Friday, December 20, 2013

Care To Play Sherlock Holmes With A Few Steiff Mystery Items?

Would you agree turn-about is fair play?  Well, Steiffgal's beloved readers usually come to her to solve Steiff mysteries.  Now she's looking for their assistance!  Steiffgal has recently acquired three most unusual Steiff items, but doesn't seem to be able to find out any history or background about them.  Can you help?  If so, please send any information to her at Steifflife@gmail.com - and she will post your insights on the blog, so we all can learn about these oddities.  

It's easy to get right to the point with this first item.  Here we has a Steiff branded name badge.  The tag itself is made of white plastic and is constructed like a frame; one can slide their name into the double walled portion of its midsection.  It measures 7 cm long by 2-3/4 cm high, and is about 4 mm thick.  The front is yellow with the Steiff Teddy bear head logo and "button in ear" tag line in red, with the words "Advice on Steiff available from" also in red.  The reverse is white, and has a safety style pin for securing the badge to a shirt or blouse.  The writing on the back reads:

B. H. Meyer's 
Kunstpraegeanstalt 
Turnplatz 2 Postfach 1266
7530 Pforzheim

It is interesting to note that the badge was made in Pforzheim, which is a town of about 120,000 residents in the state of Baden-Württemberg, in southwest Germany. Pforzheim is 90 minutes west of Giengen, the home of the Steiff company. Meyer has been in business since the late 1800's, and is best known for producing custom minted coins, medallions, and ingots. Perhaps plastic molded items are, or were, other lines of business for the Meyer Company.

So, without naming any names, do any readers recognize this ID badge as something you saw a salesperson wear at a toy or department store years ago?  If so, when, and where...?  And why is it in English, when clearly it was manufactured in Germany?  

OK, let's come clean with this next fabulous albeit cryptic Steiff treasure.  What we have here is a box of Steiff branded Teddy bear soaps in a yellow-orange corrugated cardboard box.  The box itself is 17 cm long x 6-1/2 cm wide by 4-1/2 cm tall.  The container, which has a red and yellow die-cut Steiff logo on the top, is lined in shreds of red paper, most likely to cushion the soaps.  There are three bear soaps in the box; they are sitting and 5-1/2 cm tall each.  There is a cream colored one, a mocha colored one, and a yellow one.  The mocha one has a red and yellow split style paper chest tag bearing the word "soap" where the name of the animal usually is placed.  There is a sticker on the back of the box, entirely in Japanese, that seems to suggest that there are three soaps in the box, each weighing 45 grams; this sticker is pictured here on the left.

So wonderful readers - especially those in Japan - can you scrub your minds and tell us ANYTHING that bubbles up about these Steiff soaps?  

And finally, let's get write to today's last Steiff mystery item.  Here we have what appears to be a child's stationery set emblazoned with a delightful scene of a horse drawn carriage overflowing with our favorite Steiff characters.  The fun includes Sheddy pony, Jumbo elephant, Tulla goose, Lora parrot, Pieps mouse, Dangling frog, Cosy Teddy, Dangling Tom cat, Clownie, a woolen bird and ladybug, Nagy beaver, Cosy fox, Lucki dwarf, a mohair hen and rooster, Cosy calf, blue tit bird, and a goldfinch bird.

Hold everything!  The set is contained within a 19 cm tall by 19 cm long square white cardboard storage envelope.  Within the big envelope are 10 small white mailing envelopes with green linings, and 10 sheets of kid-sized stationary featuring the same illustration that is on the front of the big envelope.  On the back of the big envelope, it reads:

Schreibe spielend
Writing is play
Ecrire est un jeu
Schrijf spelenderwijs

The first statement is in German, the second in English, the third in French, and the fourth is in Dutch - clearly suggesting that this stationery set was made for the global marketplace.  The back of the folder is also imprinted with what appears to be the logo of the manufacturer - Heyder - the code P 417, and the words, "Made in Western Germany."

Given the cast of characters featured in the illustration, it would be safe to say that this stationery set probably was made in the early 1970's.  

Dear readers - can anyone provide any more details on this sweet Steiff stationery set?  Do you perhaps recall having one as a child?  Any information, even a back of the envelope calculation, would be most appreciated!

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on mysterious Steiff items has brought out the Sherlock Holmes in you!

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

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