Friday, 8 July 2011

Steiff + Pandas = Perfect!




A brief history: 

In Germany during the latter part of the nineteenth century, Margarete Steiff founded what became the most famous name associated with Teddy Bears. She was born in 1847, but contracted polio as a very young child and this resulted in her being confined to a wheelchair. By the late 1800s she had a substantial business with numerous employees and out-workers, selling her little felt toys.


Margarete produced the first ever jointed bears in 1902, utilizing the designs of her nephew, Richard Steiff. These early bears were made of mohair, stuffed with wood wool and had boot button eyes. The limbs were long and the pads were of felt. Richard then displayed these new bears during the Leipzig Toy Fair, 1903, unfortunately yielding little European based interest. However, it was towards the end of the fair where George Borgfeldt, of New York, took particular interest in Richard Steiff's teddy bears, consequently placing a substantial order and marking a real turning point for the company. In 1904, the famous Steiff button in the ear was developed as their trademark. When still present on old bears, these help in many ways to identify the age of the bear.By 1907 the company was international, with over two thousand workers and producing near two million toys each year.




[The website 'Steiff Shop' provides a much more comprehensive chronology detailing Steiff's history, have a read by clicking HERE!

Categorizing the contemporary Steiff collection: 

Original Collection - Every original Steiff animal with the world-famous trademark, the Steiff "Button in Ear", shows that it comes from one of the best families - and every Steiff Teddy bear and Steiff animal proudly wears an ear tag as a clearly recognisable identification. Both big and small Steiff fans immediately recognise the yellow Steiff ear tag with red writing. It shows that this is one of the many, wonderful animals and Teddy bears from the wide, unlimited Steiff assortment - an unmistakable original from the famous company with a long-standing tradition. 

Limited Edition - All the animals and Teddy bears at Steiff are very pleased ti receive the extraordinary distinction of the white ear tag with red writing because these are produced in a limited edition. This means that only a limited number is available and some are available only in certain countries. Each of these limited edition Steiff animals wth the white ear tag and the gold-plated "Button in Ear" also brings his new owner a certificate that insures the authenticity and special status as a limited edition Steiff  animal. 

Replica - The Teddy bears and animals of the replica series by Steiff are a very special and extraordinary species. This means that these true-to-original animals are reproduced exactly according to their historic role models from the Steiff product history. All Steiff replicas have a white ear tag with black writing the document their special status and the true-to-original "Button in Ear" from the retrospective year of production. This outstanding distinction lets Steiff friends, fans and collectors know that this is a particularly limited edition Steiff animal with extraordinary, historic character.

Steiff and the 'Panda Baer'

Steiff's first Panda Bear was born in 1938, produced in 15cm and 30cm sizes through until 1942. Notably, due to the fact Steiff pandas had flat, broad feet (a feature uncharacteristic of most other Steiff bear designs), the primary panda populace were able to stand on their own.  

The enthusiasm with which the first panda was met spurred Steiff to produce more once the factory reopened in the late 1940s. However, this initial pre-war panda was only produced in 30cm though 1950. In 1951 the design was updated and started producing it in 15, 22, 28, 35, 43, and 50 cm. The company used a suede-like grey rubber material instead of felt on this panda’s paws and soles from 1956 onward. This newer panda pattern, also a collector’s favorite, was in the line until 1961.




Steiff baby panda (15cm), 1950s - £350
For sale at Sue Pearson: Bears & Bygones. Follow the link HERE!

Currently available from Steiff: 
'Pummy' Masterpiece Panda - £201.95
A Steiff Limited Edition, bearing the extraordinary distinction of white ear and gold plated "button in ear"tag, a marker of the products exclusivity, and made from luxurious alpaca wool.

Masterpiece Edition - The very best of the best. This is what Steiff strives for when they create the Masterpiece Editions. Only the most experienced, talented craftsmen are allowed to work on these special pieces. That's how Steiff are able to achieve such a high level of quality and realism. And Steiff believe their new Panda Masterpiece edition is one of the finest they've produced so far. Just look at his delightful face! His smile is guaranteed to make you smile! Made from luxurious alpaca, this black and white beauty is weighted with pellets to make him especially huggable. His feet and paw pads are individually stitched for added authenticity. For collectors of the Masterpiece Series and lovers of pandas, this is truly the ultimate Steiff collectible. 

