Saturday, October 8, 2011

This Steiff Sealyham Comes Sealed With A Kiss

Steiffgal is suffering from a bad case of "puppy love" based on a recent vintage acquisition!  She was fortunate to receive a small collection of early 1950's-era Steiff collectibles from a woman in her 60's who was looking to downsize - but insure her items ended up in a Steiff loving home.  One of these treasures was a medium sized dog with an interesting arrangement of IDs.  Take a look at this precious pooch and see what makes him so interesting from a collector's perspective.  

This precious dog has enormous "seal" - appeal!  Here we have Steiff's early post WW2 Sealyham He is about 6.5" (17 cm) tall by 12" (30 cm) long.  Sealyham is standing on all fours, made from white mohair, and is head jointed.  His ears are lined in tan felt which has been airbrushed with pink highlights.  He has round glass brown and black pupil eyes.  His muzzle is detailed with a black hand stitched nose and mouth; he has a spot of red airbrushing on the tip of his lips. This particular Sealyham model was produced in 10, 14, 17, 22, 25, 28, and 35 cm from 1949 through 1957. 

So, just how old is this white wonder in "dog years?"  His unique combination of ID makes it easy to determine.  He has a "watermelon" shaped, angular bear faced  chest tag with red imprinted letters.  This tag is pictured on the far left of the illustration above. This tag was used from 1928 through 1952.  He also has a white linen "made in the US Zone" tag; this ID was required on all Steiff exports between 1947 and 1953.  This tag is pictured in the center above. Finally, he has a plain, blank 7 mm steel button in ear; this unusual button was used between 1948 and 1950.  This button is pictured on the far right. If you dovetail all of these dates, he most certainly left the factory in Giengen, Germany between 1948 and 1950.

Sealyhams have a long - and consistent -  tradition in the Steiff line.   Both standing and sitting white mohair versions debuted in 1930.  The standing version came in 8 sizes ranging from 8 to 35 cm and appeared through 1943.  The sitting version came in 6 sizes ranging from 8 to 25 cm and appeared through 1939.  Pre-1943, Steiff produced numerous Sealyhams on wheels, a few nomotta wool woolen miniature or "woolie" Sealyhams, and a 30 cm Sealyham Nachthemdentasche - or Sealyham night dress bag. Sealyhams were produced again immediately after the factory reopened for business in the late 1940's.  However, only standing examples were produced.  These models, which appeared through 1957, had very minor if any changes in fundamental design from the model launched in 1930.   A sweet 10 cm Steiff Sealyham from the mid 1950's is pictured here on the left.  

Steiffgal hopes this discussion of this relatively rare Steiff pooch has met with your seal (-yham) of approval.

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

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