Sunday, December 21, 2014

Here's A Steiff-y Holiday Pug Hug, Just For You!

Are you in the mood for a Steiff-y holiday hug? Or even better, a Steiff-y holiday pug hug? Of course you are! Then check out this most unusual Steiff dog doll that will certainly warm your heart. He's certainly got Steiffgal's all a-flutter!

This darling dressed doggy is none other than Steiff's Pupphund or pug dog doll. He is 22 cm, standing, and head jointed. His arms hang softly at his sides, and he has flat feet for standing. Pug's head, ears, and the tops of his hands and feet are (or in this case were) made from mohair. His body is made from a tan linen fabric. He is filled both with soft stuffing and crunchy excelsior. His head and face come to life with floppy ears, oversized black and brown glass pupil eyes, a black hand embroidered nose, a pink mouth, and a distinct brown inset muzzle area. He retains his large, long trailing f button and traces of his red ear tag as his Steiff IDs.  

According to Coco Chanel, “Fashion changes, but style endures.” Such is the case with our sweet pup pal. He is dressed to the nines in brown cotton pants, a tan checked shirt, and a light grey-blue felt tam-o-shanter style hat which is "topped off" with a pom-pom. His shirt and pants are original to him, but it is not clear if his hat is. It is of Steiff quality and design and fits him quite well; Steiffgal simply has not ever seen another one like it. Pupphund was made in 14, 22, and 28 cm from 1932 through 1935 only. Each size came in six different clothing styles, which included pyjamas, swimsuits, dresses, and play suits.  You can see another one of Puggy's outfits here on the left, the photo is from Pfeiffer's 1892-1943 Sortiment book.  

Take a good look at Pupphund's pug-mug. It is quite unusual and as far as Steiffgal can tell, this doll pattern is the only item produced by Steiff with this basic design. Steiff often made their charming characters in a number of "theme and variation" ways. For example, many popular and now legacy 1920's and 1930's era designs were often produced as puppets, in sitting and standing versions, as music boxes, in different colors, as handbags, night dress bags, or other novelties. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case with this pug design - which is too bad for collectors today! 

 So how did this pug doll pattern come about? There are few clues here to work with. Steiff produced two different pre-war pugs; a grey standing mohair version on wheels from 1916 through 1927, and a caricatured blond and white mohair pug from 1925 through 1927. However, Pupphund really does not share any characteristics with either of these items. The only design element this pug dog doll does seem to share with any other Steiff dogs of its period is its distinctive pink mouth stitching. This can also be seen on Steiff's Ball Chin Chin, a 15 cm novelty which was produced from 1932 through 1935 as well. Ball Chin Chin is pictured on the left for your review; the photo is from Pfeiffer's 1892-1943 Sortiment book.  

As you can see from the photo to the left, the resemblance between Steiff's pug dog doll and real pugs is absolutely striking! 

Steiffgal hopes this conversation on this rare and darling Steiff dog doll has made you feel as snug as a pug in a zebra striped rug!  And happy holidays to all the Steiff fans out there.  Your readership and friendship are most appreciated! 

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

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