Monday, June 2, 2014

This Tiny Tiger Has Huge Steiff Appeal!

Steiffgal's so sorry - this post is a few days late and clearly she is running a little behind!  So to make up for lost time, she thought she'd share a little something with, well, a little behind!  Check out this tiny handful of Steiff adorable-ness and see what makes him so interesting from the design and historical perspectives.

This wee wild beast is Steiff's smallest and fully jointed tiger.  Bitty baby is cataloged at 8 cm, although he actually only measures about 7 cm head to toe and 7 cm nose to rear. He is made from tan mohair that has been highlighted with orange airbrushing and then detailed with black stripes. His face comes to life with mohair ears, green and black slit style pupil eyes, a red hand embroidered nose and mouth, and a few clear monofilament whiskers.  And you can't help but note his tiny tail, which is made from rope that has been lightly striped to match his body and limbs.  This design was produced overall in 8, 10, and 14 cm from 1952 through 1959.  This smallest rope-tailed version was only made from 1956 through 1958; the larger sizes had mohair tails.

This tiger is just one of a handful - literally - of postwar, five ways jointed Steiff treasures less than 10 cm in size.  As a matter of fact, as far as Steiffgal can tell, tiny tiger is a class by himself!  He appears to be the only standard line, five ways jointed animal less than 10 cm produced by Steiff after the factory reopened after the war in the late 1940's.   Steiff has produced a few teensy-weensy five ways jointed Teds in less than 10 cm in that time frame, including some promotional bears for other companies.  Perhaps the best known vintage "little guys" are the company's 9 cm five ways jointed Teddy Babies, which were in the line from 1949 through 1957.

Now for the tail end of this discussion.  Another interesting thing about this petite jungle prince is clearly his rope posterior.  His tail indeed sets him apart from his larger five ways jointed tiger brothers.  However, a rope tail is not terribly unusual for items from his period in the Steiff line.  Similar styled rope tails can be seen on Steiff's lions, zebras, elephants, okapis, and camels, among others.  These are found on the smaller versions of these models, perhaps to give a sense of lightness, simplicity, and youth to the items.

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on Steiff's tiny fully jointed tiger is worthy of a high-five from you.

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

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