The whole Tapsy family is again in my shop. The (nominally) 15-cm sister is now at her new home, so this latest next-to-largest Tapsy can fill that spot. This sweet girl, like all of her sisters, and like virtually every Tapsy I have ever seen, is smaller than her nominal, catalogued size of 15 centimeters.
Tapsy measures 12.5 centimeters to the top of her head, or about 5 inches. Tapsy’s “official” size would have been reflected in the “15” of her article number, 1315,00, which was printed on her flag. That is the only article number a Tapsy of this size would have had, so I can still tell you that despite the fact that Tapsy has lost her IDs. That number was used for two series of 15-cm Tapsys, but I am fairly sure that this girl was in the later series because her eyes are plastic. If my inference is correct, Tapsy was born in 1966, which was the last year any Tapsy was made.
Having mentioned her eyes, I am happy to say (and you can see for yourselves) that Tapsy has a sweet expression. In general, I have found that animals, especially cats, with plastic eyes don’t have the sweet look that their glass-eyed relatives have. I don’t think this girl looks angry or cold, which is my usual complaint about plastic eyes. I guess you’ll have to decide that yourselves, but I believe Tapsy looks sweet.
I should mention something else about Tapsy’s nominal size, as it pertains to her paws. Although she has lost her IDs, and her actual height might be misleading, Tapsy’s two smaller sisters, catalogued at 8 and 11 centimeters high, have no toe demarcations, and her largest, 18-cm, sister has sewn-on floss toe separations. This Tapsy is the only size whose toe demarcations are airbrushed. That airbrushing is probably subdued from what it was more than 50 years ago, when Tapsy left Giengen, but you can still see it if you look closely.
Tapsy is in very good condition, and I don’t mean “for her age!” As my regular followers know, I rate all my Steiff critters on an absolute scale. You can find a pristine Steiff antique as well as one that was made 10 years ago who is ready for the trash. If you want to bring age into it, you can say she is in very good condition, DESPITE her age.
Although Tapsy has some all-over wear, her mohair coverage is still very nice, and her brown stripes-on tan background don’t seem at all faded. She has most of her whiskers—all six on each side of her nose—whose only “failing” is their wildness. She retains her original ribbon, which is still tacked to her neck. Her bow is faded and frayed but quite respectable. She also retains her original brass bell, which, though tarnished, still tinkles when you shake her.
Finally, Tapsy’s tail is perky, still raised above her head, not drooping down and bent from internal stuffing separation as you often see the tails of animals—both cats and dogs—with this type of tail. There is a little bit of “play” from side to side at the juncture of Tapsy’s tail with her rear end, but this is only detectable by feel, and easily fits my rule of abstaining from invasive repairs that do little, of anything, to improve the way a critter looks.
I can’t think of anything else you’d want to know, but please write if you have a question. Tapsy is a rare, sought-after kitten, who does not appear very often, mostly because she was made for such a short time. It is extra nice, therefore, to find one in such good condition. You can add her to your Steiff litter, or, if you can bear to part with her when she arrives, she will delight the Steiff kitty lover in your life.
WHATEVER YOU DECIDE TO DO ABOUT TAPSY OR ANY OF MY OTHER STEIFF ITEMS, PLEASE BE SURE TO SEE THE ARTICLE I HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT STEIFF ID FRAUD—INCLUDING COUNTERFEIT CHEST TAGS—(AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR COLLECTORS). YOU WILL FIND THE LINK ON MY SHOP HOME PAGE UNDER “FAVORITE LINKS.” IF YOU HAVE NOT LOOKED AT IT RECENTLY, I UPDATED AND EXPANDED IT IN JANUARY, 2019.