This Steiff poodle has it “Maid” in the shade

April 24th, 2010 by

Finally! After looking for almost ten years, Steiffgal finally landed one of her dream pieces! After waiting for several anxious weeks – after all, the package was being mailed from overseas – the box finally arrived and was delivered to Steiffgal’s front step. With great excitement, Steiffgal opened the carton and right away… she knew she had it “maid” in the shade with her newest vintage find, a Steiff poodle named Maidy.

So just who is Maidy, and what makes her so special? Maidy is one of those Steiff “One-derful” items, made for just a year or so. Specifically, she appeared in the Steiff catalog in 1959 only. This black mohair beauty is standing and unjointed. She has a slightly longer mohair “beard” around her chin. Her mouth and claw stitching is done in mauve colored embroidery floss. She was produced in 25 and 30 cm; Steiffgal’s Maidy is the 30 cm version.

There are two things about Maidy, besides her very short time in production, that make her really remarkable. First are her eyes. They are gorgeous, large hand blown almond shaped “peepers”; each has a black pupil, brown iris, and white corners. Readers may recognize these eyes as the same ones that appeared on the pre-war and early post war Steiff little black Scotty dogs. The second is her remarkable mohair covering. It is analogous to the look and feel of “Persian Lamb”, that is, it is distinctly bumpy and textured, with the mohair woven in tightly wound clusters. The only other Steiff item that Steiffgal can think of that uses this textured mohair is (not surprisingly…) Swapl, the black Persian lamb, made from 1957 thorough 1964.

Maidy is an interesting and unusual branch on the Steiff family poodle tree. As a matter of fact, poodles are a legacy breed for Steiff; so much so that at least two of these standing curly coated cuties appeared in the debut catalog of 1892. Soon after, in 1894, Steiff introduced a sitting model which was produced through 1905. In 1908, Steiff gave their poodles a “makeover”; giving them a more toy-like in appearance and configuring them in a playful, begging position. Begging poodles were reintroduced in 1929 after a few years break and remained in the line until 1935. The pre-war tail-turns-head begging poodle, introduced in 1931, was reproduced as a Steiff Club limited edition replica in 1996.

Steiff poodles made an almost constant appearance in the Steiff line post WWII though the end of last century. Tosi, a wool plush poodle made in black or white, was introduced in 1950, just a few years after the factory reopened for business after the war. She was quickly followed by one of Steiff’s most beloved and popular dog designs, Snobby the Poodle. This classic Snobby pattern made her grand debut in 1953 and appeared in the line through 1974 in 10, 14, 22, 35, and 43 cm. Snobby was produced in gray or black mohair, was jointed, and had a little round red felt tongue. Her coat was cut in what Steiff refers to as the “modern trim”, meaning that her limbs, face, tail tip, and head crown were long mohair, while her body and neck were short mohair. This Snobby pattern proved so popular that she was soon being produced in as a riding toy, a puppet, and as a soft, curled up resting animal. Fast forward a few years post the classic Snobby period, Steiff continued to produce dozens of mostly soft plush play poodles in white, black, gray, and brown through the next three decades. The photos above on the left show some of the better and lesser known post-war Steiff poodles; pictured here are a grey mohair 35 cm lying Snobby poodle (1955 – 1967), a black mohair 14 cm black Snobby poodle (1953 – 1974), a 12 cm white plush Whitey poodle (1978 – 1984), and a pair of black plush 50 cm standing and begging studio poodles (1978 – 1984).

Steiffgal hopes this column has noodled your interest in these well-coiffed Steiff canines!

Have a question about one of your Steiff treasures, big-haired or otherwise? Let’s talk! Click here to learn more.

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Keno Auctions Inaugural Auction – May 1st – 2nd – New York

April 22nd, 2010 by

Keno Auctions Inaugural Sale Catalogue Online Now

Auction May 1st – 2nd

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Phillips de Pury & Company – The Halsey Minor Collection, Contemporary Art I & II – New York

April 22nd, 2010 by

Halsey Minor Collection Auction – May 13th 7pm – Catalog Now Online

Contemporary Art I – May 13th – Immediately Following

Contemporary Art II – May 14th 10am & 2pm

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Rolex, Patek Philippe and rare pocket watches anchor Heritage Timepiece Auction

April 21st, 2010 by

DALLAS, TX – Name is everything when it comes to collecting high-end watches, which means that collectors will find plenty to pique their interests at Heritage Auction Galleries May 4-5 Signature® Fine Timepieces Auction, live at the company’s Dallas Design District Location, 1518 Slocum Street, and online, via Heritage LIVE!, at HA.com.

