On September 21st, Sotheby’s New York will present A Midcentury Eye: The Collection of Colleen Sullivan, a window into the vibrant and unique aesthetic of this private collector. This auction of European and American furniture, ceramics, glass and carpets from the 1930s -1960s, assembled with a curatorial eye by Ms. Sullivan in her Chicago apartment over the last decade, includes works by Jean Royere, Georges Jouve, Rene Herbst, Helge Vestergaard Jensen, and Samuel Marx. With the majority of the pieces estimated between $5,000 and $30,000, the auction represents a rare opportunity for both new and established collectors to acquire sought after works from influential designers at an accessible price.
20th Century Decorative Arts
Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. to Hold Two-Day Fall Catalogue Auction on September 16th & 17thSeptember 6th, 2011 by admin
Over 700 lots of fine art, decorative arts, and fine wine will be offered at LLAES Ltd.’s Two-Day Fall Catalogue Auction. Fine Wine to be sold Friday, September 16th at 6PM, Fine & Decorative Arts to be sold Saturday, September 17th at 9AM. This event will be held at the firm’s state of the art gallery in Hillsborough, NC.
Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. is proud to announce their Two-Day Fall Catalogue Auction. The fine offerings at this sale will feature property deaccessioned from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, the North Carolina Museum of History, the New Bern Historical Society, as well as other select estates and collections. Floor, absentee, and telephone bidding will be available both days, as well as live online bidding through Live Auctioneers.
Of special note, LLAES, Ltd. is under current construction to expand their gallery space by 5500 square feet, bringing the total square footage to 15,500 square feet. This expansion will offer 2000 square feet of additional gallery space, a state of the art walk in wine cooler, and ample storage for consignors. LLAES, Ltd. expects the construction to be completed by December of 2011.
The first session on Friday evening will offer 107 lots of fine wine and will be led by a magnum bottle of La Tache, vintage 2005 (est. $6,000-$8,000). This sale will also feature vintage 1996 Petrus, one bottle (est. $1,200 -$1,500), vintage 1959 Chateau d’Yquem, one bottle (est. $1,000-$1,500), as well as vintage 1985 Chateau Margaux, four bottles (est. $800-$1,100). To discuss buying or selling fine wines contact Mark Solomon, Fine Wine Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starting at 9AM on Saturday morning, over 600 lots of Fine and Decorative Arts will be offered. This session will start off
with an outstanding Confederate and Militaria collection. A rare Mendenhall, Jones & Gardner Confederate Rifle, made in Guilford County, North Carolina (est. $12,000-$16,000) should generate excitement. Other lots of note include a McElroy Confederate Foot Officer’s Sword (est. $9,000-$12,000), a Confederate North Carolina Contract Forage Cap, circa 1860-62 ($4,000-$6,000), and an Identified Rhode Island Civil War Gillmore Medal (est. $3,500 – $4,500), which was awarded “For Gallant and Meritorious Conduct” at Fort Sumter.
Fine Silver will be strong, as usual, led by an Important French Parcel Gilt & Gem Set Jewel Casket with the mark for Paul Rigaux and Pierre Leblanc (est. $20,000-$40,000). Other top lots include a Tiffany & Co. Japanese Style Sterling Bowl (est. $1,000-$2,000) and a Swedish Silver Tea Urn by Gustaf Mollenborg (est. $4,000-$6,000).
Over seventy lots of Fine American Art will energize the sale throughout the day. Top lots include a series of four bas relief sculptures of calla lilies by Donald Sultan (est. $8,000-$12,000), an oil on canvas by Francis Flanagan, entitled, “Monhegan Island, Maine” (est. $4,000-$6,000), and an oil on canvas by Lendall Pitts entitled, “Source of Romanche” (est. $3,000-$6,000). An unusually fine offering of contemporary American art and photography will also generate excitement, led by an untitled lithograph by Richard Diebenkorn (est. $4,000-$6,000) and a screen print on paper, pencil signed on the lower left by Andy Warhol (est. $2,000-$4,000).
Sculpture will be well represented at this auction, led by a bronze bird fountain with remnants of gilding by Janet Scudder (est. $15,000-$25,000). This sculpture bears a foundry mark reading “GORHAM Co. Foundeurs,” and was included in a 1919 exhibition of 22 garden sculptures organized by W. Frank Purdy, president of the Art Alliance in New York City. Other fine offerings include a bronze fluid abstract modernist sculpture by Oded Halahmy (est. $500-$1,000) and a 19th century carved wood with gesso and polychrome paint statue of Our Lady of Guadelupe (est. $1,000-$2,000).
