Sunday, November 29, 2009

Taking a Closer Peek At Steiff's Peky Dogs

Dogs are perhaps Steiffgal's "best of show" favorites among all the wonderful creatures Steiff has produced over the years. There's something in the way that the Steiff designers capture the personalities and characteristics of the toy breeds - including pugs, Pomeranians, and Pekingese - that make their renditions completely irresistible. Check out this question concerning a precious Steiff pup to see if you agree. Anna from Warsaw, Poland writes:


A few months ago I bought a very nice Steiff dog.

Unfortunately I have no information regarding this dog.

It would be great if you could tell me anything about it.

Please find a picture of the dog as an attachment.

Best Regards, Anna"

This is a walk in the dog park to answer! Anna, what you have here is Steiff's Cosy Peky, the Pekingese. She was manufactured from 1968 through 1978. Peky is 20 cm, sitting, unjointed, and has adorable black and white pupil eyes and a hand stitched nose. She is made from tan and white Dralon (a synthetic plush), and is stuffed with soft fibers and foam, making her fully washable. Cosy Peky, like most Steiff items with the word "Cosy" in their names, was designed more as a fun, play item for children rather than a collectible.

Steiffgal guesses that her button is small and dome shaped, with the word "Steiff" written in tiny script letters, or rather flat like a plate with the word "Steiff" in larger script letters. Anna's Cosy Peky was made at a time when the company was transitioning from one button type to another.

Pekingese dogs have been in the Steiff product line for 497 (dog) years, having made their first appearance in the 1938 catalog. The original Peky, shown here on the left in a photo from Gunther Pfeiffer's 1892 - 1943 Sortiment Book, is standing, head jointed, and made from very long off white mohair. She was produced in 10, 14, 17, 22, and 25 cm up until 1943.

After the war, a newer Pekingese design was introduced, debuting in 1953. This updated Peky was produced in 8, 10, 14, and 22 cm though 1977. The post-war Peky is standing, made from light brown mohair, has a detailed black muzzle (mostly velvet in the smaller sizes; mohair in the larger ones), and a darling, pouty mouth. This pattern was also produced as an 18 cm hand puppet from 1963 through 1964. Because this design is so expressive, it remains a collector's favorite to this day - as each Peky truly has her own look and personality. The photo on the left shows an assortment of these "newer" Pekys, including the puppet.

Steiff also introduced other Pekys into the line through the 1980's. These included a larger, 30 cm light blond mohair sitting Peky from 1965 through 1976 (pictured to the left), Anna's adorable Cosy Peky, a crylor (a coarse synthetic material) standing Peky, and a few other soft plush play versions for children. Interestingly, Steiff has yet to produce a Studio, or life sized, Peky for collectors! Hint, hint!

Anna, Steiffgal hopes this "peek" into the history of Steiff Pekingese dogs has given you a good feeling for the legacy of your precious Peky!

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

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