“Among the great names we’ve assembled in this auction standouts include Rolex, Patek Philippe, Martin Braun and Nashua, among the many,” said Jim Wolf, Director of Fine Timepieces at Heritage. “Smart collectors will also see that, with strategic bidding, they’ll be able to acquire some great examples at some very good prices.”

The anchor lot of the auction is a gorgeous Patek Philippe Very Fine Ref. 3970E Perpetual Calendar With Chronograph, Moon Phase, Leap Year & 24 Hour Indication, circa 2004, Case: No. 4010718, estimated at $95,000-$110,000, one of the more desirable models of more recent vintage from one of the world’s greatest names in horology.

“All the intricacy and craftsmanship that collectors have come to associate with the Patek Philippe name is on prominent display in this beautiful watch,” said Wolf. “The detail in the construction of this piece is truly amazing.”

A rare and important Nashua Watch Co. Gold American Pocket Watch, No. 1230, circa 1860, is estimated at $40,000-$50,000, and is expected to create a buzz among erudite collectors. This superb pocket watch is one of only four known 20-size key-wind pieces from this vital watchmaker.

“Since almost all of the production material made by Nashua from 1859 until its incorporation into the American Watch Co. in 1862 was left unfinished,” said Wolf, “a piece of this vintage is an incredible find, and would be an important part in any top collection.”

Collectors of pocket watches will have several more chances at superb examples if the Nashua watch escapes them when an extremely fine and massive Swiss 18K Rose Gold Minute Repeating Watch With Chronograph, Perpetual Calendar And Moon Phases Made For Beyer, Zurich, circa 1896, estimated at $35,000-$40,000, comes up for auction, with still more pocket watch glory available with a rare and very fine Patek Philippe & Cie Gold Trip Minute Repeater, Two Train Tandem Wind Pocket Watch, circa 1904, Case: No. 238126. The general consensus on this prime piece is that fewer than 30 examples are known. It is estimated at $35,000 – $45,000.

An important Henri Berthoud Gold United States Heroism Presentation Watch, Two Train With Diablotine & Split Seconds Chronograph, circa 1880, is estimated to at $25,000-$35,000.
“The exceptional condition and quality of this rare timepiece is evidence that it was a unique piece created for presentation by the United States Congress in recognition for a heroic act which required split second decision making,” said Wolf. “For reasons unknown, however, it has remained undedicated and was never inscribed to the intended recipient. If only we could find out who it was originally intended for the value would surely skyrocket.”

The top Rolex in the auction is rare Ref. 5512 Submariner, Underlined Four Line Gilt Dial, Pointed Crown Guard, Box & Papers, circa 1960s, estimated at $20,000-$30,000. This scarce early Submariner has the highly sought after pointed crown guard case and an exceptionally rare gilt lettered four line dial, underlined in silver below the Oyster Perpetual text.
Further highlights include, but are not limited to:

Patek Philippe Rare Keyless Lever Deck Watch With Power Reserve, Extra Quality Movement, circa 1911 Case: No. 273599: Estimate: $20,000 – $25,000.

Rolex Very Fine Ref. 1019 Milgauss Oyster Perpetual Wristwatch, circa 1980: Estimate: $18,000 – $24,000.

Martin Braun Unique Orion Chrono Royal Chronograph With Diamonds: Estimate: $25,000-$30,000.

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.

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Century 20: Modern Design Auction – Palm Beach Modern Auctions

April 21st, 2010 by

Auction April 23rd – Catalog Now Online

Palm Beach Modern Auctions pays homage to Palm Beaches rich, stylish past with designs from:

Karl Springer, Edward Wormley, Angelo Mangiarotti, Phillip & Kelvin Laverne, Claude Conover,  Paavo Tinelle, Robert Wilson, Angelo Brotto, Pierro Fornasetti, K.E.M. Weber, Tommi Parzinger, Finn Juhl, Paul Evans,  Aloys Gangkofner, and more.

West Palm Beach, Fl.

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Yogi Berra’s ’56 World Series pinstripes catch winning bid of $564,930 in Grey Flannel’s $2.1M Summer Games Auction

April 21st, 2010 by

Top lot in the auction: the New York Yankees pinstriped home uniform worn by Yogi Berra during the 1956 World Series perfect game pitched by Don Larsen, $564,930. Grey Flannel Auctions image.

WESTHAMPTON, N.Y. – One of the most widely identifiable of all professional sports uniforms – the pinstriped New York Yankees home uniform Yogi Berra wore during the 1956 World Series perfect game pitched by Don Larsen – has sold at auction for an astounding $564,930. The iconic uniform, which is prominently visible in a now-famous, copyrighted photo of Berra embracing Larsen after the final pitch of the perfect game, was purchased by a private collector.

Held in private hands for more than half a century, the sale’s top lot was consigned to Grey Flannel Auctions’ April 14 Summer Games Auction by a Florida man, Ronald Stevenot, who had been given the uniform to wear as a 17-year-old hopeful trying out for the Yankees’ rookie team in 1959.

