A dreamy humpbacked Steiff bear, all original c.1906 (no button). Erich is 30 cms (12″) tall, and has a wonderful amount of apricot mohair, now faded to blonde. However, his backing cloth still retains its peachy colour.
Mostly woodwool-stuffed, Erich has shoebutton eyes and black-embroidered features. His felt pads are in near minty condition, and he has a full set of claws, four to each limb.
Erich’s joints are in good working order, but the squeaker in his tummy is now silent. There’s a little patchy loss of fur here and there, especially to his face. Overall, though, he’s in beautiful condition, and is a lovely sturdy ted.
This sweet old boy is wearing his vintage knitted jerkin and check pants, with an old woolly scarf and pinback.
Although early Steiff bears were originally produced in three standard colours – white, and two shades of gold – other colours were known to appear, including cinnamon and apricot.
It’s thought these non-standard colours were probably due to irregularities in the manufacturing process, which were fairly common at the time. This would explain why there are no records of these deviations. It’s also likely that different colours were available by special order.
It wasn’t until 1913 that coloured bears were officially introduced to the Steiff range with their Dolly bear – available in blue, yellow, green, and red. These bears had white heads and a coloured ruffle round their necks, and were only produced until 1918.
In 1924 Steiff once again introduced coloured bears, this time in red, blue rose, and yellow. As with all coloured bears, the mohair is fairly sensitive to light and often has a tendency to fade rather quickly. But a glimpse of the backing cloth, which was usually dyed in the same colour, helps to determine if a bear is a rare coloured example.