Sunday, October 11, 2015

An Exclusive Look At A Rare And Charming Steiff Cocker Spaniel

Pull up a chair and check out this really sweet sitting little dog!  She's based on a standard line Steiff dog from the 1960's and 1970's... but with a little "exclusive" twist.  Do you recognize her?

It's probably no surprise that this black and white sitting Cocker Spaniel is named Cockie. She is 12 cm tall and head jointed. Her body is white mohair that has been hand airbrushed with black spots and highlights.  Her ears are made from solid black mohair.  Her face comes to life with black and white plastic "google" style eyes, a black hand embroidered nose, and an expressive muzzle area.  She wears her original red collar and has all of her Steiff IDs, including her "raised script" style button, named "bear faced" chest tag, and yellow ear tag.  Her unusual accessory is a metal leash, which is original to her.  

This sitting sweetie was produced from 1962 through 1966 only, and exclusively for the upscale toy retailer F.A.O. Schwarz.  She came as part of a doghouse set.  This consisted of a dollhouse style kennel, a red plastic food bowl, the metal dog lead, and a bone.  The kennel had a pull cord on the top, and when you pulled it, it made a barking/growing noise.  This set was most likely "assembled" at F.A.O. Schwarz.  You can see this doghouse set here on the left, the photo is from Gunther Pfeiffer's 1947-2003 Steiff Sortiment Book.

This F.A.O. Schwarz Cockie design is based on Steiff's standard line black and white standing Steiff Cocker Spaniel which appeared in the Steiff line from 1960-1976 in 12, 19, and 29 cm overall.  But, like many Steiff F.A.O. Schwarz dog items, this exclusive pattern was slightly different than the standard line version, so it was very desirable for collectors.  Other such F.A.O. Schwarz examples included standing Dally Dalmatians (produced in 11, 22, and 28 cm from 1953 through 1955; the standard line versions were sitting) and a 15 cm standing open mouthed beagle, produced from 1965 through 1966 only; the standard line standing beagle was closed-mouthed. An example of Steiff's standard line standing black and white Cockie is pictured here on the left.
 
Tongues are awag over Cockie's really cool ear tag.  It is pictured here on the left. The numbers on it are quite descriptive indeed, and are 3312,96.  In Steiff code, that translates to:  3=sitting; 3=mohair; 12=12 cm; 9=display animal or special edition; and 6=black.  Unfortunately, it has been years since Steiff has used such a numbering/identification system for their items, the digits on today's tags are purely for transactional and tracking purposes.  

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on this adorable and sitting F.A.O. Schwarz Cocker Spaniel has been an exclusive experience for you!

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

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