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Soft toy

Soft toy

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (manufactured)

  • Date:

    ca. 1910 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Margarete Steiff GmbH (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Mohair, metal, wood, felt and leather

  • Museum number:

    B.135-2010

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This donkey has a tag in its left ear stating that it is made by Steiff. Steiff was founded in 1877 by Margarete Steiff. The company became the leading exporter of bears from Germany with Britain and the USA its biggest customers.

This particular donkey is on wheels. Steiff made various animals on wheels ranging from dogs to horses and they came in a variety of sizes; some are large enough to carry a teddy bear. The oldest ones had wheels originally made of cast iron, which were often left in their natural state or painted bronze. This donkey has wooden wheels, which came next, in a varnished finish. By the 1930s, wheels could be rubber tired metal.

Physical description

A grey donkey stuffed and sewn, it is standing on a metal pole which has four blue wooden wheels on the end of them. This allows the donkey to move on its wheels. It is dressed in a brown leather saddle and reins with a red piece of felt attached under the saddle. The donkey has a black bristled mane and some more black fur at the end of its tail. Its eyes are black beads glued on to the side of its head. On the inside of its left ear is a metal tag which reads the manufacturers name 'Steiff'. It has a piece of string attached in order to pull it along.

Place of Origin

Germany (manufactured)

Date

ca. 1910 (manufactured)

Artist/maker

Margarete Steiff GmbH (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Mohair, metal, wood, felt and leather

Marks and inscriptions

'Steiff'
On a metal tag on its left ear

Dimensions

Height: 30.5 cm, Width: 14.4 cm, Depth: 33.5 cm

Historical context note

This soft toy is from Daniel Agnew's collection. He is best known for running Christie's famous Teddy Bear auctions from 2000 to 2007, but his passion for Teddy Bears and all toys goes back much further than that. His mother is a well-respected antique dealer known throughout Britain. As a child he was fascinated with the bits and pieces that she bought home from her various buying trips. Daniel started to attend auctions and shows with her at the weekends and as a child of 9 or 10, what caught his eye most were the toys.

Descriptive line

Soft toy, mohair, felt and leather plush donkey on wheels, made by Margarete Steiff GmbH, Germany, ca. 1910.

Categories

Children & Childhood; Dolls & Toys

Collection

Museum of Childhood

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