Sunday, March 8, 2015

Steiff's Wearing The Green For Saint Patrick's Day 2015!

With the exciting holiday of St. Patrick's Day coming up this week, Steiffgal can't help but think in green! And after such a grey and cold winter around these parts, it seems that everyone is looking forward to spotting their first patch of green grass, crocus sprouts, and leaf buds - especially here in the Northeast! So to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland AND encourage the powers that be to send spring along as soon as possible, let's look at a few vintage - and not so vintage - verdant Steiff treasures. 

This first green goodie is all dressed up with nowhere to go! Here we have Steiff's always jolly and quite portly Mr. Toad of Toad Hall. He is 27 cm tall, made of light and dark green mohair, standing, and head and arm jointed. His foot pads and palms are made from light green felt. His happy, smiling face comes to life with tan, black, and yellow embroidered eyes and a smiling, felt lined open mouth. Toad wears a black felt cutaway style coat which is trimmed with a white cotton collar and cuffs, and a yellow silken bow tie.  Doesn't just looking at this awesome amphibian put a happy spring - as well as a hop, skip, and a jump - in your step? 
Mr. Toad was made in an edition size of 2009 pieces in 2009 for the UK Danbury Mint.  He marks the 100th anniversary of the beloved book, "The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame. In 2003, this tale was voted the British public's 16th most beloved novel of all time. The drawing on the left is Mr. Toad as he is illustrated for the book; the drawing is by Ernest Howard Shepard.

The next emerald hued highlight in today's green parade packs alot of punch in a little package. This tiny fellow is Kroko crocodile. He is 12 cm (measured tip of nose to end of tail), lying, unjointed, and made from light and dark green mohair. He has two dark green felt ridges, extending from his eyes to the end of his tail. His sweet face is detailed with black button eyes and a wide open, felt lined mouth that is lined with teeny, tiny white felt teeth. The detail on this petite treat is astounding! 

Bitty boy Kroko is designed as a key ring or purse decoration and was produced in this size only in 2009. Steiffgal picked him up in the Munich airport on a flight stopover. He was displayed in a store window and his 1,000 karat smile, and vibrant hue, in caught her eye. Like a four leaf clover, he's served as her good luck totem ever since! 

Bird's the word with this third great green treat. This vintage fellow is Steiff's Ente, or Duck. He's 14 cm tall, standing, and unjointed. He is made from white, tan, and bright green mohair which is patched together in a rather charming, precious way. His face is as inviting as a breath of spring air with its red felt backed black button eyes and floppy orange felt beak. Duck stands upon two oversized, comical orange felt feet. His Steiff long trailing f style button button is located on his right footpad.

This dandy duck was produced in 14, 17, and 22 cm from 1925 through 1932. Steiffgal adopted him a few years ago at the Brimfield, Massachusetts antique fair, one of the largest in the country. Another lucky find indeed!

Let's end this happy green conversation in a really big way! These green giants are Steiff's mother and daughter Dinos pair. They are 42 and 12 cm, respectively. Both are unjointed, standing on all fours, and made from tan colored mohair that has been painstakingly hand airbrushed in a full spectrum of greens - as well as blues, purples, and browns. Baby Dinos has a felt fin along his back; mom's is made from mohair triangles. Both have an open, pink lined felt mouth, green and black google style eyes, and little yellow felt ears. Their gentle faces and sweet personalities defy their fierce and feisty reputations!

This prehistorically proportioned pair was produced as a US exclusive from 1958 through 1959 only. Steiff also produced mother and daughter Tysus and Brosus duos at the same time.  In 2010 at a Steiff auction at Christie's in London, a complete set of 3 almost pristine quality larger dinosaurs realized over $2,500, while the smaller versions realized over $3,100!  It is safe to say, that for many collectors today, owning the complete range of Steiff's late 1950's mohair dinosaurs would be like stumbling upon a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow!

Steiffgal hopes this celebration of green Steiff treasures was as enjoyable - and refreshing - as a perfectly poured pint of Guinness! Happy spring and St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

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

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