Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Steiff Love Story In Three Chapters

Is it possible to fall in love over and over again?  Well, when it comes to Steiff, the answer is a resounding YES!  Over the past few months, Steiffgal has been amazingly fortunate to add a few Steiff treasures to her collection that continue to make her heart a-flutter.  Take a look at these Steiff sweethearts and see if you fall victim to love at first sight as well!

Sweetheart #1:
All panda-monium broke out when this huge black and white buddy arrived at Steiffgal's home.  Here we have Steiff's largest sized post war panda, affectionately called "King Panda." Panda is 50 cm, five ways jointed, and made from really thick and long black and white mohair.  The tops of his flat feet are made from shorter black mohair.  Panda's face is detailed with large black and brown pupil eyes, a black hand embroidered nose, and an open, peach colored felt lined mouth.  He truly appears to be smiling! His foot and hand paw pads are made from taupe colored felt.  This pattern was produced in 15, 22, 28, 35, 43, and 50 cm from 1951 thorough 1961; the company used a suede-like grey rubber material instead of felt on this panda’s paws and soles from 1956 onward. This particular example, with a US Zone tag and felt feet, dates from the very early 1950's.  His crown is a gift from a friend from England, who purchased it at the gift shop at Buckingham Palace in London.

King Panda was discovered on eBay with a very reasonable "buy it now" price.  And Steiffgal did... with no regrets whatsoever!

Sweetheart #2:
No clowning around...  nothing wins a woman over more than a sense of humor!  Here we have Steiff's most unusual Larifari Kasperl (clown-like) doll.  Larifari is standing and five ways jointed.  His head and arms are made from rubber while his body and legs are made from felt.  He is handsomely dressed in brown felt boots, tan cotton pants, a white frilly collared shirt, red felt jacket, and green felt hat.  He wears brown leather suspenders and a belt.  Larifari's hair is made from very short grey mohair. His face is simply adorable, and highlighted by big blue eyes and a sheepish smile.  Swoon!  Larifari is based on a German book and movie character created by Ferdinand Diehl, the same creative genius who designed the beloved Micki and Mecki hedgehog characters. Larifari only appeared in the line from 1955 through 1957 and is seldom seen on the secondary market - especially in North America.  

Steiffgal found Larifari at a Boston area doll event.  He was on display with a number of other non-Steiff dolls in the very last booth Steiffgal visited on her way out of the show.  The dealer, who had owned Larifari for close to 50 years, was delighted to learn that he was going to a Steiff loving home. 

Sweethearts #3 and 4:
Oh baby... check out these very early 1950's era Steiff Teddy babies.  Little brother is 22 cm and blonde.  Big brother is 28 cm and brown.  Both are five ways jointed and have distinctive, well defined muzzles; flat, broad, clawed feet made for standing; and sweet, toddler-like features including open, smiling, peach colored felt lined mouths.  Post war, Steiff produced their beloved Teddy baby pattern in blonde or brown mohair in 9, 22, 28, 30, and 40 cm in the identical pattern made before the war. All sizes over 9 cm came with a leather collar with a bell.  Teddy Baby remained in the Steiff line until 1957, although due to his popularity with collectors, has been replicated many times in numerous limited edition series.

Steiffgal purchased these brothers from a collector who was moving and downsizing her collection.   Steiffgal was delighted to make it a family affair and adopt the duo.

Steiffgal hopes this love story helps to fan your flames of passion for this delightful brand!  

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

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