Saturday, March 10, 2018

This Pre-War Steiff Siamy Is Simply The Cat's Meow

It's always fun to add a little something unexpected to your Steiff meow mix! And such is the case with this wonderful feline treasure that snuck in on little cat's feet. Steiff's Siamy Siamese cats have been favorites with collectors since their introduction in 1930. Check out this very vintage version and see what makes her purr-fect in every way.

Despite being a bit mohair challenged, this pretty kitty has quite the tail to tell. She is 22 cm, sitting, head jointed, and made from mohair - tan on her body and head, and brown on her ears, muzzle, front legs, back foot pads, and tail. You can see traces of brown airbrushed highlights on her face. Her face comes to life with blue and black slit pupil style glass eyes and a simple pink hand embroidered nose and mouth. 
Her red claws are also hand embroidered. She proudly retains only one of her original clear monofilament whiskers. She has a non-working squeaker in her belly and sports a teeny tiny long trailing "F" button as her Steiff ID. Sitting, mohair Siamy was made in 14, 17, 22, 25, and 30 cm from 1930 through 1932 and then again from 1934 through 1942 overall. 

Given how many cat-calls she received from collectors, Siamy was produced in a number of forms. She appeared as a tail turns head model in 15, 18, 23, 26, and 31 cm from 1931 through 1933, and in wool plush in 14, 17, 22, 25, and 30 from 1930 through 1932. Siamy-inspired novelties included a 17 cm hand puppet called Punch Siamy that appeared in the line from 1930 though 1934 and a 30 x 30 cm Siamy pajama bag that appeared in the line from 1930 through 1937. The puppet and pajama bag are both incredibly rare on the secondary market.  Steiffgal has only dreamed about the Siamy pajama bag, and has only handled one Siamy puppet in over four decades of collecting all things button-in-ear. 

Siamy used one of her nine lives to reintroduce herself into the Steiff catalog after the company reopened for toymaking business at the conclusion of World War II. However, she was only made in 11, 15, and 23 cm from 1953 through 1954. The post-war pattern had several key design updates over the pre-war pattern. To see these obvious differences, compare the photos above! The cat on the left is a prewar 22 cm Siamy and the cat on the right is a postwar 23 cm Siamy. 

Specifically, these update included:

  • The postwar model was distinctively more plump and rounded than the prewar model.
  • The postwar model had its tan mohair tail and front legs painted brown, while the prewar model had a brown mohair tail and front legs. 
  • The postwar model appeared with either an open or closed mouth. Steiffgal has only seen closed mouthed prewar models. 
  • The postwar models had a somewhat inverted triangular shaped muzzle and forehead construction, while the prewar models had a simpler, rounded muzzle. 
  • The medium and largest postwar models had felt lined ears and the smallest had felt ears. Prewar Siamy cats all had brown mohair ears. 
But one thing about Siamy's pattern didn’t change significantly over time—she retained her famous trademark blue eyes which continue to melt the hearts of collectors almost 90 years after her debut.

Steiffgal hopes that this little discussion on Steiff's Siamys has been the cat's meow for you.

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

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