• Steiff I Love: Rabbits What we have here are two Steiff Niki Rabbits. Easter season or not, many Steiff enthusiasts consider this “hare-raising” design to be one of the most beloved and collectible postwar Steiff patterns ever produced. Measured standing, and not including their ears, large Niki is 22 cm and little Niki is 14 cm. Both are made from tan mohair, have brown and black pupil eyes, small pink hand-embroidered…
  • Steiff I Love: March Madness What we have here is Steiff’s version of the month of March: “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” Both of these examples have a unique secret that makes them exceptional collectibles and of great interest to Steiff enthusiasts. First the lion, Steiff’s handsome 12 cm mohair Loewe Leo, or Leo Lion. Leo is unjointed, sitting, and has brown glass pupil eyes, mono-filament whiskers, and a promine…
  • Steiff I Love: Basset Hounds What we have here is a complete set of Steiff’s 1960s-era Basset hounds. Steiff produced these handsome hounds from 1961 through 1963 in 12 (above, center), 14 (above, right), and 22 (above, left) cm. All three are sitting, head jointed, and made from mohair that has been carefully airbrushed in multiple shades of tan, brown, and black. Each has wonderfully long, droopy ears; hand embroidered blac…
  • Steiff I Love: Vintage Panda Bears Steiff pandas are “rare bears” indeed. Here are five examples that cover a manufacturing timeframe of almost three decades. The photo of the panda threesome includes 15-cm examples ranging from the 1930s through the 1950s. The pandas on the right and in the middle of this shot are from the 1950s, while the one on the left is from the 1930s. The photo of the panda duo shows a 15-cm cub with her 22-…
  • Steiff I Love: Tiger Pajama Bag What we have here is a Steiff tiger pajama bag. He is about 40 cm long and about 20 cm tall. He is in Steiff’s “lying” position, meaning he is curled up with his legs resting gently to his side. He has piercing green and black eyes, a pink embroidered nose, and tufts of longer mohair around his jowls. Tiger is head jointed and made from short mohair, which has been hand airbrushed and stenciled to…
  • Steiff I Love: Record Peter, aka Jocko What we have here is a post-World War ll Steiff “Record Peter.” “Record” refers to a Steiff item on wheels while “Peter” is the name of the monkey design. This chimp is also known as “Jocko,” and his general pattern has been a beloved Steiff classic since 1909. Record Peter is 25 cm, five ways jointed, and primarily made from brown mohair. He has peach felt hands, feet, face, and ears; a white moh…
  • Steiff I Love: Pupphase Bub and Maedel What we have here are Steiff’s delightful "Pupphase Bub and Maedel," or rabbit doll boy-and-girl pair. This particular set is 25 cm tall, although they were also produced in a whopping 60 cm size (those were probably meant as window display pieces). They are standing on flat feet and have swivel heads. Their heads, paws, and feet are made from wool plush, while their bodies and paw pads are made f…
  • Antique Dolls, from Wood and Wax to Kewpie We have a very small team here at the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood, so we all have to do lots of different things. I don’t look after all the dolls, but I oversee the collections. I do the waxes and the woodens. I’ve got colleagues who are in charge of the cloth ones and the plastic ones and the porcelain ones and so on. I used to do all of it. When Caroline Goodfellow took early retire…