We don't live that far from Giengen/Brenz and as collectors of Steiff we have been there quite a few times over the last 20 years. You don't know Giengen? You have never heard of Steiff?
Don't worry, I'll spare you the company history (although it's very interesting), this is not the place for something you can find elsewhere easily. Let me just say that a Steiff animal really is a friend for life and that the designs are amazingly lifelike, especially the really old ones.
In 2005 the new Steiff Museum opened its doors and that is where we went yesterday. Instead of rambling on I'll let a few of the pictures that I took speak for themselves.
|Steiff has always been famous for their mechanical pieces, here "Arabian Nights"|
|Looking upwards - apes in the trees!|
|It must be hard to have to "work" for Steiff if you are a polar bear.|
|A little Steiff garden in the museum's hall|
|Old pals. Teddy was made from some kind of wood fabric because in wartimes other fabric was rare.|
|Margarete Steiff greeting people in the museum's hall. Suffering from polio as a child, she had to use a wheelchair all her life.|
|Baboon baby - always one of my favorites since we first went to the Steiff museum (still the old one then)|
|Not the tall guy, but the tall bear ;-)|
|Swimming turtles - the picture of the shells came out too dark :-(|
|Cool snake slide - who wouldn't want to have something like this at home?|
|Skiing penguins - the row up there actually moved|
|Smiling tigers - I wonder what they think|
|An old penguin with his friend Treff, the bloodhound (one of my favorite Steiff dogs!)|
|Isn't she sweet?|
If you ever get the chance, take a look. The tour starts with the story of Margarete Steiff and shows her sewing room (not the real one of course), goes on with a teddy telling you the story of Richard, her nephew, who was one of the inventors of the teddy bear (I won't discuss who was the first one, I think some things just happen at the same time in different parts of the world because the time is due), and then follows the story of the lost 3000 teddy bears. Afterwards the door opens to the exhibition with cases of old animals on one and lifesize animals on another floor. They also built a workshop where you can watch how the animals are made and see all the tools which is very interesting.
The only moment yesterday that was a little sad was when we wanted to go for lunch. For years we always ate at the same place, but it's not there anymore. I wish we could have said goodbye.