American Furniture offerings are extremely strong and provide an outstanding sampling ranging from 18th century to modern forms. Top lots include a Southern Federal Inlaid Serpentine Sideboard, circa 1800 (est. $10,000-$15,000), a North Carolina Paint Decorated Blanket Chest, attributed to Alamance County, the first half of the 19th century (est. $5,000-$10,000), a circa 1810 New York Federal Linen Press (est. $4,000-$8,000), an American Classical Secretary Bookcase, circa 1820-1840 (est. $4,000-$6,000), a North Carolina Country Sheraton Sideboard attributed to Guilford County, early 19th century (est. $2,000-$4,000), and a Philadelphia Chippendale Arm Chair, second half of the 18th century, attributed to William Savery (est. $1,000-$2,000).
The Jewelry Department at LLAES, Ltd. has again brought a fine collection of estate jewelry and watches to market, led by an Amethyst, Turquoise, Diamond, and Pearl Choker consisting of one round amethyst weighing approximately 44 carats (est. $4,500-$6,500). Other lots of note include a Platinum and Three Stone Diamond Ring (est. $3,500-$5,500), an Antique Red Coral Bracelet (est. $600-$800), and an 18KT Diamond and Emerald Link Bracelet (est. $1,000-$3,000).
Decorative Accessories, led by a Tiffany Studios collection including a Tiffany Blown Glass and Bronze Candelabrum (est. $4,000-$8,000) and a Tiffany Studios
16 Piece “Grapevine” Desk Set (est. $4,0000-$8,000), will be a highlight of the sale. Other exciting lots include an Alamance County Redware Plate, circa 1800 (est. $2,000-$4,000), a Navajo Germantown Blanket (est. $2,000-$4,000), and a Fine Ormolu and Cut Glass Chandelier, 19th century (est. $2,000 – $4,000).
LLAES, Ltd. continues to bring fresh Asian Art offerings to market. Lots of note include a Chinese Millefleur Bottle Vase, 20th century (est. $1,000-$2,000), a Large Chinese Famille Jaune Porcelain Vase, 19th century (est. $1,000-$2,000), and a Large Chinese Scholar’s Brush Pot, likely 18th century (est. $600-$900).
Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd.’s Two-Day Winter Catalogue Auction will be held on December 2nd and 3rd, 2011. LLAES, Ltd. is always seeking quality consignments, whether it be an entire estate or a significant item. If you would like to discuss selling please call at 919-644-1243 or email at info@LLAuctions.com. To learn more about Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. please visit their website at www.LLAUCTIONS.com.
Dealers Wanted for Discovery TV Show
UK TV production company Fever Media are looking for U.S. antiques and collectibles dealers to appear in a brand new TV show for the Discovery Channel.
The program sees members of the public attempting to sell their items to a panel of dealers. These items could be anything from a vintage car, to a collection of Star Wars toys, to an original Picasso sketch.
We are seeking dealers with a good knowledge of different areas and periods to feature on the panel. We are very keen to get a U.S. based dealer involved and if the show is successful there is potential to screen it in the U.S. A fee would be paid.
If you are interested or would like to know more, please contact Kieran at email@example.com
Antiques.com turned a year on Feb 1st 2011! Thanks to all of our vendors for helping us to build our site into one of the best antiques sites on the web! We’ve had more than 15oo dealers join in the fun so far, and we’re always looking for more. We’re excited to offer over 80,000 items for sale on Antiques.com, but that number increases every day as more and more vendors sign up to be a part of our growing family.
To all of the people that visit Antiques.com looking for the perfect gift, trying to spruce up their home with a beautiful antique, or simply out of curiosity, thank you for coming!
And for everyone, vendors and antique aficionados alike, we’ve recently added a few features to our home page that we think you’ll enjoy!
- First, check out the Deal Of The Day – Each day we’ll offer a new deal from a vendor that is eager to give you a beautiful antique for a steal!
- Next, feast your eyes on the Cool Antique Of The Week – Each week we’ll show you something interesting from the site that is available to be purchased and fawned over by it’s new owner!
- And finally, have some fun with What Is This Antique? – Each week we’ll choose a new and interesting, if not a bit obscure, antique to feature for this game. Take a guess, or several guesses, at what you think it is, and then each Monday we’ll publish the list of guesses submitted by everyone, along with the actual name and description of the antique.
