Dog-gonnit! Who doesn't just love Steiff's delightful canine designs from the 1950's and 1960's? Their universal appeal makes them top dogs in the eyes of many Steiff collectors. Many of these popular pups were also made as hand puppets. For some reason, they are a little less popular than their full doggie inspirations, despite the fact that they are fun to collect and easy to display. Let's take a look at four really sweet puppet and puppy pooch pairs - and maybe you'll be inspired to add a few of these happy hand puppets to your collection, too!
Starting off this review is the "dynamic duo" of Steiff's Dally puppet and Dally puppy. This Dalmatian puppet is 17 cm, unjointed, and made from white mohair. Of course, his back and head are covered with delightful black dots! His open mouth is lined in pink velvet. He has three black claws on each of his paws. Hand Dally has black and brown pupil eyes and a black hand
stitched nose. He is one of the rarer Steiff post war puppets, and was only in the line from 1955 through 1956. The little "spotty dotty" dog on his left is 10 cm and head jointed. And, like his puppet cousin, Dally has an open pink
velvet mouth, brown and black pupil eyes, and a black hand embroidered nose. Dally the dog was produced in 10, 17, and 28 cm from 1953 through 1969.
Let's now step into the ring with these great Steiff Boxer examples. The puppet is 17 cm; his body,
head, and and hands are made from tan mohair while his muzzle is made
from black velvet. Boxer has very nice brown airbrushing on his face and
back, and black airbrushing on the top of his muzzle. His ears are
lined in peach colored felt. Boxer is detailed with black and brown
pupil eyes, a black hand stitched nose, and black stitched claws on his
paws. He was produced from 1951 through 1963. His little companion on his right is sitting, 10 cm, and head jointed. Like many of Steiff's baby-sized items of the period, he has tiny felt ears. He shares the same mohair, coloring, muzzle, and facial detailing as his puppet buddy, albeit on a much smaller scale. Steiff manufactured sitting Boxer from 1951 through
1961 in 10 and 14 cm. He was called Sarras from 1951 through 1958 and
Boxer from 1959 through 1961.
These next two Steiff dog pairs deserve a little "Pek" on the cheek for sure. Here we have Peky Pekingese as a puppet and a dog toy. The puppet version of Peky is 17 cm, unjointed, and made
from soft blond mohair with a great golden glow to it. Her back and head are highlighted with a touch of tan airbrushing. Her ears are made from longer matching color mohair. Peky's little pouting face comes to life with oversized black and brown pupil eyes, a little black airbrushing, a hand embroidered nose, and a wonderfully detailed, dimensional muzzle made from mohair and velvet. Like puppet Dally, puppet Peky also was only in the line for one year, in this case from 1963 through 1964. Peky's little counterpart on her right is 8 cm, standing, and head jointed. As you can see, she is the "mini me" of her puppet pal in terms of her coloring, construction, and just plain appeal! Peky the Pekingese dog was produced in 8, 10, 14, and 22 cm from 1953 though 1977.
Our last great pup and puppet pals are as snug as a bug in a rug! These two buddies are Steiff's Mopsy Pugs. The puppet version is 17 cm and made from light brown mohair. She has darker brown highlights on her facial mask, forehead, and the tips of her paws. Her ears fold over just like a real pugs do! Her goofy pug face can only be described as "pugly" with its black and white google style eyes, black hand embroidered nose, and playful, sticking-out orange felt tongue. Puppet Mopsy appeared in the line from 1960 through 1978. This pug puppet's playful pal is 12 cm, sitting and head jointed. And the two keep it all in the family with her similar coloring, "wrinkle-y" forehead and muzzle, and quizzical,
asymmetric look! Mopsy the pug was produced in 12 and 22 cm from 1960 through 1981.
Steiffgal hopes that this discussion on Steiff's doggy hand puppets (and their full bodied counterparts) deserves a hearty round of applause!
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