Sunday, October 16, 2011

Looking For Steiff... In All The RIGHT Places!

There's almost nothing Steiffgal would rather do than spend a day at a big antiques show hunting for Steiff treasures.   And one of the best places to do so here in New England is the annual October antiques weekend in Wilmington, MA, which is put on by New England Antiques Shows.  So let's take a Steiff safari and check out some of the button-in-ear highlights spotted at this great event!

We are off to the races with this find that Steiffgal spotted in one of the very first booths she visited.  Here we have Steiff's 14 cm Nachzieh Tabby or Pull Toy Tabby.  She is standing on all fours, unjointed, and made from white mohair that has been hand airbrushed with black stripes.  She has green and black slit pupil eyes and a very sweet pink hand embroidered nose and mouth.  And check out her red claws!  Tabby even has a few of her mono filament whiskers left. This cat is mounted on a black metal carriage on red wooden eccentric wheels, meaning that she sways to-and-fro when pulled gently along.  This specific model of Rolling Tabby was produced in 10, 14, and 17 cm from 1949 through 1969; the combination of her raised script button and US Zone tag put her production in the approximately 1952 through 1953 time frame.  

These next two items spotted at the show truly stand - and deliver.  

The first is Steiff's famous little stinker, Skunk. He is 10 cm, unjointed, and standing. His lower body is made of elegant black velvet. The top of his body is white mohair that has been highlighted with black airbrushing. His robust tail is made from long, black and white mohair. His small ears are made from round mohair circles. His face is detailed with tiny black and brown pupil eyes and a pink hand embroidered nose and mouth. This smelly sweetheart was manufactured in 10 and 25 cm in 1962 and 1963, and is considered highly collectible by Steiff enthusiasts due to his short time in the Steiff catalog.  This particular skunk is unusual because its ear tag identification number does not correspond with those in standard reference books, plus it also notes that the covering is 100% cotton, which doesn't account in any way for his mohair surfaces.   

The second may jog your memory a bit.  Here we have Steiff's standing on all fours Igel Joggi or hedgehog Joggi.  Joggi is 12 cm and unjointed.  His top is made from very long, almost prickly style mohair, similar to the hair on Steiff's famous hedgehog family, headed by Micki and Mecki.  His face and underbelly are made from short white mohair.  Joggi has tiny double thick white felt feet.  His face is detailed with little pink felt ears, black button eyes, and a tiny black hand embroidered nose.  Joggi was made from 1961 through 1966 only and is considered quite rare.

Keeping things field and forest focused, here is our next find on this Steiff safari.  Here we have Diggy Dachs, or Diggy Badger.  Diggy is standing on all fours, unjointed, and made from black, white, and brown tipped mohair.  One of his great features are his little felt finger and toenails, which remind Steiffgal of those on another Steiff rarity of the same time, Zooby the bear.  Diggy was made in 10 and 17 cm from 1963 through 1964 only.  

Things are better together, and this final find certainly proves that.  Here we have two adorable 1970's era Steiff "Masked Teddies." Both are made from blond mohair and five ways jointed.  They have brown and black pupil eyes, black hand stitched noses and mouths, and felt hand and paw pads. Overall, this popular and beloved pattern was made from 1968 through 1990 and came in white, tan, caramel, and brown in sizes ranging from 9 to 100 cm.   They are called Mask Teddies because of their well defined, masked shaped facial areas.

Steiffgal hopes you enjoyed this virtual Steiff safari - and that it has inspired you to join the hunt for these wonderful treasures where ever you may be!

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

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