Antiques.com strives to offer a wide variety of beautiful and interesting antiques, collectibles, and fine art pieces. We’re looking forward to another stellar year where we add to our already impressive list of vendors and push our inventory to over 100,000 items! So Happy Birthday To Us! We’re looking forward to another fantastic year!
Announcing a Facebook page for Phoenix and Consolidated art glass. It is a place to share information about the glass designed by Reuben Haley and introduced in 1926. it includes information on the Ruba Rombic Art Deco/Art Moderne line introduced in 1928. This Facebook page should be of interest to collectors, dealers and museums with an interest in the glass from these companies. Click the link below to go to the Facebook page.
Facebook page content
It will include discussion of glass from the Consolidated Lamp & Glass Company of Coraopolis, PA that introduced a line of art glass in January 1926 that many have called American Lalique. Their glass lines were designed by Reuben Haley and including the crowning achievement in American Art Deco or Art Moderne glass Ruba Rombic. That line was introduced in January 1928 but had a very short production life as the Great Depression happened the following year — 1929.
It will also include discussion of the Art Glass introduced by Phoenix Glass Company of Monaca, PA. in the 1930′s. You can also expect to see pictures from members collections as well as announcement of auctions where Phoenix & Consolidated Art Glass is offered. Please join us — click the link below to go to the Facebook page.
This Facebook page is was created and is being maintained by Jack D. Wilson, author of Phoenix & Consolidated Art Glass 1926-1980 and founder of the Phoenix & Consolidated Glass Collectors Club.
The JS Dill Auction Gallery is conducting an auction in their gallery on September 30 that will contain a large amount of Phoenix & Consolidated Art Glass. Click the link below to review the auction catalog.
Some of the rarer pieces include a large Phoenix Waterlily bowl in a rare purple wash, another large Phoenix Waterlily bowl in a scarce yellow wash and a spectacular Consolidated Dancing Nymphs palace-size platter with flesh-tone nudes and blue scarves — a very rare finish for this rare piece.
Contact InformationPhone: (724) 453-0853 JS Dill Auction Gallery 2341 Evans City Road Zelienople, PA
Representatives from the Phoenix & Consolidated Glass Collector Club will be attending the auction and will have information about this club. Or visit their Facebook page at
or you can visit the club website at
The thought for the day in the Oprah newsletter for February 6, 2006 read, “Your home should replenish your senses and feed your soul.” Few companies or even eras offer as many ways to achieve that goal as does West German pottery. The forms and glazes on West German pottery are fascinating enough, but when you consider the soil from which such vitality and whimsy grew, the story takes on another dimension.
Work backwards through history and we have the economic struggles and political tensions of the 1970′s, the cold war of the 1960′s and 1950′s. We have WWII, the Nazi repressions, and for Germany and much of Europe, the slow recovery from WWI. That takes us to the time of the Bauhaus school, one of the most influential design schools of all time, an enduring, worldwide influence currently visible in Jonathan Adler’s designs.
The Bauhaus school represented modern, forward thinking, not exactly something the Nazi party favored. The pottery portion of the school closed in 1925, followed by the rest of the school in the early 30′s. Energy and resources were soon poured into the war, but the end result was psychological, emotional and physical rubble. Surely any art that could grow from such soil would echo Edvard Munch’s The Scream.
Instead, there came forms such as Ruscha’s shape 313 designed by Kurt Tschörner, elegance mixed with exaggeration, perfect proportions that please the eye and tickle the senses. Decorations ranged from cute mixed with innocence to geometric designs that somehow mixed a sense of challenge with a sense of humor. It certainly made marketing sense. Instead of Calgon, it was “Pottery, take me away.”
Through the 1950′s and into the early 60′s, the most popular designs echoed the Art Deco period, particularly the vitality of that era plus the insistent innocence that later infused “Happy Days”. However, unlike the angular, geometric forms of the Art Deco period, many of the early West German forms featured gentle curves, just not quite where you expected to find them. While some forms maintained a classic look, asymmetry gave others the look of caricature.
From around 1965 into the mid 70′s, forms and colors grew more exaggerated and more intense without losing that fine sense of proportion and whimsy. In a paradox typical of this pottery, soothing earthtone glazes were popular at the same time, sometimes on the same piece with a vibrant orange or other lively Pop Art shade. Lava glazes and other textural elements added another level of variety and complexity.
