Steiff Character Doll, ca. 1915

Value (2009) | $1,500 Retail$2,000 Retail

This was my father's doll. My father was born in 1913, so I think the doll's probably from 1918, 1920, something like that. The doll has lived in a trunk my entire life. I only saw it come out of that trunk on two or three occasions. My mother passed away five years ago, and I got the trunk.

He's a felt character doll. He has shoe button eyes, and he has the original felt clothing and leather shoes. He's got this great little felt hat. And all the features are painted felt. What's interesting about dolls at this time, most dolls you see are coming from Germany, and they're bisque dolls, they're breakable dolls. And what happens in the early part of the 20th century is things come along that become more indestructible. Dolls are being played with more as children, a little bit rougher. And so you see things like felt dolls. And you also see interesting toys coming out that are like dolls, like the teddy bear.

Oh, yes.

And there's some similarities here that relate to the teddy bear. First of all, like a teddy bear, it's stuffed with excelsior. And it's joined with discs at the arms, like a teddy bear. And it has shoe button eyes, like a teddy bear.


And I want you to notice, in the ear next to you, see that tiny little hole?


That's where the button would have been. This was made by Steiff.

Well, that gave me a chill.

Didn't it?

It did. I had no idea.

This is basically a Steiff character doll. Now, they made their character doll in the beginning of the 20th century, but this series comes from about 1910 and about 1920. And they made many different types of figures. They made comic character figures, and soldiers, golfers and skiers, and all kinds of interesting character dolls. Now, you don't find Steiff dolls as often as you find Steiff bears. Now, there's a tremendous demand for Steiff. It's a high quality, very sought-after collectible. And these are a lot harder to find. I think that they're undervalued. In today's market, retail, he would be $1,500 to $2,000.

Amazing. Amazing. And I went through the whole interview and I didn't say, "Wow" or "Are you kidding me?"

Appraisal Details

Village Doll Shop
Adamstown, PA
Morphy Auctions
Appraised value (2009)
$1,500 Retail$2,000 Retail
Denver, CO (July 25, 2009)
Felt , Leather

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