Monday, March 7, 2011

Raising A Paddle In Support of a New Steiff And Toy Auction!

It seems like the October 2010 Steiff auction at Christie's got Steiff collectors of all sorts - including Steiffgal for sure - totally abuzz about "world class" vintage Steiff treasures.   Enthusiasts from around the globe followed the auction in person, on the web, and even on Twitter to keep up with the excitement associated with bids flying upwards and the hammers coming down.   So imagine her delight when Steiffgal learned that her colleague Daniel Agnew - the brains and talent behind October's event - was launching his own vintage toy auction in May... and that it would feature some never-seen-before Steiff treasures! 

It's not too early to start planning a real - or virtual - trip to this new Steiff viewing and collecting event!  It will take place on May 29, 2011 in London at the beautiful and prestigious venue of Lord's Cricket Grounds, seen here to the left. The venue looks over the pitch and it is a wonderful location for meeting fellow Steiff enthusiasts.  The auction will be in two parts.  In the morning it will feature dolls, dolls' houses, and traditional toys, while the afternoon will spotlight Teddy bears and soft toys.  A color catalog is under production, and remote collectors can follow the auction live or bid at

And what about Steiff specifically in this sale?  Agnew states, "I am keen to promote Steiff as an important collectible, giving them an additional auction platform can only be good for the market. This type of auction generates publicity and hopefully encourage more collectors to take up the hobby."  In terms of inventory, the event already has nine antique Steiff bears, some limited edition examples, and few animals ready for cataloging.  But Agnew is all but certain this number will grow as the auction approaches. Entries for the auction are being accepted through early April. 

Daniel was kind enough to share an exclusive preview of one of his auction highlights, a handsome black Steiff cub.  Daniel points out,  "He's a rare one, as he doesn't have the red felt around the eyes and has red stitched claws, which is normally on the sealskin ones.  He is 13 inches high, as you can see he is missing one ear and has a hole in one arm, but a skilled restorer could sort this out and he would then be a really good example.  I've estimated him at £7,000 to £10,000, based on my experience at Christie's and other important Steiff sales."

It is clear that Agnew has put his passion and experience into this collector-centric auction.  According to Daniel, this will be his second auction in association with his former Christie's colleague, David Convery of Convery Auctions Ltd.  He shares that he hopes to produce one auction per year.  His first took place in November of 2009.  He was anticipating holding one in 2010, but the Christie's Steiff auction took up most of his time over the course of the year.  He explains... "The auction will cater for all pockets with price ranging from £60 to £10,000. It will be nowhere near a Christie's auction, more like a really good quality regional auction. This is something we hope to build, so we can fill the gap that still remains after Christie's stopped selling bears in 2007."

Steiffgal raises her paddle to that!

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