Steiff Rabbit & Turtle Footstool
Appraised Value: $5,000 - $5,500 (1999)
$1,000 - $1,600 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:35)
Master Personal Property Appraiser
GUEST: My mother's sister had a big collection of Steiff and also dolls in her apartment. And when my twin sons were born 31 years ago, she gave her Steiff to us as a gift. And so we have been enjoying them ever since.
GUEST: And these little guys have been in my classroom at school. I'm an aide. We didn't know what "Steiff" meant, you know, until the Antiques Roadshow came along, and then my husband said, "I think you should bring your Steiff home."
APPRAISER: Yes, well, I'll tell you a little bit about Steiff. Marguerite Steiff founded the company, and she started doing a number of felt animals. What they're really known for are teddy bears. And what I like about these two items are two things: the condition and then also because they're not teddy bears. Now, we'll start here with the rabbit and I want to point out a few things to help date the item but also give you some background on the item. You take a look at these wonderful glass eyes, and in the 1930s is when Steiff did use these eyes. And I love that they're oversized like this. And the other thing is on the ear, you can see where the button would have been. A lot of the buttons were taken out because these were played with. These were toys. The head is jointed, and there is a squeaker on the inside.
GUEST: There is, yes.
APPRAISER: The piece itself is a nice oversize piece. And we're going to take a look at the tortoise as well. This is probably more late 1940s, early 1950s. And-- we'll hold this up-- this is actually a footstool. And you can see underneath how it is jointed together there. And you had shown me that the tail has actually come off. This is what is called "excelsior," and this is the stuffing that most of the Steiff animals from the turn of the century through today... they're still using excelsior in a number of their items. It's the wood chips, the wood shavings, and it gives the piece a great shape.
GUEST: I see.
APPRAISER: So with all of that, this particular piece, because it's the 1930s, has a higher value. I know people that would pay up to $3,500 to $4,000...
APPRAISER: ...for this item. This is a wonderful item. Yes, it's fantastic.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness!
APPRAISER: And this particular piece, because it's a footstool, it's a little different, oversized. This can be resewn on. That doesn't affect its value too much.
GUEST: I'll have someone sew it that doesn't use a glue gun to sew.
APPRAISER: Yes, absolutely. You're probably looking at something in the $1,500 price range.
GUEST: Oh, wonderful.
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