Well, the big day is almost here - Easter! And Steiffgal is sending you her "official" greetings via a friend who is more than qualified to handle that public service responsibility. Please say hello to "The Mayor," a perfect ambassador to Spring's most anticipated holiday!
So just who is this impressive Easter-beaster? The Mayor, a 60 cm boy rabbit doll, gets his name from his impressive size, serious expression, and business attire. His "birth" name, given by Steiff, is Hansili. He is standing on flat cardboard lined feet, head jointed, and primarily made from wool plush fabric. His core body and paw pads are made from a flesh-colored, lightly flocked fabric. The Mayor's face comes to life with oversized black and brown pupil eyes, a red hand embroidered nose and mouth, clear monofilament whiskers, and skillfully placed brown and tan airbrushed highlights. His ears are entirely wool plush, lined in wires, and are posable. His all-original outfit consists of blue felt shorts with red felt suspenders, a white polyester, collared, buttoned shirt, a red and white neckerchief, and a floral corsage. This big bunny retains his named chest tag as his Steiff ID. The Mayor was made in this size from 1951 through 1966; a matching 60 cm girl rabbit doll version was also produced at the same time.
It's easy to see how The Mayor won his leadership role by a landslide vote. He has several noteworthy features that make him quite the man about town.
First is his size. The Mayor, as far as Steiffgal can tell, is the largest standard line, dressed animal doll Steiff ever produced on a commercial scale. A Steiff animal doll is different than a dressed Steiff animal; an animal doll has a special, distinctly humanly styled and proportioned body and a traditional Steiff animal head. A dressed Steiff animal may be any animal in the Steiff line dressed by the company or dressed by a collector. Steiff produced a fantastic series of animal dolls starting in the late 1920's. Early versions are highly coveted among collectors.
Second is his material. The Mayor is made from wool plush. That in itself is not remarkable, but the timing is. This fabric is usually associated with Steiff's production before, and then for several years after, World War II. It is often considered a substitute fabric for mohair, and is beloved for its distinctly old fashioned look. The Mayor could have been produced as late as 1966, especially given his shirt is made out of a relatively modern polyester material. It is possible that The Mayor is one of the last, if not the last, mid 20th century item to reflect design elements and materials associated with war-era production.
The third is his condition. Despite possibly being over a half century old, The Mayor has managed to keep himself in fine and youthful shape overall. He hardly has a hare out of place! His coloring, especially on his head and ears is vibrant, and his materials show a little playwear, but no losses or damages. It is pretty amazing that he retains his original floral corsage and named chest tag. These are two very ephemeral items that are lost to time more often than not.
Steiffgal hopes this discussion on "The Mayor" helps to govern you towards a delightful Easter weekend!
Have a question about one of your Steiff treasures? Let's talk! Click here to learn more!