Sunday, July 19, 2009

Smile, And The World Smiles With You

Steiffgal was all a-grin when she received this note about this always-happy looking Steiff Teddy. Take a look at this email from David, who writes from Waunakee, WI...


I received a Steiff Bear from my Grandmother's collection when she passed away a couple of months ago. I have been trying to find out information about it but have had no luck in doing so on the net. Maybe you can help? ....(the number on the eartag is #013287.) The bear is approximately 40 cm tall, has mohair covering, solid black eyes and soft stuffing that has a squeak toy inside its stomach that makes noise when you squeeze it.

Thank you!"

First of all, sincere condolences on the passing of your Grandmother. Steiffgal's paternal Grandmother introduced her to Steiff, and for that and many other reasons Grandmothers are very important to Steiffgal.

Now let's talk Teddy. What you have is what Steiff calls Orsi Teddybaer or Orsi Teddy bear. This Teddy was produced from 1993 through 2001 in three sizes: 30, 40, and 50 cm. The eartag with EAN number 013287 refers to the 40 cm size, which you indeed note above. This brown teddy is actually made from woven fur (not mohair), is five ways jointed, and has a squeaker. His muzzle is made from a complementary light tan colored material and his darling, baby-face features a black stitched nose and shiny pert black eyes. Steiff also made this identical model in the same sizes in blonde woven fur, but only from 1993 through 1996.

There are two things about this bear that are particularly interesting: his name (Orsi), and his open mouth. Steiff has produced about eight bears with the name Orsi from 1952 through 1999. (Here on the left is a picture of the first Steiff Teddy Orsi, who was produced from 1952 through 1962; can you see the "family resemblance"?) Steiffgal suspects that "Orsi" may be a diminutive name derived from the word "oso", which means "bear" in Spanish. In addition, all Steiff Orsi bears have smiling open mouths; rounded, chubby baby faces and bodies; and appear to be designed for fun and play, more so than for collecting.

It is Steiffgal's guess that overall, David's Orsi would be exactly what Margarete Steiff was referring to when she declared, "Only the best is good enough for our children"... way back in 1892!

As for the value of this darling Teddy... again, Steiffgal is not a formal appraiser and strongly believes that something is "worth" what someone else will pay for it. Poor economic times tend to favor buyers over sellers. Additionally, your Orsi is plush, which generally does not have the value of mohair, and is still relatively new enough that it probably is not on the radar of vintage collectors, who tend to pay a little more for hard-to-find older items. That all being said, Steiffgal has seen similar 1990's era Orsi bears recently sell at auction in the $25 - 75 range.

David, Steiffgal doesn't want to be tongue in cheek here, but she sincerely hope that this information is helpful and brings a smile - just like Orsi's - to your face!

Have a question about one of your Steiff treasures? Let's talk! Click here to learn more.


  1. I have a bear who has an open mouth but he doesn't seem to be smiling much,he is 60cm and is made of mohair and has felt on his paws and in his mouth. i am sorry if this seems to be just one of the millions of messages people sometimes get asking about their bears but if you do know what type of bear this is could you please tell us, thank you very much

  2. My bear was given to me on my first birthday in 1963. He travelled across the oceans to Australia with me from England and has been my faithful companion since. My girlfriend bought me the Harrods 2009 Christmas bear and they look alike. Are they the same type of bear?


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