Gorgeous Steiff Tabby Cat Kitten Puppet Deep Gray and Black Continuous Stripe Design ID - image 1 of 10

I often give acknowledgement and thanks to the Steiff Kitty Fairy, but the Steiff Puppet Fairy has been very good to me this past year as well. Maybe they joined forces and came up with this, my most recent, tabby cat puppet. As I have done with Tabby’s predecessors, I am delighted to help her find a new home.

Although I am calling her “Tabby” for convenience, Tabby’s chest tag was the generic one that said “Original Steiff,” not one with a name like her full-bodied cousins.

This puppet has the same gorgeous continuous black-on-gray striping pattern that you find on her early-postwar full-bodied relatives. Although she, like her four-legged relatives, may have been produced in the early 1950s, even if she came on the scene at the end of that decade (or the beginning of the next decade), her striping pattern would have been the same. In fact, it would have been the same all the way up to 1978, the last year a puppet like this was made.

Because Tabby has only her early-style raised script button with skinny letters and glass eyes and looks very much like her older relatives, I believe she is from the second series of this puppet, made between 1959 and 1964. I say that for only one reason, one you would not know about unless you looked inside. Her finger tube is made from plastic, which, under most circumstances, would suggest she was from the late 1960s, but the rest of her appearance and attributes are definitely those of an earlier Tabby puppet, so I am guessing she could have been made in the beginning of the second series, in 1959 or 1960. Tabby’s article number was 0317,00, which, as a matter of fact, would be the same even if she were from the next later series.

Assuming a 1960-ish date of birth, Tabby has already passed her 60th birthday, and that is amazing to consider. In the passage of all those decades, Tabby would have had plenty of opportunity to deteriorate, and she looks fantastic—not just “for her age,” but absolutely, DESPITE her age. I am guessing that Tabby was rarely, if ever, “played with” as a puppet, and that even if her nominal owner was a child, that child’s parent allowed her (or him) only very supervised play, maybe as the member of an audience who could occasionally watch as that parent made Tabby come to life from time to time.

Tabby has some really minor wear, which is mostly along her seams, but that is the only slightly negative thing I can think to tell you about her condition, which I would still say is excellent. Her gray is beautiful and dark, with not a hint of taupe, as one often sees on these puppets (or their full-bodied cousins). And her black is midnight black.

I am guessing that Tabby’s chest and arms are almost as white as they were when she left Giengen (DON’T go by Pfeiffer’s awful picture, where the colors of that example are really way off. That puppet’s eyes look orange!) My rendering of Tabby’s gray and white areas differs a bit from image to image and I apologize for that, but it is hard to be 100% consistent from image to image as the lighting conditions change. In any case, they look much better than Pfeiffer’s!

And speaking of color, Tabby retains a tiny dollop of rose at the intersection of her floss nose and mouth, and even a touch of that same color decorating the insides of her felt ears.

Again, speaking of color, Tabby’s (silk, I think) ribbon has no fading; its color and luster could not have been better 60 years ago, and even its fraying is very minimal. As you should be able to see, her bow is still nicely tied and tacked to her neck.

Now I am at the nitpicking stage. Tabby is missing all but one of her eyebrow whiskers, but she has all six (in comical disarray) on each side of her nose.

I believe that Tabby will be displayed in the vitrine of an adult collector, probably very similar to the conditions of her previous life. I suggested that maybe an adult entertained her young owner. If her new adult owner would like to put on an occasional “show” for the benefit of young watchers, I have supplied you with some ideas in my pictures. However you plan to enjoy Tabby, I think you will really love her. And if you are in a puppet-thinking frame of mind, Tabby has many puppet friends in my shop; you should check everyone out!

I can’t think of anything else to mention, but please write if you have a question.

WHATEVER YOU DECIDE TO DO ABOUT TABBY 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 THE BOTTOM RIGHT OF MY SHOP HOME PAGE UNDER “FAVORITE LINKS.” IF YOU HAVE NOT LOOKED AT IT RECENTLY, I UPDATED AND EXPANDED IT IN JANUARY, 2023.


****!!!!YOU MUST READ THIS!!!!**** If you are buying more than one item from me, you can save on shipping. To complete your purchase, it’s safest to say you will PAY BY CHECK. If you want to use PayPal, I CAN CHANGE TO PAYPAL WHEN I SEND YOU AN INVOICE.
ITEM ID
rl-2773
COLOR
Black, Gray, White
ITEM TYPE
Vintage
FINE PLUSH AGE
Post 1950

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Gorgeous Steiff Tabby Cat Kitten Puppet Deep Gray and Black Continuous Stripe Design ID

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