Friday, February 26, 2016

Is This The Steiff Spring Hare-binger We've All Been Waiting For?

Are you looking for a "hare-binger" that a welcome change of season is slowly on its way?  Steiffgal certainly is!  As such, she couldn't be more delighted to receive this inquiry about one of spring's favorite sons. So hop to it and check out this interesting note that Steiffgal just received from a new Steiff friend from the United Kingdom.  Andrea from Reading, Berkshire writes...

"Hi Steiffgal,

I brought this for my son a few years ago from a charity shop and recently found it in the loft.
Please can you clarify that this is an original Steiff product and how much the value of it would be worth as it matches all the descriptions on your website?

Thank you, Andrea."

For the record... it is Steiffgal's best guess, based on the pictures provided, that this indeed is a Steiff "Record Rabbit."  Steiff's "record" style animals are those that are mounted on a wheeled metal chassis (sometimes called "Irish mail carts") and appear to move back and forth as they are pulled along... giving the impression that they are the ones powering the vehicle!  This is different than most other Steiff items on wheels, which remain entirely stationary as the tires rotate.  Steiff's debut "record" animal was the now famous Jocko the Chimpanzee, who was produced "record style" in 10, 15, 29, 25, and 30 cm in brown or white mohair from 1912 through 1943 overall.  You can see an early version of this record primate here on the left.

Now let's race back to the rabbit under discussion today.  This happy hopper is 25 cm, fully jointed, and made from mohair.  He has long floppy ears, oversized and expressive black and brown pupil eyes, and a hand embroidered nose.  His smiling, open mouth is lined in peach colored felt.   This item was produced postwar in this size only from 1949 through 1964. His features, including his facial detailing and distinctive mouth, are quite similar to the company's beloved, fully jointed Niki Rabbit pattern.  Niki appeared in the Steiff line in 14, 17, 22, 28, and 35 cm from 1951 thorough 1964.

Steiff's postwar Record Rabbit's design is based on a prewar carriage riding bunny, also named Record Rabbit.  This prewar rabbit is also 25 cm, fully jointed, and made from mohair.  However, the prewar version of this pattern has a few very subtle differences between it and the postwar version.  For example, the postwar version has an open mouth; the prewar version has a closed mouth.  The postwar version has a rounder, "toddler" appearance; the prewar version is more curvy and angular.  And the postwar version has broad, felt padded feet; the prewar version has extremely thin, padless feet. The prewar version appeared in the line form 1926 through 1943; a photo of him appears on the left.  

Rolling right along, its time to answer the dreaded valuation question. As always, something is "worth" what someone will pay for it.  Steiffgal has not seen this item firsthand, and cannot check for condition issues that do not appear on these photos, such as weak areas, odors, rot, thinning, excessive playwear, possible restoration, presence (or absence) of IDs, etc.  On the upside, this 14 carrot cutie looks to be in good to very good condition, with minimal losses on the wheels.  Steiffgal even spots a few of his original monofilament whiskers!  Given all that, it is Steiffgal's best guesstimate that he may sell on an online channel like eBay in the $150-250 range.

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on Andrea's postwar record rabbit has put a nice spin to your day.

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

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