One of the most delightful things about Steiff is how often new/old things surface in the collector's world. Vintage items that do not appear in the standard Steiff Sortiments or other well known reference books seem to have an appeal all unto their own! And such is truly the "case" behind this hybrid treasure! Take a look at this note from Sergio, who writes from the Chicago area...
I have a Steiff bear but am not sure how old it is, if it is an original, or how rare/collectible it is. I know that it's a Zotty bear, looks like a bag (has a zipper with a pouch), and has a yellow tag attached to the left year that reads "Original Steiff 2340.90 Made in Germany."
Zotty is approximately 22 to 24 inches long. The zipper is right down the middle of his belly; his bag is lined with satin-like material. Any information about this bear will be greatly appreciated.
Steiffgal's got this one in the bag. What Sergio has here is a really nice, and somewhat unusual Steiff Zotty pajama bag. These items were designed to be both a toy and a functional item - in this case, a cuddly bedtime-buddy who also could store children's 'jammies during the day! From the product development perspective, this rarity is probably a modification of Steiff’s standard-line original Zotty Teddy bear, which was produced from 1951 through 1978 in 17, 18, 22, 28, 35, 43, 50, 80, and 100. Overall, Steiff Zotty bears are famous for three things: their happy, open mouthed expressions; their fuzzy, long mohair; and their contrasting inset bib areas. It is very interesting to note that this Zotty does not have a peach bib; this is most likely because that would greatly complicate the insertion of the metal zipper in the chest area. This Zotty pajama bag is most likely based on the 50 cm pattern.
Here's a little pillow talk about this Zotty's background. It is Steiffgal's best estimate that he was made in the mid 1960's - early 1970's time frame. This is based on two other mohair pajama bags in her collection from that time frame - a tiger pajama bag, and a walrus pajama bag. All three of these bags have several things in common:
- They all have large, rounded bellies as part of their design - perfect for storage.
- They all feature a sturdy metal zipper right down the middle of the item.
- They all are detailed with a beautifully constructed, silk lined internal pouch.
- They are all based on very popular and beloved characters of the 1960's and 1970's.
Steiffgal has also seen, or heard of, other 50 cm +/- sized, silk lined pajama bags made from Steiff's beloved "Slo" turtle and "Flossy" fish patterns (both which also have wonderful, large rounded bellies, too!)
Steiff has made pajama bags since the 1930's; you can read more about that by clicking here.
In terms of value, it's a very good day - or night - to find a Steiff mohair pajama bag in very good to excellent condition. All are beloved additions to any Steiff collection or hug. Some, like the walrus bag mentioned above, are well known and cataloged, so it is a bit easier to follow their resale prices over time. Others, like Sergio's Zotty and Steiffgal's tiger, are not, making their value just a bit harder to estimate. As always, something is worth what someone will pay for it. That all being said, Steiffgal thinks that Sergio's Zotty pajama bag may value in the $300-500 range in today's market.
Steiffgal hopes this information about Steiff's mohair pajama bags has been as warm and cozy as a flannel nightgown!
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