Steiff fac­tory got bear ne­ces­si­ties right for record prices

The Star Early Edition - - AUCTIONS - – Auc­tions Writer

THE 10 most ex­pen­sive teddy bears ever sold on auc­tion were all made in the Steiff fac­tory in Ger­many.

The top five in de­scend­ing or­der were: Steiff Har­lequin bear: This multi-coloured bear was made by Steiff in 1925 as a sam­ple, and just one ex­am­ple sur­vives to­day. In 1999, it was bought on auc­tion in Ger­many by col­lec­tor Paul Green­wood for £60000. Hedge fund man­ager Green­wood was later con­victed of fraud, and forced to auc­tion his col­lec­tion of ted­dies in 2010 for $1.75mil­lion. Steiff Rod bear: Pro­duced in 1904, this is the ear­li­est Steiff bear to ap­pear for sale. The ear­li­est bears, made in 1903, fea­tured string joints for limbs but none have yet been dis­cov­ered. The 1904 bears were made with me­tal rod joints, mak­ing them far stur­dier. At the an­nual Steiff Fes­ti­val in Ger­many in 2002, an orig­i­nal rod bear sold at auc­tion for £82 000.

Steiff Ti­tanic mourn­ing bear:

Fol­low­ing the sink­ing of the Ti­tanic in 1912, Steiff pro­duced 600 black mo­hair mourn­ing bears to com­mem­o­rate the tragedy. In 2000, one such bear sold at Christie’s in London for £91 750 to the Pup­pen­haus Mu­seum in Basel, Switzer­land. Steiff Teddy Girl bear: The Teddy Girl bear, made in 1905, was given to Bob Hen­der­son on the day he was born. Hen­der­son later be­came a colonel in the Bri­tish Army, and took the bear with him to World War ll. In 1962, he founded Good Bears of the World, an in­ter­na­tional char­ity which pro­vides teddy bears to sick chil­dren.

Hen­der­son died in 1990, and in 1994 his bear was sold by Christie’s to a Ja­panese busi­ness­man for £110 000, set­ting a world record price for an an­tique bear. Steiff Louis Vuit­ton bear: In 2000, Steiff teamed up with Louis Vuit­ton to cre­ate the world’s most ex­pen­sive bear. Wear­ing a de­signer coat and hat, and ac­com­pa­nied by a minia­ture Louis Vuit­ton suit­case, the teddy bear sold in Monaco in 2000 for $2.1 mil­lion.

It is now in The Teddy Bear Mu­seum in South Korea.

The Steiff Louis Vuit­ton teddy bear, which is the world’s most ex­pen­sive teddy.

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