Sunday, December 2, 2018

It's Hard Not To Gloat Over This Marvelous Steiff Goat!

This next Steiff find is one barn burner indeed! Check out this sweet farmyard friend that Steiffgal recently added to her Steiff herd. His adorable presentation and personality can't help but get your goat!

Here we have Steiff's late 1920s-era Ziege or goat. He is standing, unjointed, and made from tan mohair. He has brown airbrushed spots all over his body and back. His back legs are particularly shapely, with well defined bends in his "knees." He has a pert tail and large, almost triangular shaped ears. His face comes to life with green-teal and black glass slit pupil eyes (the same ones used on Steiff's felines of the same production era), black hand embroidered nostrils and mouth, and a touch of red highlighting on his snout. He has a non-working side squeaker in his belly.  This great goat was made in 17, 22, and 28 cm from 1928-1932; this is the smallest, or 17 cm version. 

Now let's bleat about Steiff's wonderful legacy of producing goats. They have appeared in the Steiff catalog in one form or another almost continuously since the very late 1800's. Like most of Steiff's output, the earliest were made from felt or early plush materials. The first mohair goat debuted in 1906, just three years after mohair became available on a commercial scale in 1903. These were fully jointed and produced in either white or white and black in four sizes ranging from 22 to 43 cm (measured vertically from head to toe.) Other models - including those on regular or eccentric wheels, pram and pull toys, tail moves head versions, and riding goats - appeared through the early 1940s. The company's most famous postwar model, Zicky, was introduced in 1952. He was made freestanding in 5 sizes ranging from 10 to 35 cm through 1972, as well as on eccentric wheels in 14 cm from 1953-1957 and lying down in 10 and 14 cm from 1954-1956.

Two prewar models that are certain to have collectors act the giddy goat are a handsome wool plush 28 cm model with prominent felt horns from 1938-1942 and a palm-sized woolen miniature goat which was made in 10 or 17 cm from 1935-1939. The woolen miniature version is pictured here on the left and the photo is from Gunther Pfeiffer's 1892-1943 Sortiment book. There's no mistaking his goat-like qualities, given his great eyes and perfectly proportioned ears. Isn't it amazing how many "goaty" details Steiff was able to squeeze into such a petite treat?

Taking a page from history, here on the left you can see how goats were presented in the 1929 Steiff catalog - including the one under discussion here today. It is interesting to note that they share real estate with the company's handsome tigers. This is because the catalog presents the range by series number, with tigers being 70 and goats being 74. Series numbers appear to have been assigned to the "type" or grouping an animal falls into, as well as where it may fall in alphabetical order. This playful picture is from Carsten Esser's Steiff Katalog 1920-1929. You can click on the photo to enlarge it for better viewing.

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on this beautiful pre-war Billy has helped you separate the sheep from the goats.


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