Sunday, May 21, 2017

This Exceptional and Early Steiff Bear Is Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice!

Well, hello handsome! Yes, it's OK to stare... he's used to it! This week's blog special guest is not a Hollywood hunk, although with some Steiff collectors, his good looks are on par with many of the leading men of the big and little silver screens! Steiffgal recently had the opportunity to spend some time with a magnificent and early Steiff bear, and wanted to share his perfect and period (and irresistible) detailing with you. 

This sweet and all original cub is sugar and spice and everything nice! He is fully jointed, solidly stuffed with excelsior, and measures 16 inches tall standing and 11 inches tall sitting. His felt pads are tan and he has four hand-embroidered claws on each paw. You can't help but notice his unusual color, which is a magnificent cinnamon hue. Although it is challenging to absolutely capture almost any color on film and on screen, his eye-catching color really does match the deep orange-brown glow of a cinnamon stick!

Ted's proportions make him one sexy senior citizen. Steiff's early bears have a relatively consistent scale. As such, its no numbers game to determine if a vintage Teddy bear may have been manufactured by Steiff many years ago. For the most part, Steiff’s early 1900’s bears have torsos (measured from neck to crotch) that are twice as long as their heads (measured from crown of head to neck.) This bear's torso and head measure 8" and 4", respectively. Steiff's bears from this era have relatively large feet, in a ratio of 1:5 to the bear’s height, measured standing. This bear stands 16 inches tall, and his feet, measured heel to toe, are c. 3-1/4" long. And these bears have extra long limbs, with their arms extending to their "knees” when standing. And why is this? Because they were originally designed to stand on all fours, as illustrated in the photo to the left. This Cinny seems to fits the mold to a "T" here!

Let's face it, you can't help but fall in love with this bear's handsome expression. His face comes to life with several features that have captured collector's hearts for over a century. His black wooden shoe button eyes, faded black nose and mouth stitching, and trimmed muzzle area are delightful and so typical to Steiff. And heading off any doubt about his authenticity, this bear also retains his still shiny "trailing F" style button and traces of his white ear tag as his Steiff IDs. It is interesting to note that his mohair coloring inside his ears, as well around other areas "where the sun don't shine" is an even more vibrant cinnamon color. This is likely because these places were protected from any light or other environmental conditions that trigger fading.

Although it is impolite to ask about age, it is Steiffgal's best guess that this terrific Ted was born in the 1908-1910 time frame. Here's why. From his provenance, it is known that he was given to a little girl who was born in 1903. Ted's classic detailing, including his curved wrists, pronounced back hump, and long thin feet with narrow ankles are clearly early 20th century. His black shoe button eyes, for the most part, date him no later than 1910 or so. His button and ear tag are also completely consistent with this dating. Ted's prominent, hand-sewn chest seam also hides a clue to his date of manufacture. He has a non-working growler in his torso; these were invented by Margarete Steiff's nephew Paul Steiff and debuted in the company's bears starting in 1908.

Steiffgal hopes this introduction to this delightful and rare cinnamon Steiff bear has spiced up your day just a pinch!

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

No comments:

Post a Comment

The teddy bear search engine