Sunday, September 27, 2015

For He's A Jolly Good Steiff Fellow!

It's time to break out in a chorus of "for he's a jolly good Fellow!" And why is this? To celebrate a rare and wonderful vintage Steiff dog! Check out this terrific Terrier.  His name is Fellow, and he is from one of the most interesting periods in Steiff's product design and development era - the very late 1940's and early 1950's. Steiffgal is certain you too will find him smooth as silk!  

This mellow Fellow measures 20 cm high and 23 cm wide. He is standing, unjointed, and made from short brown artificial silk plush, which has been hand airbrushed with black highlights. His tail is made from short black artificial silk plush, while his distinctive forehead and sideburns are well represented by longer brown artificial silk plush. He has three black claws on each paw. His face comes to life with brown and black glass pupil eyes and a black hand embroidered nose and mouth. He wears an artificial brown leather collar and retains his early, red imprinted chest tag and short trailing "f" Steiff button. Fellow was produced in 22 and 28 cm from 1948 through 1949 only.
Collectible Airedale Terriers have been a breath of fresh air in the Steiff line since the late 1920's. The first version to roll on the scene was simply called "Airedale Terrier." This standing, unjointed model was on regular or eccentric wheels and produced in six sizes ranging from 17 to 35 inches from 1927 through 1930. From 1933 through 1936, the line featured "Jack," a standing wool plush Airedale Terrier produced in five sizes ranging from 17 to 43 cm. Then, in 1935, Steiff introduced a new Airedale Terrier pattern called "Fellow." Fellow was made from mohair and produced with or without wheels. The wheeled versions came in five sizes ranging from 22 to 50 cm while the simply standing models were made in four sizes ranging from 17 to 35 cm. Both versions were featured through 1943.

Fellow was one of the first patterns reintroduced once the factory reopened for toy making business post war in about 1948. In addition to the artificial silk plush model under discussion here, he was also made in mohair in 22 and 28 cm in 1949, and as a mohair ride on animal in 43 and 50 cm from 1949 through 1950. Then, in 1950, Steiff updated its traditional Airedale Terrier pattern and renamed it "Terry." In addition to Terry, Steiff launched many new smaller dog and cat models in the early to mid-1950's as part of their global growth strategy of the era. Terry was made from mohair, standing, and unjointed. He was produced overall in six sizes ranging from 8 to 35 cm from 1950 though 1961; he was also made as a ride on toy in four sizes ranging from 28 to 50 cm from 1950 through 1961. All featured the breed's charming "folded over" style ears in mohair, with the smallest versions having felt ears - as pictured above on the left.

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on Steiff's transitional Fellow Airedale Terrier has provided an enjoyable change of pace to your day.

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

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