Wednesday, January 30, 2019

And The Blue Ribbon For The Most Unusual Steiff Bully the Bulldog Goes To...

Are you looking for blues clues about a most unusual Steiff treasure? Then check out this fabulous - and fabulously rare - example of Steiff's beloved prewar Bully the Bulldog. There's no doubt he'd be top dog in anyone's Steiff canine kennel!

The sky's the limit with this outstanding blue and white Bully. He's sitting, head jointed, and made from velvet. His blue has oxidized to more of a green color since his "birthday" nine decades ago. You see this often with vintage materials and dye colors. (Check out where the sun doesn't shine - like armpits and crotches - to find areas untouched by time.) Like the Bully dogs of his era, he has large, metal lined, and poseable ears and patched construction. His face comes to life with oversized black and brown glass pupil eyes, a hand embroidered nose, a few freckles, and an elaborately constructed and very detailed muzzle. Blue Bully retains his original horsehair collar and bell, as well as his long trailing "f" button as his ID. This bouncing bundle of joy was produced in 7, 10, 14, and 17 cm from 1927 through 1934 - and is only the second blue Bully Steiffgal has ever seen!

It is interesting to note that in the late 1920s through early 1930s, Steiff produced a number of animal and novelty patterns in fun, "jellybean" hues - both in mohair and velvet. These included rabbits, bears, dogs, pincushions, and other favorites. It is Steiffgal's best guess that these colorful critters were designed to match the mood and aesthetic of the "roaring 20s" and were produced not only as toys for children but as gifts and collectibles for adults. 

Small, unusually hued, prewar Steiff rarities with IDs and accessories like this only surface once in a blue moon - and always generate lots of dollars, and interest, at auction. For example, in 2016, an 8 cm version generated 12 bids and hammered at €2,400 (roughly $2,800) on its €330 - €660 (roughly $376 - $750) estimate. And why is that? Like most marketplace or economic situations, it has to do with supply and demand. For example, consider....

  • Petitely proportioned items are/were often a child's "best friend" and as such, were loved to death as playthings, or lost to time. So there are not alot of them in general still around. 
  • These small treasures span several collecting categories, including general antiques, Christmas items, dollhouse items, dolls, and Steiff. So many people are interested in them. 
  • They don't take up too much space in a collection.  So they are very desirable from the collection management and logistics perspectives, especially amongst more "seasoned" collectors. 
  • And they are simply just plain wonderful. Collectors seldom if ever tire of them, and very rarely sell them unless they absolutely have to.
Steiffgal hopes you've enjoyed learning about this blue ribbon beauty.

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

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