Saturday, May 2, 2015

Well, Hello Dally!

Well, hello Dally!  Steiff recently had the pleasure of attending the annual April Sturbridge Doll, Toy, Bear & Holiday Show in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  And besides a few wonderful old friends, look what else she just happened to run into... a giant Dally Dalmatian Steiff treasure!  Check out this spotty dotty and see what makes him so interesting from the design and rarity perspectives.

Steiffgal's not lying when she says this almost life sized reclining Dalmatian is really a top dog.  He is made of white mohair, in a lying position, and unjointed.  He has great black airbrushed spots and paw pads, and embroidered claws.  He also has black highlighting on his ears and face.  His great doggy face comes to life with an open, large, smiling, peach colored lined mouth; happy black and brown pupil eyes; and an embroidered nose.  He wears his original red leather color and has all of his IDs.  These include his colorful, bear faced named chest tag, his yellow ear tag which reads "2360,1", and his raised scrip button.  His product code translates to... 2=lying; 3=mohair, 60=60 cm, and ,1=with a squeaker. According to Steiff reference books, this model was produced in 28 cm (number "2328,1") and 43 cm (number "2343,1") in 1956 only as an exclusive for the upscale toy retailer FAO Schwarz.

You don't have to be a numbers sort of person to figure out there's something very special about this example.  This dog is actually one size larger than those mentioned in readily available resources.  And he is clearly "right as rain" in terms of IDs, quality, appearance, and era. So how can this be? Steiffgal can come up with two possible explanations, which in some ways have overlap.

First, it is impossible to expect that every reference book is always 110% accurate, so it is entirely possible that three, not two, sizes of this model were actually produced for the store on a commercial scale.

Second, it is possible that only a few of these large versions were produced overall, or perhaps a handful were produced as samples and never put into full production.  As such, they were not captured in the full accounting of these items in the line.  This is magnified by the fact that this dog was produced for such a very short time overall. 

However, there is precedence for the appearance of unusual sized versions of Steiff items made only for FAO Schwarz.  For example, Steiff produced an exclusive and charming grey wool plush Poodle for FAO Schwarz named Snobby. She is five ways jointed, has brown and black pupil eyes, and an unusual black leather nose. Her coat is in the "French" style cut.  According to available references, this Snobby was produced from 1962 through 1968 in two sizes: 28 and 35 cm.  However, Steiffgal has one in 43 cm.  You can see these three happy FAO Schwarz Snobby Poodles here on the left. 

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on this awesome, huge FAO Schwarz Steiff Dalmatian was "best of show" for you!

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

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