The Old Bear Company

The Old Bear Company

The Old Bear Company
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Rare Cockerel c1904

Rare Cockerel c1904
Exceptionally rare large Steiff cockerel on a wooden plinth c1904 with provenance and teeny blank button on tail. This amazing colourful rooster is pictured in the Steiff Sortiment book but not as a production piece so it is likely he was for display only. In all our years of dealing, we have never had a rooster so large and beautiful as him and firmly nailed to the original wooden plinth! He is in totally original condition with tiny boot button eyes backed with felt and a multi-coloured felt body (some fading to felt in places which is normal and is not at all distracting as he is stunning with all his colours of the rainbow). A truly charming and exceptionally rare Steiff piece measuring approximately 12" x 12" (see below for provenance)


This truly exceptional rooster belonged to George Washington Elkins II (1903-1966). There is a small scanned image of George shown in the last link shot playing in his garden as a small boy. He was the only child of a wealthy inventor, Port Bromell Elkins and Eleanor Pollock Glass Elkins. Port was the first person to use reinforced concrete in industrial buildings in Boston, and apparently inherited a lot of money from his father who was involved in oil. As a consequence he and his wife travelled widely and George grew up surrounded by adults with very few of his own friends. However, he inherited his father's skill as an engineer and went to MIT. As a student he learned how to concentrate on his work so that he could shut out all the background noise. You would have to touch him to attract his attention! Just before WWII, George was sent by Singer to Clydebank in Scotland as the rep for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He took his family with him. During the war, his daughter and niece were evacuated to the US to stay with George's mother in Swarthmore. George and his wife stayed in Scotland supporting the war effort and helping at a First Aid post. The family were not reunited until the end of the war.

George's daughter met her sweetheart in Helensburgh in Scotland. They were married and the rooster came to live with the family in the UK after George died. For the last 2 generations it has lived in a chest in various attics, hence the colours being so well preserved. The children weren't allowed to play with it! George's granddaughter inherited the cockerel, along with other toys after her mother's death in July 2018




Additional pics HERE and HERE and HERE 
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