Private Stash: Steiff Plush Toys

I’d like you all to meet my mohair friends. I’ve always had a soft spot for stuffed animals and, in my opinion, there are no stuffed animals as adorable as vintage Steiff plush toys. Steiff is a German company, most noted for their jointed teddy bears, that has been making mohair animals since 1880. Honestly, I’m no fan of the teddy bears, but in the 1950s and 60s Steiff produced a line that included all sorts of animals—and they are all insanely cute. These generally came in 3 or 4 different sizes for each animal and, like all Steiff creatures, originally bore a metal button with tag in one ear and a name tag on their chest. I don’t run across them too often, but Tammy found my latest addition: Coco the Baboon. I believe she said something like “this is really creepy, I thought you’d like it.” She was right on both counts. I actually don’t like monkeys at all, but I’m warming up to this little guy. His ear tag is long gone as is his name tag, but he’s in really great shape. The detailing is so well done, right down to his bright red bum.

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Of my furry family only one still has his ear tag and name tag: Nagy the Woodchuck. I picked him up at a garage sale a few weeks ago where I found an unlikely cache of Steiff animals. At $70 he didn’t exactly seem like a steal, but he is in mint condition and was actually priced quite well. His spiky waxed wool coat and airbrushed felt hands were just too cute to pass up. He’s the largest size of this woodchuck and has a joined head.

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Steiff animals have an ear tag with a code that identifies the model and size

Although I love them all, my favorite is my first. This 12 inch leopard was an eBay find. I couldn’t say no to those little green glass eyes. He is in spectacular shape, although he has lost his ear tag and name tag. I haven’t been able to find his name though, as every example I’ve found is also nameless. Any ideas?

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