Sometimes, Steiff really goes to the dogs – in the best way possible. One of the company’s most beloved early post-war pooches is a pattern called Bazi the Dachshund. He was introduced in 1949 and proved so irresistible that Steiff soon started producing him in a range of fun novelty items based on his character. As a Steiff enthusiast, I can’t get enough of Bazi’s playful personality, soulful eyes and floppy ears, and distinctly puppy-like presentation. He’s also the perfect companion to pose among my antique and vintage dolls! Check out “The Best of Bazi” from my collection… I dare you not fall in love with this great design, too!
Silk plush sitting Bazi:
Here is my oldest Bazi, who happens to be Steiff’s first and earliest version of this pattern. He is 17 cm tall, sitting, head jointed, and made from artificial silk plush, a substitute fabric that was used in the place of mohair just before and just after World War II. He was produced in 14 and 17 cm from 1948 to 1949 overall. His Steiff IDs are a red imprinted named chest tag and an early postwar style blank button.
Mohair sitting Bazis:
Pull up a chair and check out these wonderful sitting pups. Sitting mohair Bazi was produced in 10, 14, and 17 cm from 1949 through 1969 overall, and here you can see all three sizes. They are all head jointed and first period examples with their red imprinted chest tags and earliest article numbers on their yellow ear tags. The smallest and largest ones also have their “Made in the US Zone” tags, indicating a c. 1950 or so production timeline. Their coloration is simply spectacular.
Mohair standing Bazis:
Care to give a standing ovation to these next bitty Bazis? Here we have an all but irresistible grouping of two standing 10 cm Bazis. Standing Bazi is head jointed and was produced in 10 and 14 cm from 1950 through 1975. The darker dog on the left is a first period example from the early 1950’s, while the lighter example on the right is from the 1960’s. Isn’t it interesting to note the subtle design differences between these two, produced about a decade apart?
Mohair Bazi on wheels:
Rolling right along, this next pup on the go is the wheel-deal indeed. Here we have Steiff’s “Pull Toy Bazi.” He is 10 cm, standing on all fours, and head jointed. He is mounted on a pair of metal dowels and rides upon four off-center, red wooden “eccentric wheels.” This carriage configuration enables him to wobble as he is pulled along – in a really lifelike manner! Pull Toy Bazi was produced in 10 and 14 cm on regular or eccentric wheels from 1950 through 1961 overall. Given the way his pull cord is wrapped, and the lack of any wear whatsoever on his wheels, it is my suspicion that this example was never played with at all.
Mohair Bazi Dolls:
It’s the best of all worlds with this fantastic canine couple. The happy hunter is Steiff’s Bazi Doll Boy. He wears a little green felt suit and hat and he carries a wooden rifle suspended from a leather cord. His Tyrolean-styled hat is detailed with a hatband and a “brush” at the side of the crown.
His pretty missus is Steiff’s Bazi Doll Girl. She wears a traditional German-style green-and-black-checkered dress with a black felt neckline. Her blouse and apron are made from off-white cotton material. She also dons a green felt Tyrolean-styled hat; hers is detailed with a hatband and a big flower. (And doll collectors, just in case you are wondering – and I know you are – she does indeed wears tan colored, thick cotton bloomers under all those layers.)
Both the boy and the girl Bazi dolls are head jointed and 25 cm tall. Their heads, the tops of their hands, and flat cardboard-lined feet are made from mohair. Their bodies and limbs are made from peach colored material. Both retain their linen “Made in the US Zone” tag, Steiff buttons, and yellow ear tags as their Steiff IDs. They appeared in the line in this size only from 1950 through 1954. I have to admit that I have a plush-crush on this pup pair, given their fabulous condition, absolute rarity, and delightful and easy to display – and appreciate – size.
Mohair musical Bazi:
This final Bazi highlight should be music to your ears. This is Steiff’s 25 cm tall Music Bazi. She is head jointed and standing. Her body is a simple cylinder and her arms are floppy. Music Bazi wears a blue cotton blouse and a red cotton skirt. She has an internal Swiss music box which plays when her torso is pressed downward and then released. Bazi was made from 1950 to 1951 only, and is seldom if ever seen on the secondary market, especially in working condition! This singing sweetie retains her original Steiff raised script button, ear tag, and her “Made in the US Zone” tag. It goes without saying that I sing a happy tune whenever I lay eyes on her.
About the Author
Rebekah Kaufman is a third generation lifelong Steiff enthusiast. Her personal collection of vintage Steiff treasures numbers north of 1,200. Rebekah’s German grandmother kindled her love for the brand over four decades ago, and today Rebekah is the proud steward of many of her Oma’s Steiff treasures.
Rebekah’s passion became her vocation when she became the Steiff Club Manager for the North American division of Margarete Steiff GmbH in 2003. A few years later, in 2008, she changed jobs and was appointed to the position she holds today – that of Steiff’s North American archivist. In this role, she leads collector’s events around the country, authors most of the vintage related articles in the biannual Steiff Club Magazine, and authenticates and values vintage Steiff treasures on behalf of the company. In 2014, at James D. Julia Auctioneers in Fairfield, ME, she appraised and cataloged the largest and most important vintage Steiff collection to come to market ever in North America; the sale realized over half a million dollars. Since 2015, she has consulted with Morphy Auctions of Denver, PA as a Steiff and Fine Plush Expert where she identifies, values, and catalogs treasures for the company’s quarterly fine doll and Teddy bear auction events on an as needed basis. Rebekah owns and merchandises Steiffgal’s Vintage Museum Marketplace, the largest online vintage Steiff shop worldwide.
Rebekah’s blog, My Steiff Life, focuses on vintage Steiff finds, Steiff antiquing and travel adventures, international Steiff happenings, and the legacy and history of the Steiff company. It has been updated weekly since 2009 and can be found at http://mysteifflife.blogspot.com. Her book, Sassafrass Jones and Her Forever Friends ABCs, features vintage Steiff as an integral part of the storyline. It was co-authored by Cathleen Smith-Bresciani, a fellow Steiff enthusiast. The book, ISBN #978-0-578-15002-4, is available for purchase on Amazon.com. Rebekah truly leads “The Steiff Life.”
We would love to hear from you Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org