BY CLAIRE STEIFF MEISEL
The next time you tip forward a Steiff Teddy and hear its signature growl, thank Paul Steiff. The eldest of Margarete’s talented nephews, Paul introduced the growler in 1908. In 2008, in celebration of the centenary of this landmark event, a growler bear was introduced based on a Teddy bear that Paul designed. Through the years, Paul created dozens of different Teddies and animals –all of which are highly cherished by collectors today.
Paul Steiff circa 1890.
Paul was the first-born child to Anna and Friedrich Steiff in 1876. From 1891 through 1894, he served as a draftsman in a firm that built church organs. This apprenticeship would serve him well throughout his later years at Steiff. Like his brother Richard, Paul also studied art in Stuttgart.
In 1902, at Margarete Steiff’s request, he went to the United States to help secure the American market. On his return to Germany, he was placed in charge of the quality control and design departments at Steiff. He also continued sketching animals and his artistic ability was highly visible and much admired in the company. Today, Paul’s sketches are beautifully reproduced on Steiff’s packaging and used as the background pattern for this blog page.
Among the most whimsical designs that Paul is credited with creating are plush decorations to adorn the hoods of early automobiles. As the owner of the first car in Giengen, it is only natural that Paul would see the need for such a creation. Now extremely rare, these caps fetch thousands of dollars at auction. There were seven original designs: bear, monkey, elephant, donkey, pig, kangaroo, fox terrier, and poodle. See the original ad on this page.
Paul married Wilhelmine “Minni” Schneider in 1905. They were a devoted couple 49 years until his death at 78, on September 26, 1954. Into his 70’s he would walk the short distance from his house to the factory to help shape the Studio animals. Both he and Minni adored children but they were unable to have any of their own. So when Paul died, Mini had a tombstone adorned with several cherubs so that he would always have children around him.
In the 1950’s, Steiff made a series of beautifully airbrushed dinosaurs that won the hearts of children everywhere. Now, some 60 years later, dinos have made a comeback at Steiff with a new wooly mammoth (mother and daughter) and other new styles.
Steiff’s wooly mammoth is a fabulous mixture of textures and fabrics. Like her 1950’s counterparts, she is impeccably airbrushed. She’s made of reddish brown materials. Her cub, slightly smaller, is made of a subtle cream color and also has airbrushed accents. Watch for more prehistoric creatures as part of Steiff’s new fall collection.
We know there’s a special group of collectors who love our larger creations, so that’s why we chose to present this beautiful traditional Teddy bear. If you love big, huggable, lovable bears, then Ferdinand was made with you in mind. Ferdinand is a classic in every way. His face, his features, and even his slightly humped back are all trademarks of the great Steiff bears of the past.
Ferdinand is the only "bigger" bear in our current assortment.
And yet, Ferdinand is a completely new creation, developed by one of our most talented designers to be reminiscent of Teddies of yesteryear. He was inspired by – but not copied from – a smaller, tattered Teddy in our archives and brought remarkably to life at a much larger tall. Add a big, beautiful bear to your Steiff collection today. Limited Edition. Made of the finest mohair. Synthetic filling material. 5-way jointed. With growler. With safety eyes. Gold-plated “Button-in-Ear”. Surface washable.
Size: 24 inches
Of all Steiff’s earliest Teddy bear designs — from PB 55 onward — perhaps none is more beloved than the perennial favorite Mr. Cinnamon. With his rather large, pronounced snout and shaggy mohair coat, he’s still capturing hearts, over a century after his introduction. First introduced in 1903, Mr. Cinnamon was one of Steiff’s earliest jointed bears. He was quickly a success and remains so today — making his return to the Steiff assortment once again in 2011.
Mr. Cinnamon comes in two sizes, 9 and 13 inches.
This time around, Mr. Cinnamon has a difference. Instead of being hard-stuffed, he’s pellet-filled. That means he’s extra huggable and more lovable than ever. Plus, he’s child safe, too, so he’d make a great gift for a young one.
Whether you’re looking to add a Mr. Cinnamon to your collection to fill a historic gap, you want a cuddly bear for yourself, or your looking for a perfect present for a child, Mr. Cinnamon is the ideal choice.
Made with the finest mohair and and stuffed with synthetic filling material. Color: cinnamon. 5-way jointed. With safety eyes. Brass-plated “Button-in-Ear”. Surface washable.
