Off to Giengen! Rebekah Kaufman for the June Virtual Doll Convention

Virtual Doll Convention is thrilled that ‘Steiffgal’ Rebekah Kaufman is a proud sponsor, educator, and dealer in the upcoming ‘Art of the Doll’ Virtual Doll Convention. Visit her blog and shop to read thousands of articles, and shop new arrivals every week.

Hello Conventioneers!  You probably didn't realize that your registration to the VDC also includes a trip to Germany - sort of.  But don't worry, you won't need a passport, and you certainly don't have to speak German to join in the fun!

I'm so excited to offer you a tour of a little known, but fascinating destination with direct connections to the dolls and Teddy bears that we love today.  This is the place where all things "button-in-ear" began, literally.  We are off to take a guided walk-through of Margarete Steiff's birthhouse in Giengen, Germany.  Against all odds, Margarete Steiff started the Steiff toy company - known throughout the world for its remarkable dolls, bears, and animals - in the 1880s. Margarete's birthhouse is located a few blocks down the street from the Steiff factory - and until 1889 actually WAS the Steiff factory.

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Our tour will include a brief look at Margarete's early life story, as her personality, talent, health, community, and family structure all played significant roles in her success as an entrepreneur.  All of this will come to life through photos that I took firsthand in Giengen, historical images and documents, published reference materials, and actual quotes from Margarete's own diaries.

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This tour is very different than a tour of the Steiff Museum, which is also located in Giengen, right on the factory campus. The Steiff Museum is designed for families and kids, with many playful hands-on activities and exhibits. The Steiff Museum also highlights Steiff's breathtaking range of toys produced over nearly 140 years. Margarete's birthhouse really focusses on the early history of this woman - a pioneer in "The Art of the Doll" - and how her humble beginnings and outlook on life helped to shape, launch, and sustain one of the most successful toy companies in the world.

Margarete Steiff's birthhouse is now a museum and has been open to the public since 2003. It has been brought back to its 1880s appearance and functionality so visitors can appreciate Margarete's authentic environment firsthand. With elements of its structure dating from 1635, engineers, architects, and specialists in historical renovations were all involved in this important project.  Now it’s our turn to enjoy this very special place!

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Two Additional Programs by Rebekah Kaufman scheduled for the June Virtual Convention include:

"Happy Handfuls: Steiff's 20th Century Woolen Miniatures"

Steiff debuted their woolen miniature line in the early 1930s. These tiny birds, bunnies, and other characters proved an immediate success, as they were the ideal collectibles for adults as well as toys for children. Their size, charm, and construction are still as appealing today as they were upon their introduction, with rarer prewar examples today selling in the three and four digit range. Rebekah will explain what makes these petite treats so intriguing from the historical and product development perspectives, and will share rarities from her own collection to bring the discussion to life.

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"Let's Play! The Century-Long F.A.O. Schwarz and Steiff Partnership"

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F.A.O. Schwarz has a magical connotation for many toy enthusiasts. This retailer was in part responsible for the launch and success of several legacy doll and plush brands in the United States, including Steiff and Madame Alexander. Even today, F.A.O.'s "exclusive" mid-century editions, and annual Christmas catalogs, send collector's hearts aflutter. Rebekah will discuss the history of F.A.O. Schwarz - including the store's "revolutionary" business tactics - and share rare Steiff "exclusives" from her own collection to demonstrate F.A.O.'s signature merchandising strategies.


Rebekah Kaufman Virtual Doll Convention

Steiffgal is a third generation lifelong Steiff enthusiast. Her collection of Steiff collectibles numbers north of 1,600 and focuses on examples from 1905 onward, uncataloged rarities, first quarter of the 20th century felt dolls, and Studio (life-sized) items. Steiffgal’s German grandmother kindled her love for the brand over four decades ago, and today Steiffgal is the proud steward of many of her Oma’s Steiff treasures.

Steiffgal is a regular contributor to many industry and collector's publications, including Doll News, Dolls, Antique Doll Collector, Teddy Bear and Friends, TEDDYS kreativ, and the Steiff Club Magazine, which has a circulation of over 30,000 and is translated into five languages. Her blog, My SteiffLife, (http://mysteifflife.blogspot.com/) receives thousands of visits per month and focuses on interesting vintage Steiff items, Steiff antiquing adventures, and the history behind older Steiff treasures. It has won several unsolicited awards for content, including an ALLTOP citation for a best blog in the toy category.  Her Steiff book for children, Sassafrass Jones and Her Forever Friends ABCs is available on Amazon.com and has been reviewed by Publisher's Weekly.

Enjoy a couple fun YouTube Videos with Rachel Hoffman and Rebekah Kaufman


June 'Art of the Doll' Virtual Convention Registration
25.00

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