Saturday, March 26, 2016

Wishing Steiff Collectors Around The World A Very Hoppy Easter!

In the mood for a handful of Easter cheer?  Then this petite post on a small scale Steiff rabbit should do the trick!  There is something so endearing, and so precious, about Steiff's teeny, tiny treasures.  Come see for yourself how size defies when it comes to this happy hopper!

Blink and you might miss this baby bunny.  He measures 8 cm tall (including his ears) and 7 cm wide.  He is unjointed and in Steiff's "lying" position, meaning his hind legs are curled under his backside.  His torso, the front of his ears, and his underside are made from short white mohair.  His body, face, and back of ears are made from tan mohair.  His darling face comes to life with a simple red hand embroidered nose and mouth, black and brown glass pupil eyes, and tan airbrushing.  This pattern was made in 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, and 17 cm from 1930 through 1943 overall.  This example has a short trailing "f" style button, dating him in approximately in the 1936 through 1943 time frame.  Another example of this pattern was sold at auction in 2014; you can see that honey-bunny by clicking here.

This tiny rabbit has a few really big details that make him quite interesting.  The first is his size.  For the most part, Steiff items are "measured" without ears and without tails, and vertically.  As such, if his ears are taken out of the equation, his "official" measurement is 6 cm.  This puts him in at the smallest size made in this pattern.  However, he is not the smallest size rabbit ever made by Steiff - not by a longshot! In the prewar era, Steiff manufactured rabbits as small as 4 cm in velvet or felt. 

His second feature has been lost to time, but not to history.  When this item left the factory in Giengen, he had two wooden dowels lightly sewn onto his legs - one between his front limbs and one between his hind limbs.  You can see a picture of this to the left; the photo is taken from Pfeiffer's 1892-1943 Sortiment book. This somewhat unusual, labor intensive step was done to keep the body position secure and in line during manufacturing, packing, shipping, and distribution.  This same process was also done on some of the company's Scotty dogs of the same era, but Steiffgal is not aware of any other examples of this dowel treatment.

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on this Easter hare-binger has been and egg-cellent adventure for you.

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