Saturday, October 10, 2009

100 Years, 10 cm, 1 Remarkable Steiff Teddy

The Steiff Company isn't kidding when they say their products are truly "Friends For Life." Perhaps they should change this promise to "Friends For Generations!" Speaking of generations, take a look at this inquiry from a reader concerning her Steiff heirloom about to be passed on to the third generation...


I am trying to research the value of my Steiff Teddy bear. It is 4" tall, has jointed legs and arms, and the small button in the left ear. It has gold colored fur and is in excellent condition.

It belonged to my M
other and she was born in 1913. Any information about the bear would be greatly appreciated.

He will be a gift to my granddaughter at Christmas this year and it would be nice to give the family an idea of its worth.

Thank you for your help! Linda"

Linda, first of all, Steiffgal wants to thank you for instilling the love of the Steiff brand to the next generation of enthusiasts. You are certainly starting out your granddaughter's collection with a fantastic item!

What you h
ave here is a terrific Ted known simply as Teddybaer or Teddy Bear. This pattern was made from 1905 through 1933 in 14 sizes ranging from 10 cm through 115 cm. A similar pattern was also manufactured during the same time frame in white. This particular 10 cm Teddy was produced from 1909 through 1933. It is five ways jointed, made from dark blond mohair, has tiny black eyes, and black stitching to define its nose and mouth. The stitching reveals two telling facts about your collectible. First, your bear has retained much of its original color as black stitching was used on blond bears while brown stitching was used on white bears. Second, your Teddy is probably a girl bear as Steiff traditionally used horizontal nose stitching on females and vertical stitching on males.

From a historical perspective, it is interesting to note that Steiff first used the name "Teddy Bear" in 1906, before then our beloved friend was simply known as "Baerle."

Linda, it is Steiffgal's best estimate that your bear was manufactured somewhere in the 1910 through 1915 time frame, give or take a few years when your mom received the Teddy as a child. As you pass this almost century-old keepsake on to the next generation, it would be Steiffgal's recommendation to use this as a wonderful opportunity to teach the importance of stewardship. Perhaps write down everything you know about this bear, and include any pictures you may have of your Mom with the Teddy over the years. Encourage your granddaughter to add on to this record moving forward. You may also want to present the Teddy with a pair of archivist's white gloves and in a see-through glass dome or case, to protect it from wear and to emphasize the "museum quality" and importance of the piece.

Now for her "worth". As you know, Steiffgal is not a formal appraiser and strongly believes that something is "worth" what someone else will pay for it. These poor economic times favor buyers over sellers and prices for Steiff collectibles at all price points seem low. But this since you are not selling the piece now (or hopefully ever), this is less relevant. Based on other recent sales, Steiffgal's best estimate right now is that this bear would sell in the $500 - $750 range or so.

Linda, Steiffgal hopes that this special gift to your granddaughter becomes a treasure to at least three more generations of your family!

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


  1. This venerable Teddy Bear is wonderful. I'm honored to be able to admire him. Just think of all the things he has seen!

  2. Wonderful!!.. admirable!... thanks for sharing..


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