Steiff Rarities at Vectis Prototypes, rare colourways and more….

Jo McDonald

Jo McDonald

2019-01-23 15:59:49


Since the turn of the twentieth century, the brand name Steiff has always been synonymous with design quality and top craftsmanship. The Doll and Teddy Bear Auction at Vectis on Tuesday 29th January 2019 offers collectors the rare opportunity to acquire items which would be unique in todays market.

Go ape for this Steiff Jocko monkey Lot 4622. Steiff have produced hundreds of monkeys in their history, generally in chocolate brown, white or beige, appearing in the catalogue in a variety of sizes. What makes this guy so rare? His colour and condition, his mohair is a warm ginger colour and not a standard line (catalogue) item. This means that the monkey was produced as a special order perhaps for a Department Store, exhibition, or even as a tester for new lines, whatever the reason there was a very limited number produced for a short period. There are only a couple of others in this size ever to have been seen. For his age he is in remarkable condition, his fur is rich and dense and his glass eyes are sparkling, not bad for a toy edging towards 90 years old.

![]( your trunk to be at this sale, not to miss the wonderful tumbling elephant in [**Lot 4621**]( Steiff titled them ‘Purzel’ animals (tumbling), an internal clockwork mechanism enables them to roll forward, this was wound up by the reverse movement of limbs (in this case legs). Produced in a variety of animals this is the rarest of them all, appearing in the catalogue for only two years, 1909 -1910. Seldom, if ever is the mechanism operational after all the years, this elephant has movement but struggles to tumble on his own accord. At over 100 years old he is not doing too bad. In addition to the Steiff famous ‘button in ear’ he has the remains of the white paper identification tag behind his ear too. ![](
Never to be sold.   [**Lot 4616**]( contains a Steiff piece that was never sold on the open market. The horse on wheels c1907 has no ordinary Steiff button but a ‘Muster’ button. Muster loosely translates from German to English as pattern or sample, therefore this item was the in-house or display sample used by Steiff and as such could be classed as the prototype for the series. It has done well to also retain many of the original furnishings such as the saddle and stirrups which are often lost or broken. A truly exciting piece.
![]( Muzzle bear – [**Lot 4504**]( As these were intended as children’s toys, this cuddly teddy bear could appear quite frightening to a small child with a network of leather straps to tame the ferocious bear. The muzzle bear was produced from 1908 – 1917 and did not reappear until it was revived in the 1980’s for a Limited-Edition series in several sizes and colours. This delicate 12.5” original retains the leather headpiece, so many have perished over the years and is therefore rare. Her colour white is also desirable, although she is now slightly discoloured her original colour can be seen in her joints.![](

Always economical, Steiff did not want to waste an inch of the precious and very expensive mohair material used in producing teddy bears. From a bolt of fabric there would always be a small section left; instead of wasting this piece the company made the last bear with an additional (centre) seam so the bear was made half from one bolt of fabric and half from a new roll. These bears are therefore only one in every 8 or 10 produced which make them rarer than the normal run. There is not one but TWO of these in the sale – Lots 4480 – 4506.


Other notable vintage Steiff lots include – 450245034505, additionally there is a wide range of modern Steiff limited editions, some ex shop stock also in the sale.


For more information please contact Joanne McDonald or Kathy Taylor call +44 (0) 1642 750616.

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