Sharpen your pencils. Fill up your fountain pens. Flex your fingers. And get ready to win! Enter the “I (Heart) Mom” essay contest from Steiff, and you could win a Harpo, The Smiling Bear valued at $420.
In 500 words or less, tell us a story about you and your Mom involving Steiff. Did Mom give you your first Steiff as a birth gift? And you’ve been hooked ever since? Or did you give Mom a very special Steiff that she treasures to this day? We want to hear your story. And Harpo could be yours!
Harpo, The Smiling Bear would make a great gift for Mom...or yourself!
It’s no wonder Harpo is smiling. That`s because he’s based on a Steiff bear that was a photographer’s prop in a studio for more than 50 years. The original appeared in hundreds of photographs with delighted children. In honor of his photographic career, Harpo wears a locket that you can fill with your favorite photo. Wouldn’t he make a great gift for Mom…or yourself?!?
To find out more about the contest, go to www.steiffusa.com and click on the “I (Heart) Mom” logo at the extreme bottom of the page. There, you’ll find FAQs, entry information, and everything you could possibly need to know about the contest.
Don’t miss this chance to win a coveted Steiff prize and pay tribute to Moms everywhere at the same time. Enter the “I (Heart) Mom” Essay Contest today!
With so many adorable — and yes, affordable — soft plush creatures to choose from, Steiff is a perfect choice as a theme for your Easter basket. From our “Crazy Rabbits” to plush key chains to tiny woodland creatures, we have something for everyone in our Spring selection. In this post, we’re going to put together a Steiff Easter basket that you can replicate yourself — there’s still time!
Start with your favorite basket. Get creative. Use a metal pail with handles if you like. Or just a beautifully styled traditional wicker basket. Just make it your own. Then add one of our “Crazy Rabbits” to the middle as the centerpiece. Choose from five Springtime colors. Next, add a couple of smaller pieces like our ladybug keychain and our little gray mouse. (See them all at our Web site at www.steiffusa.com.) Arrange them beautifully in the basket. Surround with your son or daughter’s favorite candies and real Easter eggs, then wrap with transparent colored cellophane. Finally, tie mounds of curling ribbon around the top of the basket to hold the cellophane in place. You’ve got an Easter basket they’ll remember forever!
Meet Steiff’s latest star: Gabriela, the Springtime Bunny. Featured on page 50 of the April issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine. Martha has been a long-time Steiff fan and collector — she has featured Steiff several times in the magazine over the years and also on her television program.
Gabriela is featured in the April 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine.
Gabriela, her latest discovery, is made of soft pink mohair and carries a blue needle-felted egg in a bundle of green “grass” mohair. She’s the perfect blend of Springtime colors. And a must for your collection.
Gabriela is just one of the chicks, bunnies, and lambs we’ll be highlighting in our Easter Showcase on our blog in the weeks ahead. Easter is a bit later this year than usual, but that doesn’t mean your should wait to order your favorites. Spend some time now at www.steiffusa.com to find pieces you like, and pre-order now. You’ll find a tremendous array of chicks, bunnies, lambs, and more. All are perfect for Easter decorating, Easter baskets, and year-round display in your collection.
So pick up a copy of the April issue of Martha Stewart Living and read all about Gabriela and some vintage Steiff Classics. Then add Gabriela to your wish list for Easter 2011!
Steiff's Lulac was introduced in 1951.
The evolution of Steiff rabbits goes all the way back to the beginnings of the company. Some of the earliest Steiff catalogs feature rabbits of all descriptions…standing, sitting, on wheels, as skittles, and even more. But perhaps Steiff’s most famous rabbit was introduced in 1951 — Lulac. With his long, dangling arms and playful expression, he is still a popular part of the Steiff line today. Valentin, Steiff’s newest rabbit, is reminiscent of Lulac in many ways. In addition to his standing pose, he boasts a smiling face that’s sure to make you smile, too.
Note the family resemblance between "Valentin" (above) and Lulac?
Made of genuine alpaca with subtle airbrushed accents, Valentin is a masterpiece of Steiff craftsmanship. Unlike his cousin Lulac, he isn’t a dangling animal; instead, he’s five-way jointed. Perfectly posable. With gold-plated button in ear. Why not make Valentin your friend today? Available now at http://www.steiffusa.com.
