Saturday, May 3, 2014

Keeping Things Balanced With This One Legged Steiff Studio Grey Heron

It's important to keep things balanced when it comes to Steiff, right?  Well, no vintage collectible better demonstrates that then this fantastic and lifelike Steiff studio bird!  Check out this "one-legged wonder" and see what makes him so interesting from the design and historical perspectives.

This great and unusual Steiff bird is really on solid footing, despite what you might think!  This studio, or life sized, Grey Heron is 50 cm tall, unjointed, and standing on one leg.  He is primarily made from short white plush and short grey plush.  He is brought to life with stenciled felt wings; long grey and white plush "feathering" on his back, chest, and head; and a long, thin yellow trivera velvet beak.  His pert face is detailed with light green and black pupil eyes and a black plush "bandit style" mask across his forehead. And of course, you can't help but notice his authentic, yellow trivera legs (or in this case, leg!) with its prominent, distinct "knee" and large four toed foot. This Grey Heron was made from 1980 through 1984 in this size only.  He is pictured from three angles in the photo above.

This big bird has a leg up in a few areas over his other Steiff bird cousins.  First of all, this is the only Grey Heron (or any heron at all) that Steiff has ever produced in the line - at least as far as Steiffgal can find.  It is also the only one legged bird Steiff has ever produced - again, as far as Steiffgal knows of.  Although this bird only has one leg, it does have a second foot which is attached to his body.  You can see how Steiff did this in a realistic manner in the photo here on the left - as if he were "tucking" his long leg under his wing. And, in case you are wondering, he really can balance on one leg - given there are no strong drafts or wandering pets within a three foot radius of him!

It is Steiffgal's best guess that this "tall drink of water" is a variation on the company's somewhat better known two legged white studio stork.  That traditional bundle-of-joy-bearer is 50 cm tall, unjointed, standing and made from short, white woven fur and long, white tufted plush. He has very subtle light blue airbrushing on his forehead and wings and sports black trivera velvet feathers on the tips of his white wings. He has delightful, posable red trivera velvet legs.  Each foot has four red trivera "toes." His face is detailed with brown and black pupil eyes and a red trivera velvet beak. Like Steiff's studio Grey Heron, this studio stork was manufactured from 1980 through 1984; he is pictured here on left.

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on Steiff's one-legged Grey Heron makes you want to stand up and cheer!

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