EAN NUMBER:036590
Colour:Black/ White
Size:37cm
Age Range:3 years and upwards
Washable:Surface Washable
Special notes:Limited Edition, Limited to 2,000 pieces Worldwide, Jointed

Teddy Bear Panda - £141.95
A Steiff Limited Edition, bearing the extraordinary distinction of white ear and gold plated "button in ear"tag, a marker of the products exclusivity, and made from luxurious alpaca wool.

EAN NUMBER:036538
Colour:Black/ White
Size:26cm
Age Range:3 years and upwards
Washable:Surface Washable
Special notes:Limited Edition, Limited to 2008, Jointed


Alpaca Panda with Bamboo - £65.00
A Steiff Limited Edition, bearing the extraordinary distinction of white ear and gold plated "button in ear" tag, a marker of the products exclusivity, and made from luxurious alpaca wool.

EAN NUMBER:037313
Colour:Black/ White
Size:10 cm
Age Range:3 years and upwards
Washable:Surface Washable
Special notes:Limited Edition, 3000 pieces. 

Alpaca Panda Ted - £39.00
 A member of the 'Bear Teds' range, and made from luxurious alpaca wool, this jointed, life-like 'panda ted' also bears the world famous trademark, yellow tag, 'button in ear', red writing, which provides instant authenticity.

EAN NUMBER:
039423
Colour:
Black/ White
Size:
10 cm
Age Range:
3 years and upwards
Washable:
Surface Washable

Jointed Panda - £123.95
Part of the Steiff Original Collection, made of the natural and beautiful fibre mohair (itself used in the production of Steiff animals and Teddy bears since 1901) and bearing the world famous trademark, yellow tag, 'button in ear', red writing, which provides instant authenticity. 

EAN NUMBER:039690
Colour:Black/White
Size:35cm
Age Range:3 years and upwards
Washable:Surface Washable


Manschli Panda - £39.95
Part of the Steiff Original Collection, made of cuddly plush for baby soft skin and bearing the world famous trademark, yellow tag, 'button in ear', red writing, which provides instant authenticity. 
EAN NUMBER:064784
Colour:Black and White
Size:25cm
Age Range:3 years and upwards
Washable:Machine washable at 30C
Lying Manschli Panda - £27.95
Part of the Steiff Original Collection, made of cuddly soft woven fur and bearing the world famous trademark, yellow tag, 'button in ear', red writing, which provides instant authenticity. 

EAN NUMBER:280139
Colour:Black
Size:22cm
Age Range:3 years and upwards
Washable:Machine washable at 30C
Manschli Riding Panda - £384.95
Part of the Steiff Original Collection, made of cuddly soft woven fur and bearing the world famous trademark, yellow tag, 'button in ear', red writing, which provides instant authenticity. 
EAN NUMBER:048975
Colour:Black/ White
Size:70cm
Age Range:3 years and upwards
Washable:Surface Washable

Panda on Wheels (1938) - £369.00
The hearty panda with the cuddly soft fur made of finest mohair, firm stuffing made of wood shavings, glass eyes and his impressive pull-string voice is another wonderful piece in the Steiff pull-toy animal series that found its way to the court of King Wilhelm II in 1911. The panda on wheels proudly "bears" the underscored ,"Button in Ear" made of patinated steel and rolls in a Limited Edition of 1,000 pieces into the hearts of his fans. 

EAN NUMBER:
400452
Colour:
Black/ White
Size:
50cm
Age Range:
3 years and upwards
Washable:
Surface Washable
Special notes:
Limited Edition, Limited to 1,000 pieces Worldwide

Sources:

Margaret Fox Mandel, Teddy Bears & Steiff Animals, (Collector Books, U.S., 1984


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