Things certainly are on the move in the auction world! And that can only mean good things for Steiff collectors and enthusiasts all from all corners of the Earth! On Saturday, March 22, 2014, Steiffgal's dear friends at Teddy Dorado are hosting a fantastic auction event in Germany featuring over 300 lots of older, modern, and replica Steiff collectibles - certainly something for everyone! In order to spring readers to action over this auction, Teddy Dorado was kind enough to send us VIDEOS of some of the finest vintage items in the sale. So let's take a look at these "moving pictures" and see what makes these highlights so interesting from the collector and historical perspectives - and don't forget to click on the big arrow on the pictures above each description to start the show!
You know spring is truly in the air when you can hear the birds singing their happy warmer weather song! Here we have a truly fantastic example of Steiff's "Chirp Couple." This really marvelous item consists of two Steiff woolen miniature birds on a green "seesaw" type of movable platform. The platform measures about 9 cm tall and 11 cm long. When the platform is moved up and down, the birds appear to sing and bow to each other. The bird with the blue head is Steiff's standard line Blue Tit (made in 4 and 8 cm from 1934 through 1943); the bird with the red head is Steiff's Finch (made in 4 and 8 cm from 1933 through 1943). Both birds are 8 cm and are head jointed. They are made from Nomotta wool and have brown metal legs and felt beaks and tail feathers. Remarkably, each retains their crisp and fully legible red ear tag and Steiff button, which are worn like an anklet on each bird.
This extraordinary item was in the Steiff line overall from 1932 thorough 1943; given the type of birds on the platform and the red ear tags, it is most probable that this specific example was made in 1934. For more information on the Chirp Couple, click here.
It's time now to move on to another very springlike Teddy Dorado auction highlight - one that really enjoys just swaying in the breeze! Here we have an amazingly rare Steiff lamb hanging pram toy. The lamb itself standing, unjointed and is about 8.5 cm tall and 9 cm long. His face, ears and legs are made from felt. His legs are lined in wires for strength and poseability. His sweet and tiny face is detailed with black button eyes and a simple pink hand embroidered nose and mouth. He wears a tiny ribbon and bell. Lamb is suspended from an elastic cord which is decorated with woolen pom-poms and finished with an ivory ring for hanging. And no need to count sheep over this one - lamb is a rattle and also retains his button as his Steiff ID!
This woolie and wonderful pram toy was in the line from 1902 through 1917. It is estimated that this piece was produced in the 1905 through 1909 time frame - although he looks like he's game for at least another century of fun and play! In addition to this design, Steiff also made a few other lamb pram toys; these included one with just a lamb's head suspended from an elastic cord decorated with pom-poms (produced from 1904 through 1912) and a more elaborate one of a full lamb reclining on a felt covered ring suspended from ribbons (produced from 1916 through 1918.) Like the lamb pram toy featured in the Teddy Dorado auction, each of these two other pram toys were finished with an ivory ring for hanging. For more information on the lamb pram toy, click here.
So lets take a paws - however briefly - to check out this final moving marvel from the upcoming auction. Could this just be the perfect pooch? Here we have a stellar example of Steiff's Rattler Terrier with a tail moves head mechanism. In terms of size, he measures about 19.5 cm tall (without his ears) or 17.5 cm long (without his tail.) Rattler is sitting, head jointed, and firmly stuffed with excelsior. He is made from mohair with grey highlights. His charming and authentic beard and eyelashes are made from longer mohair with a tan/orange cast to it. His face is detailed with lovely almond shaped tri-colored glass eyes and a black hand embroidered nose and mouth. His belly squeaker and his tail moves head mechanism are in fine and working order - this is most unusual for an item over 75 years old! Remarkably, Rattler retains his underscored button in ear, crisp and fully legible yellow ear tag (with a very cool H for "head mechanism" stamped on it), movement instruction tag on his tail, and large, colorful named chest tag as his Steiff IDs.
There's no need to give anyone a heads up that Rattler might win best of show at the upcoming Teddy Dorado event. Overall, this blue-ribbon beauty was produced in 8, 10, 14, 17, 22, 25, 28, and 35 cm in the 1930 through 1943 time period. Steiff produced a number of "tail moves head" items in the early 1930's, including other dogs, rabbits, and cats. These items were produced as higher end "luxury" pieces; their internal mechanisms were designed to create a natural type of movement within the animal. For more information on this Rattler, please click here.
Steiffgal hopes this video preview of Teddy Dorado auction highlights has been more fun than a Saturday movie matinee! For more information on Teddy Dorado and their upcoming events and offerings, please click here!
Have a question about one of your Steiff treasures? Let's talk! Click here to learn more.