Saturday, July 31, 2021

Moving And Grooving With This Tiny Steiff Treasure

Ever shake your head back and forth (in the best possible way) because you cannot believe your luck? Well, that just happened to Steiffgal when it came to this recent find. Sit and stay and check out why she is such a blue ribbon beauty.

It's all smiles when it comes to this tiny treasure. This is Cockie; she is 10 cm tall, sitting, made from mohair, and is head jointed. She is solidly stuffed with excelsior. Her ears, temples, and tail are made from black mohair and the rest of her body and her legs are made from white mohair. Her babylike face comes to life with an open, smiling, velvet lined mouth, dimensional muzzle, a black hand embroidered nose, and pert brown and black glass pupil eyes. She retains her original pink ribbon. She was produced in 10 and 14 cm in 1955 only.


So just what makes this girl best of show? Believe it or not, she is a very unusual postwar tail moves head model. So, when you twist her tail, her head moves in tandem. Her yellow eartag, which is numbered 3310H and perfectly describes her, "translates" to 3=sitting, 3=mohair, 10=10 cm tall, and H=head turning. This is the very first time Steiffgal had ever seen or handled one of these little known Cockie novelties!

As far as Steiffgal can tell, Steiff created a whole line of prewar tail moves head items in the early 1930s, but only two models postwar. These included a Teddy bear and this Cockie Cocker Spaniel. The reason Cockie is solidly stuffed with excelsior is that her torso holds most of the technology that makes this movement possible.


Steiff introduced a number of Cocker Spaniels in the early 1950s. They were produced in brown and white, black and white, and golden mohair. Some had open mouths and others had closed mouths. They were all named Cockie, which can get a little confusing sometimes! Unlike most of the other Cockies, the black and white mohair, open mouthed pattern - the one under discussion here - was also produced in a number of different "novelties."  These included this tail moves head pattern, a music boxas a life-sized, or studio editionas well as an upscale pajama bag - most likely as a special edition for FAO Schwarz

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on this rare and kinetic dog has headlined your day!

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

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Well Hello, Handsome... Before And After!

You clean up pretty nice! That's usually a compliment given to a person who presents themselves in an usually attractive way. But it can also apply to Steiff animals as well - especially those who have been cleaned with TLC. Check out this note from Hannah from Manchester, England who shares....

"I have just watched your excellent YouTube video on how to clean mohair Steiff. We have inherited my mother-in-law's mid-century Steiff Leo lion and I would like to give him a little clean... do you have any advice about how to tackle the longer hair of his mane?"

How exciting! This question is the mane focus of today's blog post. If you are interested in watching the Steiffgal cleaning video, you can catch it on Youtube here. You can also read about cleaning by clicking here.

Now let's focus on Hannah's inquiry.
Here's Steiffgal's best take on cleaning Leo's longer mohair. Leo's mane is also mohair, so the cleaning technique is pretty much the same as cleaning shorter mohair. But, because it is longer, it can trap a whole lot more dust and dirt that the shorter mohair. So you may have to go over it a few times. And make sure to get all of the long mohair clean, not just the tips and edges. You might lose a little bit of color when you scrub the mane. That is ok, it will show up on the white wash clothes you are using, but the color won't really fade or bleed on the mane mohair. So don't be upset if the color seems to be coming off, it is not really.

Post cleaning treatment is also important here. Once you are done cleaning the mane, let it dry, and then gently fluff it up with a wire or rubber toothed brush with bristles that bend and are flexible. Don't pull and yank the mane with the brush as this might break some of the fibers. Just do it lightly, and over time, and it will really become quite fuzzy again. Many lions have mane thinning on the very top of their heads (like middle aged men!!!) but that normal and you can't do anything about that.

So now the grand reveal. How did Hannah do? Check out Leo here - post cleaning. There's no question this is one handsome beast... and his cleaning will help insure his longevity and structural integrity for years to come. According to Hannah, "Leo is now feeling all clean and fluffy! We think he had about 60 years of coal dust and general muck on him so he's feeling much better! The mane took ages but he thinks all the brushing was probably worth it (there were a lot of snags)!"

Steiffgal hopes this information about cleaning longer mohair has given you the warm fuzzies.

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

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Boy Oh Boy, What A Wonderful Family Treasure!

Here's one inquiry that is definitely dressed for success! It's so nice to hear from new friends from overseas and today's technologies make it as easy as pressing a button! This question really caught Steiffgal's eye - and heart - given her love for Steiff's early through midcentury attired animal dolls. Check out this note from Denny from Germany who asks about a vintage family treasure. He shares,

"Hello I was recommended your site and I need advice on determining a Steiff-Haasen. It is an heirloom and cannot find this Steiff-Haasen anywhere. I'm interested in everything you can say about it. Thank you in advance and wish you a nice evening."

There's not a hare out of place when it comes to this sweet happy hopper. In terms of his basics, this boy bun is standing on flat feet, head jointed, and measures about 21 or 22 cm (as Steiff does not include the length of rabbit ears in its measurements.) His body is simply shaped with dangling arms and stiff, unjointed legs; it is made from a soft, pink colored fabric. His head, and the tops of his hands and feet, are made from mohair or another type of woolen fabric; it is hard to specifically tell from the photos. Steiff's items manufactured during periods of conflict or hardship - like when this guy was made - were often produced from a number of different types of fabric at any given time, given supply chain limitations.

Now let's check out his darling detailing.
 Rabbit's ears are lined in felt and are highlighted with a touch of pink airbrushing. His adorable face comes to life with proportional black and brown glass pupil eyes and a simple, pink hand embroidered nose and mouth. His clear monofilament whiskers have been loved off. He dons black felt trousers, a white textured shirt, and red felt suspenders; these clothes are original to him. These models traditionally also left the factory in Giengen wearing a little tie or bow at the neck. Because it was not sewn on, it must have been removed at some point and simply got lost to time. Rabbit doll retains his short "trailing f" button as his Steiff ID. His model was produced in 22 and 28 cm from 1937 through 1943.

Steiff produced this sweet guy as part of a delightful hare pair.
His girl companion rabbit doll was dressed in a red shirt with a white collar and cuffs, a blue and white checkered skirt, and an orange apron. These two were called Hasbu and Hasmaid, and were the last new rabbit doll patterns launched prewar. Unlike many other animal dolls, these were only produced in one outfit style, perhaps because these were the only fabrics available at this very challenging socio-economic and political period in history. That is why is it is possible to identify Denny's rabbit with great certainty. You can see Hasbu and Hasmaid here on the left, the photo is from Pfeiffer's 1892-1943 Sortiment.

Steiffgal hopes this information about Denny's treasure 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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