Each year, Steiff introduces its new collections first at Nuremberg Toy Fair in Germany, then at the American International Toy Fair in New York. We’ve just returned from a successful showing in New York and want to introduce you to all the Worldwide Limited Editions, which you can see immediately at www.steiffusa.com. We also want to call your attention to three especially fast-selling items that are sure to be in great demand within the collector community. You’ll want to reserve your favorite(s) at www.steiffusa.com today or through your favorite retailer. Here are the top three bestsellers from the show — all are likely sell-outs.
DANTE — The most important part of any Teddy bear is his mohair. Our artisans at Steiff Schulte are constantly striving to provide us with new fabric choices from which we can make interesting new bears for our collectors around the world. Dante is a perfect example of Steiff Schulte’s innovators at work. His unusual green mohair is a work of art within itself. It’s an extremely short pile dyed using an ancient Indonesian “batik” technique. The result is a random pattern that makes each and every bear unique. But Dante’s mohair is just the beginning of his wonders. He has a classical look, but is yet somehow modern. He bridges the gap between traditional Steiff and today’s artist Teddy bears. He has a shaved muzzle, sparkling black eyes, antiqued paw pads, loosely jointed head, and hand-stitched nose and claws. Around his neck, he wears a patinated bell on a cord for good luck. And any collector would feel lucky to own this exceptional Steiff Teddy bear.Limited Edition. Made of the finest mohair. Synthetic filling material. 5-way jointed; head & limbs loosely attached to body. With growler. With safety eyes. Gold-plated “Button-in-Ear”. Surface washable.
APRIL — There are so many reasons to love April. There’s her sunny personality, her friendly expression, and her kind heart. Not to mention her unique mohair, sparkling eyes and handcraftsmanship. Whatever it is that first draws you to April, we’re sure you’re going to make her a Friend for Life. This little Teddy is truly something special. Dressed in a lovely flowered dress, she’s ready to go for a Springtime stroll. But she’s looking for someone to come along – won’t you join her? Whether you’re a fan of smaller Steiff bears, dressed Teddies, Springtime, or flowers, April is sure to delight you in every way. She’s ready and waiting to become a part of your collection in 2011. Won’t you please take her home? Made of the finest mohair. Stuffed with synthetic filling material. 5-way jointed. With safety eyes. Gold-plated “Button-in-Ear”. Surface washable.
SAPPHIRE – Gemologists search for rare natural sapphires in Eastern Australia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, East Africa, and remote parts of North America. But in 2011, Steiff has unearthed its own precious gem, the Sapphire Teddy bear, made right here in Germany. Sapphire brings together luxurious materials, sophisticated design, and the world of fashion for a bear that’s simply unlike any other. Even the Teddy’s coat is something extraordinary. It’s an exclusive plush woven from 100% silk strands for a sumptuous feel that you’ll have to touch to believe. It feels nothing like mohair at all. This silk material has been carefully dyed to a deep blue – just like the rich hues of the most coveted real sapphires. The bear’s paw pads are encrusted with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS for a dramatic effect, reflecting secondary tones of purple, light blue, green, and even pink. Around Sapphire’s neck, she wears a strand of SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS as a choker. In the bear’s ear, a stunning Swarovski XILION crystal takes the place of a button as a fabulous finishing touch. Not since the 125-Karat bear has there been a Teddy so dazzling.Limited Edition. Made of high quality silk plush. Synthetic filling material. 5-way jointed. With safety eyes. Crystal “Button-in-Ear”. Surface washable.
There once was a bear who lived with the Poverman family of New Haven, CT. Throughout the years, he sat at the bottom of the staircase of their home, always receiving a loving pat on the head when someone went upstairs or down. Since the staircase was near the front door, he was usually the first to greet guests to the Poverman household. He became almost a family mascot. In fact, they’d dress him up on special holidays and make him a part of their celebrations.
Meet Teddy Poverman, next in the "Family Heirloom" series from Steiff.
Now Steiff has recreated Teddy Poverman as the second in our Family Heirloom Series of bears with illustrious family histories. This gorgeous Teddy is made of distressed, bleached grey mohair and wears a khaki vest. On the vest, there are three embroidered patches — a shamrock, an American flag, and a heart — symbolizing St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day, and Valentine’s Day. These were just three of the holidays that the Teddy helped his family celebrate.
Now you can have your very own version of Teddy Poverman and experience his celebratory spirit. Steiff artisans have masterfully re-created the bear (in a slightly smaller size) as a follow-up to last year’s highly successful Teddy Blum. Teddy Poverman is an outstanding addition to the 2011 collection of bears from Steiff North America. Won’t you make him a part of your collection, too?
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