Sunday, May 8, 2022

This Prewar Steiff Bear Doll Is Simply Picture Perfect!

This next great Steiff find is dressed for success. Steiff's prewar animal dolls are beloved by collectors but are quite rare - especially in their original clothing. They are among Steiffgal's most favorite button-in-ear novelties of all time, so she was thrilled to welcome this irresistible cub into her collection recently. Check out this handsomely attired example and see why he's just about picture perfect!

Here we have Steiff's a-maiz-ing Puppbaer or Bear Doll. He is 22 cm tall, standing, and head jointed. His arms hang loosely at his sides. His body is solidly stuffed and made from a soft flannel material. His head, in the form of the company's beloved Teddy Baby, is made from shaggy maize and white wool plush. The tops of his hands and flat feet are made from white wool plush. His earnest face comes to life with an open, felt lined mouth, a brown hand embroidered nose, and glass pupil eyes. He wears well fitting red, blue, orange, white, and green plaid calico pants, a long sleeved red cloth shirt, and a blue and white fringed calico scarf. He retains his long trailing "f" button and traces of his red ear tag as his IDs. This design was produced in 14, 22, and 28 cm from 1931-43 overall; Steiffgal suspects this cub was born around 1933-34. 

It is interesting to note that over his 12 year prewar production period, this Teddy Baby bear doll was available in 11 assorted clothing options. These finely tailored outfits included play and sporting outfits, pajamas, dresses, swimsuits, and traditional Germanic attire. This particular example under discussion here is in outfit #7, which is documented simply as, "winter suit, checkered trousers." The scarf is definitely "winter-y", and there's no question his pants are plaid! Outfit #7 was manufactured from 1933 through 1942. 

And just why is this fashion plate "picture perfect?" Check out this page from the company's 1938/39 catalog. On the top of page 40 of this great reference, you can see Bear Doll modeling in the exact outfit as he wears today. In 1938/39 - according to this catalog - he was available in six total outfits and in 22 or 28 cm. 

The approximate translation of this catalog text is...

"Soft body, floppy arms, firm body, plush head, funny clothes in different versions. 

#1 is sports shirt, blue trousers. #2 is blue suit, sand colored apron. #3 is polka dot dress, belt, red cape. #5 is loose salmon red dress. #6 is red and white smocked dress. #7 is winter suit and plaid pants. #8 is green trousers and a red blouse. #9 is a blue patterned dirndl dress. 

Please specify the outfit number and the doll size when ordering this item."

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on Steiff's Bear Doll has been the best of all worlds for you.

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

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