Beginning in the early 70′s, a weak economy began to take its toll, and factories closed. By the mid 70′s, it was clear that the special drive that grew out of repression was losing momentum, and one of the great eras in art pottery was coming to a close. But the more I’m around the better pieces, the more I believe that the spirit that enabled art and artists to survive was poured into the pottery, and the vitality went not only into a range of creativity possibly unmatched for breadth and depth but into the designs and clay.
This art became not only the result of vitality but about vitality, and that strength and energy come out in the pottery even now, radiating into the room. Even the sense of whimsy underlying so much of the art is about survival because without the perspective supplied by humor survival becomes about hardness, not hope.
Ways to Collect West German Pottery
Some collectors have stumbled into the W. German field by buying an item or two at the low-risk cost found at yard sales or thrift shops. Others have seen some sweet items available but can’t quite decide to take the chance. Quite often the question is, “where do I go from here?” What does it mean to collect West German pottery? That’s a big question for a novice in any collecting category, but it’s even bigger when the field is virtually untraveled with no well-worn paths to follow and no books acting as maps, not even a good idea of what the choices are.
The beginning point is the same in any collecting field: start according to your taste, budget, and experience. As with any good philosophy, the idea is simple and straightforward. It’s the application that’s hard. Budget is the easiest part for most of us, those who consider the term extra money an oxymoron. Still, just because we’re broke doesn’t mean we don’t need beauty around us.
Rule number one is buy the best you can afford. Sometimes that means buying one really good piece, sometimes buying two or three fairly good pieces. It also means don’t go wild and buy a bunch of poorly done pieces just for the sake of quantity. Even though the most widely available items are the tourist pieces, there are better and worse pieces even within that category.
For inexperienced collectors, there’s a sub-category of vases with gold glazes that makes a good entry point. Several companies did items with gold-highlighted glazes. In this case, that means gold glaze, not just gold that’s painted on. A gold glaze can be rather tricky, so there’s value in the difficulty as well as the appearance.
Most of the vases in this category are relatively small (3-6″) and often have fairly traditional, classic forms. Prices on these tend to be low, particularly compared to the aesthetic value, and even when W. German items become more widely known, many of the simple versions will stay within relatively easy economic reach. However, there are also nicer items within the category.
The potential value on the gold glazes is based on form, glaze complexity, and size. The odd, exaggerated forms represent the period and will generally be more prized by mid-century collectors. Glazes with more complex, usually abstract, patterns will also command a higher price. Collectors of American art pottery will find some items reminiscent of Weller Cloudburst.
Collectors in this field can work up from fairly mass market items to the finer versions. Makers include Bay and Carstens, but the Jaspatina glaze from Jasba is among the best. Items over 8″ appear to be uncommon, and glazes combining red and gold among the most uncommon. Most of the gold-glazed work dates from 1956 to the early 1960′s.
While much of the W. German work is unusual in form and decoration, collectors can often find connections with other fields to bring a sense of familiarity that may help collectors determine just where they’re tastes and preferences lie within the W. German field. For example, many W. German items have archaic decorations and coloring that fit well with a southwestern theme.
Even glass collectors will find connections, especially those who collect Blenko or Pilgrim. The strong colors and emphasis on large items will make those collectors feel right at home. Collecting through such comparisons also opens intriguing cross-collecting possibilities.
I’ve found that many collectors get a bit fixated on a particular item or style, but playing glass off of pottery or one style with another can create surprising combinations with a feeling all their own. I know one collector who puts her 1970′s Pop Art vases alongside her utilitarian crocks and is delighted with the result. Perhaps the idea just brings out the child in me, going back to happy hours spent combining blocks in every combination possible and mixing in other toys just to see what happened.
Several companies also used a motif that I call a heartstripe, an irregular, horizontal band of contrasting color around the center of the vase. These stripes are most often found in orange or red, which suggests a vitality emanating from the center. In some cases, the stripe is bound top and bottom by a lava glaze that creates a geological look and opens numerous philosophical readings for those so inclined. Scheurich, Carstens, Steuler, and Hutschenreuther were particularly fond of this motif.
It’s also possible to collect by shape or glaze. Many of the shapes were produced for a fairly long period and can be found in numerous glazes. Two particular examples are Ruscha shape 313 (designed by Kurt Tschörner) and Scheurich shape 271 (designed by Hans Siery). Both shapes are fairly easily found, but coming up with all the glazes could be a lifetime project. Ruscha 313 was produced for about 30 years and 50 or so different glazes.
