The famous American designer Bill Blass was known for saying, "Red is the ultimate cure for sadness." And Steiffgal could not agree more, especially when it comes to remarkable vintage Steiff treasures. Take a look at this note from a reader who asks about his family's fantastic forest friend. Anthony from England writes:
I have searched the internet for information on my Steiff red fox and came upon your site. I would greatly appreciate you giving your opinion of when it was made and the possible value of it. He is made of mohair, has his ear tag, and measures 11" long and 5" tall.
As far as I am aware, he is pre-1950. It was my stepfather's mother's fox. She worked in a country house and on her retirement was offered a Steiff piece from a collection and chose this. She died in the 1960's at 78 years old.
Please find attached images. Your valued opinion would be greatly appreciated.
Anthony"Wow, what a red-hot question! What Anthony has here is Steiff's Fuchs or Fox. He is five ways jointed, standing on all fours, and made from reddish-brown mohair. The tips of his ears are outlined in back mohair. His chest, inner ears, and "sideburns" are made from white mohair. He has brown and black pupil eyes and a black hand embroidered nose, mouth, and claws. When he was new, he had a working squeaker in his belly. This fox design was made overall from 1909 to 1933 in 14, 17, 22, 35, and 43 cm. A similar sitting and head jointed version of this fox was also made in in 14, 17, 22, and 25 cm from 1916 through 1927.
This fox is red in more ways than one - which can help to date his actual production time. Fox has his 8cm "trailing f" button, which was used in the approximately 1925 to 1935 time frame. He also has traces and remnants of a red ear tag around his button. This tag was used from the approximately 1925 through 1934 time frame. If you dovetail the periods he appeared in the line, his button, and his red ear tag, this would put his production in the approximate 1925 to 1933 time frame.
Now for the question that makes Steiffgal want to dive into a foxhole - his value. Steiffgal is not an official appraiser and truly believes that something is worth what someone will pay for it. And it is all but impossible to be 100% certain without seeing something firsthand - Steiffgal cannot tell
from the photos if he has any weak areas, rips, tears, bare patches, odors, or structural damage - all important factors in valuation. However, he is a great example of Steiff's wonderful turn of last century's creativity and design prowess. And, early five ways jointed animals are also of great interest to most vintage Steiff enthusiasts. Assuming that he is in very good condition as presented, with none of the factors above noted, he may value in the $500-750+ range today.
Steiffgal hopes that this discussion on Anthony's red fox has left you bright eyed and bushy tailed.