General description This pair of hedgehogs, dressed in workers’ clothing of the late 19th and 20th century, are famous German toys depicting Mecki and his wife Mecki.
Dimensions 18.5 x 9.5 x 7.5 cm
Date when acquired 1960s
Original Date 1960s
Source Steiff, German producer of plush toys such as teddy bears. Mecki does not have a Steiff “button ” on it, but there is one on Micki’s apron.
Bought by my father in Berlin, Germany.
Plastic head with painted features on top of an orangey brown felt body. The back of the head is covered with soft brown bristles tipped in white. Mecki’s bristles are brown while Micki’s are black.
Mecki is wearing a light brown and white checked three-quartered sleeved cotton shirt, which is unbuttoned and reveals his very hairy chest. Over that he has a waistcoat with two buttons. The front is brown felt, while the back is a dirty grey colour. His trousers are thick grey linen and seem to have patches painted on the knees. They are tied at the waist with a piece of string. His half shoes have a black felt top and a brown leather sole.
Micki has a checked cotton blouse and skirt on. Her short-sleeved blue and black checked blouse has a V-neck with a collar. Two black buttons are placed on the front. Her long skirt is checked in black and red. She has a cream-coloured apron over her skirt, tied in a bow at the back. Around her neck is a white cotton kerchief with red and blue dots on it.
The hedgehog is a figure in a Brother Grimm’s tale of the Hare and the Hedgehog from the 19th century. A film was made about this story by the Diehl Brothers in 1938/39, who called the hedgehog Mecki. He has since then been a comic figure in the German Horzu magazine and various children’s books. In 1951, the first Steiff Meckis were produced. Mecki’s wife, Micki, is the embodiment of a 1950s woman — calm, good-natured and always in the background. They have two children: Macki and Mucki.
Source(s) of information
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mecki#Figuren (accessed 4th August 2015)
(1.7.23 & 1.7.24)