Perhaps the only way I don’t suggest collecting is by name. In W. German pottery, it’s rather difficult anyway since both the company and the designer are so often still unknown. However, the real problem is that collecting by name has a tendency to run up the cost without relationship to any real value. At the moment, pieces attributed to Bodo Mans sell higher just because of the name, and the ironic part is that this name value comes from Mans’ connection to France and Picasso, an odd reason to buy German pottery.
Some of the Mans designs are certainly attractive, but others are much less so, and there’s serious doubt about some of the attributions. On the other hand, I’m personally fond of designs I’ve seen by Cari Zalloni, so there can certainly be connections between collector and designer. The trick is to always consider the piece, not just the name.
In some respects, collecting should be done much like child raising, with a mix of freedom and control. A good collection really is much like a living thing, growing in often unexpected ways and sometimes needing to leave some things behind. Fortunately, with a collection you can sell or give away the items that no longer please you as they once did, a method not generally approved of with children.
Still, you don’t have to worry about getting your collection “right”. You will change, and so will the collection and your relationship with it. Be willing to take some chances (within the limits of your budget) and buy a piece that speaks to you even though it doesn’t seem to fit right now.
Even with the pieces you have at home, think of them like the blocks you played with as a kid, moving them around, always trying new arrangements just to see how the relationships change. Try the soothing items in one room and the eye-poppers in another, then try mixing them. You may be able to create a sense of story depending on how items connect.
Most importantly, make sure that your collection makes you happy. You should enjoy walking into the room more because of the pottery. And be sure to slow down enough to let the pottery speak. Let yourself be soothed by that gentle curve or be revitalized by that orange heartstripe.
Who says vintage American folk art isn’t worth its weight in gold? The scales are definitely tipped in favor of this delightful painting I found last weekend at the New England Antique Show’s Spring Fever Antiques and Design Show and Sale. Let’s take a listen – and a look – at this intriguing piece of nautically inspired artwork by Cape Cod artist Ralph Cahoon.
What “hangs in the balance” here is a painting entitled “Weighing in the Catch.” The piece itself is oil on board and measures 13.75″ by 11.5″. The painting depicts an unfazed fisherman “weighing” a lovely, bejeweled mermaid, much like he would his daily catch of cod or flounder. But this take is clearly a dreamy “catch of the day!” Don’t you wonder what he’s REALLY thinking? The painting’s details include a folksy “no fishing” sign crookedly hammered to a tree, a calm ocean bay, and a lighthouse in the background.
It would be fair to say that Cape Cod and the Atlantic 0cean were pivotal influences in Ralph Cahoon’s life and career as an artist. Born in Chatham, Massachusetts in 1910, Ralph spent his early years on the beach, sailing, and fishing – and skillfully sketching these carefree pastimes for fun. In 1932, he married fellow Cape-Codder Martha Farham. Martha and her family were known for their talents in hand painting furniture. After Ralph and Martha married, they started their own very successful decorating and antiques business in Cotuit, Massachusetts. They would paint tables, chests, chairs, boxes, bookcases… just about anything that suited their fancy. Their collector base for these one-of-a-kind items really started to expand.
Fast forward a few years to 1953 and the Cahoons started reeling in the big catch. Ralph and Martha’s work was noticed and promoted by the wealthy New York socialite, art dealer, and future co-owner of the New York Mets, Joan Whitney Payson. Payson worked with the Cahoons to transition their talents from furniture decorating to wall art painting. She framed some of their paintings and displayed their works in her upscale Long Island shop, called the Country Art Gallery. They became a sensation among affluent New Yorkers, who loved them for their happy, innocent themes of carefree life by the sea. Ralph’s works depicting playful, not-quite-risque mermaids became his “signature” pieces. The Cahoons would go on to an almost 30 year career of commercial success, showing at galleries across the United States and through their own studio on Cape Cod.
Ralph passed away in 1982, at the age of 72. He continued to paint up until his last days. Martha lived through 1999, and like Ralph, was an active artist until the end. After Ralph died, Martha sold their Cape Cod home and studio to Rosemary Rapp, a friend and local art enthusiast who converted the building to an art museum. Today, the Cahoon Museum of American Art features works by both Ralph and Martha Cahoon, contemporary artists, as well as other well known 19th and 20th century artists including Alvan Fisher, Ralph A. Blakelock, Benjamin Champney, and Martin Lewis. It is a wonderful destination for art lovers visiting Cape Cod and well worth the trip.
Today, Ralph Cahoon’s works continue to be of great interest for collectors. Recently, several larger pieces have sold in the $150,000 range. This particular work, Weighing in the Catch, is available for $15,000 from Bradford Trust Fine Art of Harwich Port, Cape Cod.
