Sunday, November 22, 2015

This Most Unusual Steiff Skunk Is Begging For Your Attention

It's never a good idea to see things only in black and white.  Unless of course, you are studying Steiff's wonderful skunks!  So pull out your magnifying glasses and thinking caps, and take a look at this most unusual example.  Have you ever come across one of these two-toned treasures?

No need to hold your breath for information on this little stinker. Here we have the strange, wonderful, and highly unusual Phuy Skunk. And why so unusual? In the Steiff reference books, the only thing listed about him is that he was made in 1965, and his "purpose is unknown." Physically, Phuy is 18 cm. He is in a begging position, although he can also lay down if he gets tired. His body is made from short black and white mohair, while his tail is made from long black and white mohair. He has double-thick felt paws and feet; his feet are stenciled with little foot prints. He has an open, felt lined mouth, a pink hand embroidered nose, brown and black pupil eyes, and mono-filament whiskers. 

Phuy is sometimes confused with another begging buddy named Cosy Skunk. This fellow is 22 cm, unjointed, and can lay down or sit up. His body is made from short black and white dralon. His robust tail is made from long, black and white dralon. His face is detailed with felt ears, black and brown pupil eyes, clear whiskers, and a pink hand embroidered nose and closed mouth. He has white, double thick felt front hand paws, but no feet paws. There is no stenciling on his felt paws. This smelly sweetheart was manufactured from 1960-1974 in this size only.  He is pictured here on the left.

It stinks that there isn't much information available about Phuy. But, it was not unusual for Steiff to produce an animal in a very small edition size, and as a result, not keep detailed records about it. Sometimes these rarities were produced for, or ended up at, specialty retailers such as F.A.O. Schwarz. A good example of this is the company's "Mystery Squirrel" which does not (as far as Steiffgal knows) appear in any of the standard Steiff reference books, but is featured in the F.A.O. Schwarz catalog of 1968-1969. He is pictured here on the left. It is interesting to note that this Mystery Squirrel, like Phuy, is a "field and forest friend," is made from mohair, and is in the same general (begging) body position. Mystery Squirrel is pictured here on the left. 

As rare as Phuy is, he is not the rarest Steiff skunk Steiffgal knows of. Check out this remarkable, and probably one of a kind Steiff Skunk sold by Teddy Dorado in 2013 at the annual Steiff Sommer Auction in Giengen, Germany. He hammered at 950 euro!  This absolute rarity is cataloged as... "Disney character begging skunk, 18 cm, a unique specimen in mint condition from 1978-1979. Art.-No. Art.-No. 7958/18. Made of black, pink & white trevira velvet; chest from pink Dralon plush; white hair on top of head & white-black tail made of long pile woven fur; black-white googly eyes; cord tongue; unjointed in begging position; limbs excelsior stuffed; manufactured without voice & chest tag; small golden coloured Steiff raised script button in ear; Steiff ear tag shows hand written Art.-No. & wrong information about covering material; in mint condition overall; item without report in any Steiff catalogue."  This Disney character skunk is pictured here on the left, the photo is from Teddy Dorado.  

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on Phuy Skunk has been a well deserved breath of fresh air for you. 

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

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