They are keepers.
So last summer, when I got to tag along with the menfolk and go to The Great Oregon Steam-up (a country fair devoted to steam-powered antique machinery!), I was thrilled to find this darling little poodle at the flea market there:
I knew by her detailed features that she was a Steiff poodle from the 50's or 60's and I was amused that someone had taken such care to dress her in a pink taffeta and lace skirt with a bejeweled ribbon around her neck.
When I peeked under the skirt, I found a very professional tag that said "Helen Ratkai is my Couturiere". Who was Helen Ratkai? Was she somebody's funny grandmother? Was she a ditzy doggy dame? Was she a famous designer? Was it time to call the History Detectives?
No, it was time to do a little Googling. After a bit of research I discovered that Ms. Ratkai was a fine art artist in New York who also dressed hundreds of different Steiff animals back in the 50's and 60's and they were sold through Lord & Taylor and FAO Schwarz. And apparently these little creations are now highly collectible! A very informative article can be found at The Teddy Bear & Friends website:
Helen Ratkai Is My Couturiere...But Who is Helen Ratkai?
Now we all know that due to space limitations I can no longer keep all of my keepers and I am thinning out the menagerie. So I have put this little cutie up for auction on Ebay, and the auction ends tonight at around 9:30 PST. Click here if you would like to check out what the bid is currently at. Will it go sky high or will somebody get a real deal? I'm on pins and needles and can't wait to see what happens!
(And if you happen to find this little poodle-pup-in-pink completely irresistible, you are certainly welcome to throw in your own bid!)
Thanks for visiting!