Sunday, September 8, 2019

Does This Steiff Story Have A Familiar Ring To It?

Now for something really different, and really fantastic. Steiff animals have always been a part of key family and life cycle events, and here's perfect proof of that. Check out this note from a reader who asks about her Grandmother's special Steiff treasure. She writes, 

"My Aunt, who is in her seventies, recently sent me this lamb that belonged to my Grandmother who was born in 1915. She claims that my Granny’s engagement ring was presented tied to its neck; this would have been in the 1930s. 

My Mom thinks it was a tradition at the time to present a ring attached to a toy or object. She also believes that Grandma's engagement followed her "pinning" at Christmas, which involved a 1930s-era Steiff miniature woolen fawn. My family sent you photos of this little fawn in 2012 and you helped us figure out that mystery a few years ago. It it possible that this this lamb carried the "next step" in Grandma's engagement engagement process? My Granny always loved little stuffed animals and dolls - she collected them later in life. Thank you!"

How fun, and where to start? If you are not familiar with the Steiff woolen miniature fawn "pinning" story mentioned above, please check out that heartwarming post here! The little guy pictured here on the left steals THAT show, and a few hearts along the way! Make sure to scroll to the very end of the story where you can see a remarkable, almost century old photo of the reader's Grandmother at Christmas time with this fantastic Steiff woollie fawn.

So now let's fast forward to the item under discussion today. What we have here is indeed a barnyard buddy, but it is a goat, not a lamb! This goat's name is Zicky. Steiff made these from 1952 through 1972 in 10, 14, 22, 28, and 35 cm. All were unjointed, standing, and made from off white mohair with felt detailing. They came to life with beautiful airbrushed highlighting, including coloration on their backs and legs, and a touch of red on their lips. Zicky goats had black and green slit pupil eyes and black, simple noses and mouths. And given their production era, all had raised script style Steiff buttons, as shown here on the left. Medium and larger sized versions sported wooden or felt horns. All examples left the factory decorated with a silken ribbon and a brass bell. 

This beloved goat pattern was also produced in 14 cm on red wooden eccentric wheels from 1953-1957 and in a somewhat rarer "lying" pattern in 10 and 14 cm from 1954 through 1956.

So, do things align here? Given that the Zicky pattern was introduced in the early 1950s, and the great exchange happened in the 1930s - it is not possible that this goat delivered Granny's ORIGINAL engagement ring, at least in the time and space continuum that Steiffgal knows of. However, it is entirely possible that this goat DID participate in another special ring exchange - perhaps for a 25th wedding anniversary or other milestone event - and the family story just got a little out of order over time.

Steiffgal hopes this great Steiff family story had a familiar ring to it!

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

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