Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Life's Just A Party When It Comes To Vintage Steiff

Every day can be a party when it comes to vintage Steiff!  And nothing could be closer to the truth than last weekend, when Steiffgal invited a few collector friends from the New England area to gather at her home for an afternoon of all things Steiff!  The happening included a tour of Steiffgal's personal collection, a sales table chock full of exciting new vintage items just acquired from two collections, an identification and valuation clinic, and of course seasonal treats and refreshments - including Steiffguy's homemade pretzels!  Here's a little summary of the highlights of this memorable occasion.

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Nothing says "welcome" like a family of life sized Steiff donkeys, right?  These two "great Grissys" (as well as a few live pug dogs) greeted our beloved visitors as they arrived at the event.


Everyone had the opportunity to add a few choice items to their collection from the huge range of items available on the sales table.  Steiffgal spent the week prior to the event cataloging, cleaning, and preparing each of these 175 goodies for their grand debut.  Of course, the large monkey in the background is not Steiff, but hired nonetheless to stand guard over the precious treasures.

Almost all of our Steiff friends brought delightful goodies for evaluation as well as group discussion.  Here are some wonderful highlights from this "show and tell" session. 


This little guy is simply a handful of puppy love!  This woolie wonder measures about 4 cm tall and 8 cm long and is made from white Nomotta wool.  He has felt ears, tiny pupil eyes, and a little black nose.  He is detailed with the tiniest red collar!  He is either a white Scotty or a Sealyham; both these patterns were almost identical and made in 8, 10, 14, and 16 cm the 1935 through 1941 time frame.


There's no need to be sheepish about this next visitor.  Here we have Steiff's woolen miniature Lamm or Lamb.  Like her sweet puppy friend mentioned above, she is also made from white Nomotta wool.  Her insides are lined in wire, so she is somewhat poseable.  Lamb has charming pink highlights on her nose and paws.  Her face is detailed with little eyes and felt ears, and she wears a tiny pink bow.  Lamb was produced in 7 and 10 cm in black and white in the 1935 through 1941 time frame.  


Now this is a find worthy of royalty, really!  Here we have what Steiff calls a Spitz or Pomeranian dog. This pensive looking puppy was produced from 1902 though 1927 in 14, 17, 22, 28, 35, and 43 cm. Spitz is sitting and made from long white curly mohair with a white felt face, ears, and legs below his hips. He has black shoe button eyes and embroidered facial features.  He is wearing a bell collar and painted pink ribbon which are period and authentic, but not original to him.  Most likely, when he was new, this Spitz featured a red cord with two pom-poms or tassels around his neck, giving him a “regal” appearance. The breed does have some connections to German royalty, which may explain why Steiff decorated them like “little kings.” This classic design was also produced in several other variations, including a jointed standing version, as a pup on wheels, and as a pincushion on a red velvet pillow. 

Let's paws and take a look at this next beloved Steiff guest, who is just about purrr-fect in every way. This is of course a fantastic example of Steiff's "Fluffy" cat. She is sitting, unjointed, and made in part from bluish tipped mohair, which is just spectacular. Her little tail wraps sweetly around her body. Fluffy's face is detailed with deep green and black pupil eyes and a simple pink hand embroidered red nose and mouth. And check out her fantastic early named metal ring chest tag!  Sitting Fluffy was made overall from 1926 through 1950 in 7, 10, 14, 17, 22, 25, 30, 35, and 43 cm. She was such a favorite that she was produced on a pincushion, as a music box, and as a tail turns head model.  


You can't help but feel lovey-dovey when it comes to this final Steiff masterpiece.  Here we have a most unusual example of the company's turn of last century's pigeon or dove.  She is 10 cm and made from soft velvet like felt.  Her feet are made from metal that has been wrapped tightly with yellow string, giving them a most authentic appearance.  Her body has been elegantly and gracefully stenciled and airbrushed with black and grey highlights.  Her eyes are black button and backed in felt; her tiny beak is also made from felt.  She wears a red ribbon with a tag on it which are period but not original to her.  She most likely left the factory in Giengen on a little metal pull cart, but that has been lost to time.  This remarkable item was produced in this size only from 1916 through 1919.

Steiffgal hopes this review of her recent Steiff celebration has been nothing but a party for you... and thanks to all the wonderful guests (collectors and their and treasures) who helped to make it that way!

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

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