Monday, March 7, 2016

This Great Vintage Steiff Doll Has Heel-Appeal!

Ok team, its time to get to work! So check out this note from a new friend who is asking about an older Steiff doll that appears to take his job quite seriously. Cherie writes,

"Hi Steiffgal, 

Mom has her great uncle John's Steiff grocer doll, and I haven't been able to find out anything about it. Time and bugs have taken their toll, but it's still in pretty good shape.  Do you know anything about it? Thank you, Cherie"


It's an absolute labor of love to help out here. It is Steiffgal's best guess that this doll is Steiff's shoemaker doll. He should be 35 cm, fully jointed, and made from felt. Overall, this doll was made in the 1912 through 1920 time frame. Given his black shoebutton eyes, he is most likely from the earlier end of the time frame.  It is hard to tell from the photo if all of his clothing is original to him.  However, it was not unusual for Steiff to somewhat vary the fabrics used to make the clothing on a doll pattern, especially when the doll appeared for an extended period in the line.

Steiff employed alot of time and effort into this doll and others like it. From around 1912 through 1920 or so, Steiff made a series of "craftsman" themed dolls. These included a stone cutter, host, tailor, butcher, and shoemaker. All were 35 cm, except the butcher who was also made in 50 cm. The shoemaker doll, as he appeared when new, is pictured here on the left. The photo is from Pfeiffer's 1892-1943 Sortiment book. These great dolls often appeared in the company's grand window and event displays, especially those depicting "everyday" town and country scenes.  

It's time to buckle up this discussion about this great shoemaker doll with some thoughts on his value. Condition is everything when it comes to Steiff dolls from this era. It's very hard to tell from the photo much about his state and even if he retains his Steiff ID. Additional information about his body, jointing, mohair hair and mustache, etc. would be needed for a more formal analysis. As always, something is worth what someone will pay for it. In general, Steiff dolls from the c. 1910 through 1920 era in very good, all original condition with ID seem to be selling for the most part in the $1,500 to $2,500 range today. From the photos, this fellow looks initially to have some wear and losses and issues with his clothing. As such, it is Steiffgal's best guesstimate that he might sell at auction in the $750 to $1,200 range or so. 

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on this shoemaker doll has touched both your heart and sole. 

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

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