Steiffgal hopes your New Year's holiday was peachy-keen. Or even better, beachy-keen! For collectors in the Northern hemisphere, we are entering the coldest and darkest part of the year. So how about heating things up with a Steiff fantasy trip to a favorite warmer weather destination - the beach! It's time to head off for a little sun and fun... and sand between our toes. Here are a few Steiff friends that call the shoreline "home."
Many wonderful birds feather their nests right along the oceanfront. Of course, it wouldn't be a day at the beach without a flock of seagulls within eye and earshot! Steiff's Movi Seagull is the perfect beach buddy. He is 28 cm, unjointed, and made from white, black, and grey woven fur. He has black felt "feathers" on the tips of his wings. He is standing on large, poseable yellow velvet and felt webbed feet and has a yellow trivera velvet peak. Movi has black button eyes that are backed by red felt. Movi was produced from 1979 through 1981 and is relatively uncommon on the secondary market.
Beach visitors are likely to find a few herons standing tall among the beach grass and palm trees. Steiff's fantastic, life sized Grey Heron has a leg up over most of Steiff's studio birds in terms of rarity. This big bird is 50 cm tall, unjointed, and standing on one leg. He is primarily made from short white and grey plush. He is brought to life with stenciled felt wings; long grey and white plush "feathering" on his back, chest, and head; and a long, thin yellow trivera velvet beak. His pert face is detailed with light green and black pupil eyes and a black plush "bandit style" mask across his forehead. And of course, it's no balancing act to notice his authentic, yellow trivera legs (or in this case, leg!) with its prominent, distinct "knee" and large four-toed foot. This Grey Heron was made from 1980 through 1984 in this size only.
Just walking on the beach puts most folks in a good mood. Which may explain why Steiff's sand crabs are anything but cranky! Check out Steiff's cheerful and colorful take on these crustaceans. Steiff's Cosy Clippy Crab is 10 cm, made from two colors of woven fur, and has felt claws and feet. His eyes are tiny and set deeply into his face. Clippy was produced from 1995 through 1996 in six - yes six - rainbow hues including violet, yellow, red, olive green, eggplant, and raspberry.
It's time to take a deep dive and do some synchronized swimming with some of Steiff's best-loved water babies. Start to "fin"-ish, collectors can't seem to get enough of Steiff's Flossy Fish. Flossy was the first fish design launched post war in 1960. She is made from mohair in 13, 28, and 66 cm and detailed either in the blues, reds, or yellows. The smallest versions have felt fins while the larger versions have mohair ones. All Flossies have oversized brown and black pupil eyes, playful felt lips, and are joyously hand airbrushed - perhaps to give the impression of swirling color under water. Flossy remained in the Steiff catalog through 1981.
Put your feet up as we wind down this leisurely beach stroll. And there's no more "aquatically appropriate" way to do that than with the company's spectacular starfish stool! This five-legged lovely is 50 cm in diameter, 30 cm high, and made from mohair. She was actually originally designed as a "sitztier" or sitting animal for children. Her top is gloriously hand airbrushed in pumpkin-orange, brown, green, and cherry-red. Her underside is tan. The tips of her "feet" are made from a faux suede material, which feels quite similar to the faux suede material used on the pads of Steiff's mid to late-1950's pandas and Teddy babies. Starly has a yellow metal frame attached to the underside of her body via heavy tan strings. This "skeleton" gives her strength and stability, and holds her semi "arched" or standing position. She has grey rubber feet on the ends of this metal frame, to keep her in place and prevent floor scratching. Starly was produced in this size only (officially cataloged as "35 cm") from 1959 through 1969 - and is considered one of Steiff's "superstar" collector's items from this period.
Steiffgal hopes this little imaginary warm weather get-away has been as delightful as a day at the beach for you.
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