Sunday, December 15, 2019

This Steiff Tail-Moves-Head Dox Really Rocks!

Care to take a little paws from the holiday madness? That's probably an offer you can't refuse right about now! Then have a look at this darling Dachshund. He's truly a head-turner, in more ways than one! Here's why.

This arm and leg jointed Dox really rocks! He measures about 11 cm tall and about 19 cm wide, not including his tail. His paws, underbelly, face, and muzzle are made from orange tipped mohair. His ears, tail, back, and limbs are made from black mohair. He has three hand painted claws on each foot. His puppy-like face comes to life with a black hand embroidered nose and mouth, proportional black and brown glass pupil eyes, and a touch of black airbrushed highlighting. He retains his long trailing "f" button and traces of his red ear tag as his Steiff IDs. And his secret superpower? He's a rare, tail-moves-head example, meaning that when his long tail is rotated in either direction, his head follows suit! This pretty puppy appeared in the line in 14, 17, and 22 cm from 1931-1934 overall.

Dachshunds are legacy Steiff breeds, and have appeared continuously in the line in one form or the other since the late 1800s. This particular black and orange version was introduced in 1929 in the form of a 22 cm standing version. He also appeared on regular or eccentric wheels in five sizes ranging from 17 to 35 cm from 1929-1935 overall, and as a "detachable" variation in 18, 23, and 29 cm from 1936-1939 overall.  

This Doxie has several interesting design elements that align almost perfectly with his launch and production timeline. 

The first, and most obvious, is his tail-moves-head feature. Starting in the early 1930s, Steiff started to produce several of its most popular designs with a tail-moves-head feature. This Doxie puppy pattern, which reflects the late 1920s happy, childlike aesthetic Steiff is known for (think Molly, Charly, Pip, Bully, etc.) must have been a best seller at the time to merit this novelty upgrade. 

The second is his assembly. Doxie is made from two distinctly different mohair fabrics which are patched together. This type of construction was typical for the 1920s, and was more expensive and labor intense than simply making an item from one type of mohair, or airbrushing color(s) onto one type of mohair. For the most part, Steiff's patched construction was all but phased out by the late 1930s and replaced with more efficient production operations. 

And the third is his orange tipped mohair. Joyful, colorfully tipped mohair debuted in Steiff line in the mid-1920s. Items including rabbits, penguins, deer, and even gnomes featured similar orange tipped mohair through the late 1930s. There's no question that this playful fabric added a touch of whimsy to these very period products. 

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on Steiff's two colored dachshund has been more than twice as nice for you.

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