Saturday, December 8, 2018

Jumping For Joy Over This Early Steiff Rabbit With A Secret

Most collectors are all ears to learn more about a new Steiff find. So this one should get your nose twitching for sure! Check out this recent find from the recent London International Antique Doll, Teddy Bear, and Toy Fair. He's one hoppy handful indeed!

There's not a hare out of place with this sweet baby bunny. He measures 8 cm tall by 15 cm long. He is sitting, unjointed, and made from a soft white plush material called lamb's wool plush. This material has a short but "lumpy-bumpy" surface to it, like a real lamb. His ears are lined in pink velvet. His face comes to life with red felt backed black button eyes and a simple pink hand embroidered nose and mouth. He retains a few of his original clear mono filament whiskers. His red ribbon is perfect for him but not original; his original accessories included a light blue ribbon and a little bell. Rabbit retains his original long trailing 'f" button as his Steiff ID. He was produced in 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, and 22 cm from 1901-1924 overall.

Does this little guy have a familiar ring to him? Yes, for two reasons... one obvious, and one not so much.

The first is that his pattern is a legacy and very early one for Steiff. It was produced from the late 1800's onward in felt, velvet, and this lamb's wool plush. Like many of the company's initial designs, it is somewhat primitive (in the best way possible) with simple lines and a basic form. 

The second is that this rabbit is actually also a rattle. He has a noisemaker placed within his torso; this makes a distinctly "tinkle-tinkle" sound when he is shaken about. Of course, this is music to Steiffgal's ears! Steiff sometimes produced the smallest, or almost smallest, versions of popular items from the first quarter of the 20th century as rattles. Steiffgal has handled rattle bears, squirrels, dogs, cats, and now this rabbit - all discovered by serendipity! As far as Steiffgal knows, there is no reference book that lists what Steiff animals were made as rattles. So always gently shake a small, early Steiff find - you just might find it holds a playful secret!  The picture on the left is from Pfeiffer's Sortiment 1892-1943 and shows what this fun bun looked like when he left the factory in Germany a century or so ago. 

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on this early rattle rabbit has you jumping for joy.

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

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