Sunday, June 10, 2012

Feeling A Little "Tipsy" Over This Remarkable Steiff Tipped Bear Cub

So what's on your Steiff "bucket list?"  Those items that you hope and pray you may own someday during your lifetime?  Well, for Steiffgal, that would definitely include one of Steiff's original and child-like "Petsy" baby bears from the late 1920's.  So imagine her delight when she came across this remarkable Petsy, for sale at the upcoming June 12, 2012 London Toy Auction!  Take a look at this blue-eyed beauty below and see what you think... could he be on your list as well? 

A handsome Steiff Petsy baby bear from the late 1920's
According to his catalog description, what we have here is...

"A rare and fine Steiff Petsy centre seam Teddy bear.   With white brown-tipped mohair, rare blue and black opaque glass side-glancing googlie-eyes, pronounced muzzle, pink stitched vertical nose [pictured below], mouth and claws, large wired ears, swivel head, jointed elongated limbs with felt pads, hump, inoperative growler and large FF button in ear [pictured below], circa 1929.  19in. (49 cm) high (needs a light clean, ear wires broken, slight staining to pads and gap in nose stitching.)

Provenance:  This bear belonged to the vendor’s late aunt, who was born in 1910. She would have been given him (or bought him) when she was 18 or 19, perhaps as an 18th birthday present, this would explain his amazing condition.  Steiff Catalogue inventory number probably 5335,2.  Page 30 of Steiff Sortiment, 1892-1943. Following Richard Steiff’s suggestion, that they make their bears more appealing to the American market; Steiff came up with this new design with wired ears, blue eyes and softer expression. Originally he was patented in January 1928, as Bushcy, this name was not a success and in November 1928 he became the bear cub Petsy." 

Petsy's pink vertical stitched nose and large FF button in ear
Oh baby, what's not to love about this little bear cub?  Petsy had a very short, but very sweet, appearance in the Steiff catalog, only appearing from 1928 through the very early 1930's.  What made him different than past designs, among other factors, was his prominent middle facial seam which ran vertically from his forehead across his snout.  During his years in the line, Petsy was produced in two versions.  The first was a brown tipped mohair version with blue eyes (like the example under discussion) with pink/red facial and claw stitching.  The second was a brass mohair version with brown and black pupil eyes and black facial and claw stitching. The tipped version appeared in ten sizes ranging from 15 to 50 cm sitting (or 22 to 75 cm standing) while the brass version was only produced in one size:  22 cm sitting or 32 cm standing.  Tipped Petsy was also produced as a musical Ted in 17 and 20 cm (or 25 and 30 cm standing), on a four wheeled rolling cart in 20 and 25 cm, as a 17 cm puppet, and as a 17 cm purse. 

Steiff's late 1920's-era Cheerio and 1950's-era Lulac rabbit
Of course, the eyes are windows to the soul and you cannot help but notice Petsy's most playful peepers.  They are made from turquoise and black glass, and can be tilted to the left and right to create funny and varying facial expressions.  These eyes can also be found on Steiff's comical dog Cheerio, who coincidentally - or not - appeared during the same time frame as Petsy.   Interestingly, these silly eyes were again featured on Steiff's 1950's era Lulac rabbit models.  Cheerio and Lulac are pictured above. However, most original Petsys featured conventional blue or brown round glass pupil eyes.  

Steiffgal hopes that this discussion about Steiff's Petsy bears hasn't made your brown eyes blue.

For more information on the upcoming London Toy Auction click here!

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


  1. Always a treat to read of your new adventures in Steiff-dom...great article..

  2. I believe this might be the nicest Petsy that I have ever seen. I know the price was just over $40,000.00 US, I do not think I have ever seen a Petsy go for that much. Then again, I do not think I have ever seen a "better" Petsy at any auction.

  3. What an amazing Petsy bear! The eyes alone make this Petsy miles beyond the rest. Knowing that she is now a two owner bear over almost 100 years old, she would be the highlight of any collection. I just wish that I was able to bid on such a rare bear. I hope she ends up in a museum so that many people can enjoy her and see her in person. If anybody knows where she went, I would love to know. It would be an amazing trip to see her in person.


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