Net-net, I would like to thank Roy Mennell of Bradford Trust Fine Art for hooking me up with this great piece of fishing-inspired American art. Bradford Trust Fine Art offers a wide selection of American and European 19th and 20th century art and specializes in artworks of coastal New England (including Maine and Boston area) and Cape Cod, particularly Provincetown. For more information about this piece, please contact Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is your very favorite antiquing, vintage, or design find? Let’s talk! Click here to learn more.
Learn more about New England Antique Shows and their upcoming events by clicking here!
The countdown is on!
Val: Can you tell us about the most unusual item brought to you at an event?
Linda: Sure! I was examining items in a home for an estate tax appraisal. I was crawling around a small storage area and found a few old paintings. One in particular was interesting to me because I recognized the artist immediately, even though it was in terrible condition. I discussed the painting with my client and told him it was painted by one of the “Philadelphia Ten” by the name of Fern Coppedge. Fern was an American artist who lived from 1883 through 1951. I was able to broker the painting and it sold for $250,000! The client was very happy and told me that if I were not there he would have sold the painting for $25 at a house sale!
Steiffgal does not want to hog your valuable time on this lovely spring day, so she’ll keep this post short and sweet (much like the charming item under discussion today!) Let’s get right to the point with this question from a reader who asks about her spiky Steiff hedgehog friend! Eryka writes…
I have a query about a little hedgehog that I got for Christmas from my dad, who knows that I love hedgehogs.
From the tip of his black nose (some sort of plastic ball) to his furry rear end he is about 6 inches. He has two felt front paws, two circular felt ears, and little round black eyes. He has a Steiff button and tag in one of his paws and it says: original Steiff 1670/10 Made in Austria Preis- Price. On the back of the tag it says that he is made from cotton and wool and the number is PA 55 MASS 73. He has airbrushed dark brown lines on his face, and his fur is mainly made up of long, stiff fibers which are light tan at the tips and darker brown near his body. His belly is flat.
What can you tell me about his make and the time period when he was produced? I have attached some photos for you.
Let’s shine a little light on Eryka’s nocturnal buddy. What you have here is what Steiff calls Joggi Igel or Joggi Hedgehog. He is made from spiky “tipped” (meaning that the fiber ends are dyed a different color than the entire length of the fiber) mohair, in a lying position, and has a flat bottom. His sweet tiny face, ears, paws, and underside are made from grey felt. This particular Joggi was made in 6, 10, and 17 cm from 1966 through 2002. Eryka’s Joggi, number 1670/10, dates him in the 1968 to 1985 production period.
Today, hedgehogs are quite prolific in the Steiff line – but that was not always the case. The first hedgehog, as far as Steiffgal can tell, appeared in the Steiff catalog in 1951. Also named Joggi, this standing hedgehog was 12 cm tall and made from mohair from 1951 through 1977, and then mohair and dralon from 1978 through 1985. In 1961, a very similar 12 cm standing hedgehog design was produced; he was manufactured through 1966. Since the 1960′s, hedgehogs in all shapes, sizes, and materials have made regular appearances in the Steiff catalog, appearing as play toys, collector’s editions, woolen miniatures, puppets, wooden pull toys, a purse, and even a golf club cover! The current Steiff line features a tiny Steiff hedgehog keyring, which has the charming looks of the Eryka’s vintage Joggi.
And just why do hedgehogs seem to all of a sudden to be in the Steiff spotlight in from the early 1950′s onward? Steiffgal has a two word theory on this: Mecki and Micki. This beloved and well known (at least in Europe) hedgehog cartoon couple was first designed in Germany in 1940 by the artist Ferdinand Diehl. They became much more famous in the early 1950′s with their regular appearance on the German TV magazine HORZU. The Diehl Film company from Munich granted Steiff the licensing rights to produce the dolls in 1951, and they have been a mainstay in the line to this day. Both Mecki and Micki have been produced in 17, 28, and 50 cm from 1952 onward; a 100 cm Mecki was produced in 1967, perhaps as a special window display. The spiky tipped mohair that has been used for Mecki and Micki’s hair over the years hasn’t changed, and is almost identical to the spiked mohair used on most other mohair Steiff hedgehogs, even today.
Steiffgal hopes this quick review of the history of Steiff hedgehogs has “tipped” you off to a new area of collecting!
Have a question about one of your Steiff treasures, nocturnal or otherwise? Let’s talk! Click here to learn more.