Steiffgal's not clowning around when she says she's over the moon excited about her latest Steiff acquisition. Just this week, she welcomed a delightful and most unusual Steiff clown puppet into her hug. Not only is he irresistibly adorable, he also has a really interesting place in Steiff's product development timeline. Check out this gentle joker and see what makes him so unique from the design and historical perspectives.
Please give a round of applause to this happy handful! Here we have Steiff's Kasperl Clown or Punch Clown puppet. He is 17 cm tall. His head, hands, and ears are made from felt. His body is made from a piece of red, yellow, blue, and green flowered calico fabric. He comes to life with brown and black glass pupil eyes, a dimensional face, hand painted facial features, and yellow mohair hair. His clown costume includes a blue silk neck ruff and a felt hat decorated with a red pom-pom. These accessories are quite similar to those seen on Steiff's Teddy Clown bears from 1926 through 1930. This clown puppet was made in this size only and took center stage in the Steiff catalog from 1936 through 1943.
Steiff created a few "theme and variation" items based on this basic clown pattern. The company often did this with popular designs and characters. As such, the clown was also produced as a 35 cm clown doll from 1936 through 1940 and as a 25 cm soft tumbling Roly Clown from 1937 through 1943. For reference, the clown doll and Roly Clown are pictured below; the photos are from Pfeiffer's 1892-1943 Steiff Sortiment Book.
|Doll version of the clown|
The first includes his numerous "debut roles" in Steiff's product line. This clown puppet appears to be the very first "non-animal" puppet manufactured by Steiff overall. In addition, he is the only "non-animal" puppet made by the company pre-World War II. However, Steiff did produce many "people puppets," including clowns, Santa Claus, dwarfs, and fairytale characters, from the late 1950's onward.
|Roly version of the clown|
|Distinct, sewn on ears|
Steiffgal hopes this discussion on this unique pressed felt faced clown hand puppet has been a one of kind experience for you!
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