Monday, June 15, 2015

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things From The 2015 Teddy Dorado Steiff Sommer Auction

Going once, going twice... the countdown to the annual Steiff Sommer Family Event has definitely begun.  This year's celebration will be held on Steiff's campus in Giengen, Germany, from July 3rd through the 5th.  One of the highlights of this annual pilgrimage for many Steiff collectors is the Steiff auction, hosted by Teddy Dorado. The auction takes place on Saturday evening, July 4th.  This year's event features so many fantastic items it is difficult to pick out highlights - each is a winner in its own right.  But here are three that really called to Steiffgal personally.  Do they speak to you as well?

Steiffgal can't help but go nuts over this first example.  Here we have a 17 cm mohair squirrel from 1925.  His adorable face, great jointing including his tail, and delightful overall presentation put him in a class all to himself. Plus, Steiffgal has always dreamed of owning something with the elusive Steiff "muster" or sample button. 

Squirrel is cataloged as...  "made of reddish brown mohair plush with airbrushing in dark brown; front side made of natural white mohair plush; black shoe button eyes underlaid with white felt discs; brown stitched nose, mouth & claws; whiskers; six times jointed: swivel head, arms, legs & tail; very firmly excelsior stuffed; inoperative squeaker; large Steiff "Muster" sample button in right ear; fur without any loss of mohair; very clean, unfaded by daylight, no odor & all original; in mint condition overall without ears ca. 6.7in. (17cm) high."

If this second selection puts you to sleep, then she is doing her job just right.  Here we have a fantastic example of Steiff's 30 cm Cockie Cocker Spaniel pajama bag.  Although "relatively" recent, this playful "zipper" design is seldom if ever seen on the secondary market, is very collectible, and has been on Steiffgal's wish list forever.  

Cockie is cataloged as... "made of white mohair plush with black airbrushing; large black-white Googly glass eyes; black stitched nose; bottom with "Zipp" zipper; body with inlay from light cotton fabric as pyjama pouch & hand puppet; right front paw with squeaker; detachable red collar; large raised script Steiff Button In Ear; yellow ear tag with price area & hand written (price) note on the back; large chest tag "Cockie" with sticker on the back; very clean, unfaded by daylight, no odor & all original; in mint condition overall ca. 14.2in. (36cm) high & arm span ca. 12.6in. (32cm)."

This third and final item really takes the cake - the wedding cake, that is!  Here is a charming and unusual example of an otherwise standard line woolen miniature bird wedding party which has been customized with marvelous extra detailing.  This dear vignette has earned its wings with the addition of delightful felt flowers and a festive ruffled ribbon flourish.  A similar edge treatment was also used on the company's rare and period "couch animals." 

The grouping is cataloged as... "party of four woollen birds all in felt slippers on oval grass green cardboard; according to the consignor once a wedding gift to a Steiff employee; special edition because of flowers from felt on cardboard & its surrounding ruche of yellow taffeta; cardboard with underscored Steiff button; in excellent condition overall; (1) large blue tit as bride with wedding veil; (2) large finch as groom with black hat & flower on chest; (3) small golden bunting; metal feet damaged; (4) small robin with white Steiff tag 6504,1 cardboard measures ca. 7.1in. (18cm) x 4.3in. (11cm)." 

Steiffgal was fortunate to catch up with her friend and colleague Carsten Esser, who is the owner and auctioneer of Teddy Dorado, to speak with him briefly about the upcoming Steiff Sommer Auction.  Here is a bit of their most recent conversation: 

Steiffgal:  I can tell by looking through your catalog that this auction will be spectacular and that you are about to make many collectors very happy!  So what makes this year's Teddy Dorado Steiff Sommer Auction so special to you?  

Carsten:  I think that because Teddy Dorado has been hosting the Steiff Sommer for a number of years now, the items we present get better and better for this very special event. Believe it or not, I reviewed over 7,000 items to select the almost 80 items that will be sold on July 4th! (Note:  this means that just a little over 1% of Steiff items presented made the cut for the this auction!) 

The Steiff Sommer auction also attracts the very finest buyers and sellers. For example, a lot of three really breathtaking and early velveteen rabbits in the auction came from a stunning collection outside of Germany. The consignor is very smart about Steiff and knows that this particular auction would be the very finest to present these rabbits to the world. We are also getting many fine opportunities through referrals, which is a great result of working with more and more satisfied customers over time. This is how four mint, late 1940’s lots came to Teddy Dorado. These “time capsule” treasures include a silk plush Teddy Baby, silk plush Fellow Airedale Terrier, silk plush Sealyham, and a mohair Tabby.  

Steiffgal:  Yes, it is like these items were made yesterday, they are marvelous in every way.  Like these selections, many of the items in this summer's auction seem particularly precious and rare. How do you select which items appear in the summer auction?   

Carsten:  I founded Teddy Dorado from the collector’s perspective, and it is from this viewpoint that I try to present the most interesting items for sale through our events. As such, I select items for this auction just from my personal feeling and my knowledge of the interests of our worldwide bidders - it is that simple! And the stunning positive feedback of our customers - both buyers and sellers - shows us again and again that we are on the right track in doing so.

Steiffgal:  I could not help but notice that there are a great number of vintage woolen miniature items in the Sommer Auction. Why do you think they are so beloved by collectors all over the world?  

Carsten:  Dogs and woolies seem to be a general theme of the upcoming Steiff auction. I personally love these Steiff categories very much, but as always condition, rarity, age, quality, and rarity were our main priorities in selecting them. Woolen miniatures are the ideal Steiff ambassadors, as well as the perfect representation of the best of Steiff with their lovable designs and highest quality craftsmanship. They are also easy to pack and ship, don’t need much display space, and are in great demand with collectors who cherish them as charming companions for other toys, as well as just on their own.

Steiffgal:  And finally, of all the lots in the Sommer auction, if you could have any for your own collection, which one would it be and why?   

Carsten:  When I started Teddy Dorado, I gave up collecting so I could offer all the best finds to our collectors all over the globe. However, many items in this auction truly did catch my eye as wonderful and rare collectibles. Perhaps the best example of this is our opening lot. This very special treasure simply has it all. It is a unique diorama of tiny white mohair bears surrounded by woolen miniatures. It is utterly charming and unique. I see many, many Steiff treasures each year, but I must say, this example is truly Steiff at its very best! I so look forward to beginning our 2015 Steiff Sommer Auction event with this extraordinary offering.   

Steiffgal:  Many thanks for your time, and best of luck!    

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on some of Teddy Dorado's upcoming sale highlights has been almost exciting as a live auction event!  You can check out the entire catalog by clicking here.

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

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