“The minute I first held the uniform in my hands, I had a strong feeling it might be the one Yogi Berra wore during the ’56 World Series perfect game,” Grey Flannel’s president Richard E. Russek.

Russek took the uniform to Grey Flannel’s headquarters in New York, where he and his team of experts compared the uniform to a blowup of the famous World Series photo. To the naked eye, it was a convincing match, but further verification was required. The uniform was then painstakingly compared to DVD “stills” of the perfect game.

“Every Yankee pinstripe is like a fingerprint to when the jersey was worn,” Russek explained. “We compared the way the pinstripes matched up to the ‘N’ and ‘Y’ on the front, how they matched up to the collar and the sleeves, and it was an exact match. We then had our proof that it was unquestionably the uniform Berra wore as catcher during the 1956 World Series perfect game.”

1972 Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirates game-used home jersey with team letter, $36,716. Grey Flannel Auctions image.

Other top baseball lots in the April 14 auction included a 1972 Roberto Clemente game-used Pittsburgh Pirates home jersey with team letter, $36,716; and an Ichiro Suzuki game-used and autographed bat from 2001, the year Suzuki was Rookie of the Year, American League MVP and batting titleholder for the season. It clinched a winning bid of $17,365

The coffee pot was working overtime during the 1,072-lot absentee, phone and Internet auction, which ran until 7:00 the following morning, when the books closed at $2,139,321.

1979 Dennis Johnson Seattle SuperSonics World Championship player’s ring with family LOA, $71,548. Grey Flannel Auctions image.

“The interest in game-used artifacts, uniforms and awards from all major sports – not just baseball – was tremendous,” said Russek. “Auctions are a highly accurate way of gauging which players and teams hold the public’s fascination. A case in point would be the late NBA superstar Dennis Johnson, who was a phenomenal player and, in the minds of many, greatly underrated. Everything in the sale that had a connection to Johnson went sky high.”

Johnson’s 1979 NBA/Sports Magazine Most Valuable Player Award from the World Championship Series was offered with a family letter of authenticity and scored a closing bid of $84,422 – more than 33 times its reserve. His 1979 Seattle SuperSonics World Championship player’s ring was bid to $71,548; while Johnson’s boxed 1986 Boston Celtics World Championship player’s ring was nothing but net at $44,427. Each of the rings came with a Johnson family LOA.

Circa-1986 Mark Messier Edmonton Oilers game-used jersey showing team repairs, $15,180. Grey Flannel Auctions image.

The hockey section of the sale was led by an authenticated circa-1986 Mark Messier game-used Edmonton Oilers jersey exhibiting team repairs. With an Oilers patch on the front and emblazoned with the number “11” and the NHL star’s name on its back, the orange, blue and white jersey made six times its reserve, finishing at $15,180.

A mid-1970s road jersey game-worn by legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach was another fan favorite, earning $13,800.

“We couldn’t be happier with the results of this auction,” said Russek. “Now it’s time to start the ball rolling for the August auction we’ll be conducting at the Basketball Hall of Fame. It’s an auction we produce every year during the weekend of the Hall of Fame Induction. It’s high energy and always a lot of fun.”

All prices quoted in this report are inclusive of 20% buyer’s premium. View the fully illustrated catalog with prices realized online at www.greyflannelauctions.com.

Contact Grey Flannel Auctions:

Tel. 631-288-7800, e-mail gfcsports@aol.com

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About Grey Flannel Auctions:

A unique boutique auction house specializing in meticulously authenticated, game-used sports memorabilia, Grey Flannel Auctions caters to collectors, museums and other institutions that seek high-end acquisitions with impeccable provenance. Grey Flannel Auctions is the official appraiser and authenticator for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association and NFL Alumni. Sotheby’s chose Grey Flannel to authenticate the largest and most important baseball uniform collection ever to come to auction – the Barry Halper collection.

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Litchfield County Auctions – Connecticut’s Premiere Estate Auction Gallery

April 20th, 2010 by

Auction features over 900 lots of fresh on the market estate property

Preview party April 22

Gallery Viewing & Tag Sale April 23rd – April 27th

Free Appraisal Day April 24th

Auction Ends April 24th

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Bonhams & Butterfields – Prints – May 4th, 2010

April 20th, 2010 by

Bonhams & Butterfields

Catalog Now Online

Fine Prints

May 4th, 2010

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Bonhams – Photographs – May 18th, 2010

April 20th, 2010 by

Catalog Now Online

Bonhams

New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles

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Phillips de Pury & Company – Design – London

April 19th, 2010 by

London Design

Catalogue Available Online

Auction April 28th, 2010

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