Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Care For A Sneak "Peek" At A Seldom Seen Prewar Steiff Dog?

Care to have a sneak "peek" at a really rare Steiff pup? Then check out this little love, who would definitely qualify as part of the canine "toy group" on many levels! You probably know of her breed through a later Steiff design; this model is the great grandmother of one of the most prolific and popular Steiff dogs of the 1950's-1970's.

This petite pooch is the earliest version of "Peky," Steiff's beloved Pekingese pattern. She stands 17 cm high and 20 cm long. Peky is made from tipped and highlighted cream colored mohair. She is standing on all fours and is head jointed. Her tail curves back over her rump, and is stitched in place. Peky has three black hand embroidered claws on each foot and a non-working side squeaker. She has relatively short ears, a shorter mohair face, oversized black and brown pupil eyes, and a hand embroidered nose and mouth. Her lips have a spot of pink airbrushing. 

Peky retains her trailing "f" style and pre-war style yellow ear tag with the numbers 1317,02. These correspond to 1=standing, 3=mohair. 17= 17 cm, 0=without wheels, and 2=squeaker. This pretty Pekingese was made in 10, 14, 17, 22, and 25 cm from 1938 through 1943. 

At first glance, Peky looks alot like two of her fellow standing dog sisters of the era, Charly the King Charles Spaniel (standing on the left), and the Chin Chin (standing in the middle). You can see this family resemblance here on the photo here.  Charly was made standing or sitting. Standing Charly was manufactured in 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, and 22 cm from 1928 through 1938 while sitting Charly appeared in the line in 10, 14, 17, 22, 25, 30, and 35 cm from 1928 through 1936. Chin Chin was only produced standing in 10, 14, 17, 20, 22, 25, 28, and 35 cm from 1931 though 1939. All share the same basic face with key design differences being in ear length, body shape, tail posture, and facial coloring.

Peky had a major makeover post war and was reintroduced to the collector's world in 1953. This updated Peky was produced in 8, 10, 14, and 22 cm though 1977. The post-war Peky is standing, made from light brown mohair, has a detailed black muzzle (mostly velvet in the smaller sizes; mohair in the larger ones), and a darling, pouty mouth. This pattern was also produced as an 18 cm hand puppet from 1963 through 1964. You can see these "new" Peky dogs here on the left.  Then, in 1965, Steiff went on to introduce a larger, 30 cm light blond mohair sitting Peky; she appeared in the line through 1976 and is a bit more rare than her smaller siblings. Because Peky's design is so expressive, it remains a collector's favorite to this day - as each Peky truly has her own look and personality. 

Steiffgal hopes this discussion of Steiff's early toy dogs is worthy of a little "pek" on the cheek.

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

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