 28 cm from 1936 through 1940.  Vivienne's Troll has the long trailing "F" button, usually seen on items produced in the 1925 through 1935 time frame.  So dovetailing those two facts, Steiffgal thinks that this particular Troll was one of the earlier ones produced, most likely manufactured in the early part of 1936 or so.

As with most things of great quality, Steiff identification is more of an art than a science.  Vivienne's Troll does not identically mirror the placement of the patches as seen in the standard Steiff reference books, especially around the facial area. However, is entirely possible that Troll's patches changed slightly from item to item given that he was made by hand, one at a time.  This Troll does, however, closely resemble one that was sold at the October, 2010 Steiff auction at Christie's in London.  This is pictured here on the left.

Another interesting tidbit about this terrific Troll is his timeline.   Troll was produced from 1925 through 1935.  Vivienne's husband got this dog as a baby, but he was born in 1946.  It is Steiffgal's best guess that he did not receive this as a "new" toy; it was most likely in the family for awhile before he was born.  

Steiffgal hopes this post on Troll has you seeing spots over this terrific rarity!

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

1 comment:

  1. Dies ist ein netter Artikel mit tollem Ausgang. So taucht immer mal wieder eine Rarität auf.... und als Sammler freut man sich dann über solche Bilder und Geschichten.

    Liebe Grüße



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