Monday, October 11, 2021

A Fine Selection Of Century-Spanning Steiff Teddy Baby Bears Headlines Ladenburger Spielzeugauktion's November 6th Sale!

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Big news on the Steiff front... Ladenburger Spielzeugauktion GmbH is holding a simply awesome premier Steiff sales event on November 6th. The catalog has just been published online and features 368 button-in-ear temptations. In all honesty, there are so many breathtaking options it's a bit overwhelming to pick overall highlights. That being the case, let's take a look at the "cream of the crop" per category or character over the next few weeks. There's not a better place to start this series than with a peek at Ladenburger's offering of century spanning Teddy Baby bears.

All Steiffgal can say is "Ohhhh baby..." when it comes to this first pick.
Here we have lot #3977, a most appealing Teddy Baby made from golden artificial silk plush. His starting bid is a very conservative 750 euro. It is cataloged simply as, "teddy-baby, synthetic silk plush, complete with button, sign and cloth tag label, red writing on sign, very nice original-condition, with original-collar and bell, 30 cm, rare." This sweet cub appears to have all of his IDs, including his button, yellow ear tag, and red bear faced chest tag. Given his IDs, materials, and appearance, Steiffgal suspects this irresistible imp may have been made in the late 1940s.

What is not to love about this fine fellow?
The catalog pictures suggest his condition is quite wonderful, and his happy-go-lucky expression lights up any room. Artificial silk plush is a delicate fabric which loses its shine and soft texture easily, so to find a vintage example which still has its "sheen" is unusual. Although his paw pads are not specifically called out, Steiffgal has a much loved, artificial silk plush Steiff Teddy baby from this similar time period in her collection. She has linen paw pads. That might just be the case for lot #3977 as well.

Steiffgal's second pick is also quite the head turner.
This is lot #4234, an early postwar brown mohair Teddy Baby with all IDs and a million watt smile. His starting bid is 220 euro and he is cataloged as, "teddy-baby, produced 1949-53, with button, chest label and cloth tag label, No. 7322, original condition without damage , additional with US-zone cloth tag label, paws in very good condition, 22 cm, nice full mohair, condition without damage."

The auction catalog photos suggest that this sweet guy is in practically like new condition. Steiffgal is always a little sad when it is clear that a precious toy was not loved by a child as it was intended. On the other side of the coin, this example would make for a crown jewel in any collection, so there is some justice there. Over time, Teddy Baby bears have been produced in sizes ranging from a few inches to over five feet! In Steiffgal's opinion, the smaller sized ones - like this guy - are particularly appealing in their scale, presentation, and proportions. He would be easy to display, doesn't take up too much shelf or cabinet space, and would look charming as a companion for a larger scaled doll or Ted from any era.

And last but not least, check out lot #4314, a super sweet - and super rare - prewar white Teddy Baby.
His starting bid is 520 euro. He is cataloged as, "teddy-baby, white, with button, long stretched F, breast sign, inscription Teddy Baby, inset velvet in face and velvet feet, with painted claws, 13 cm, produced from 1930 to 1933, white mohair, except of minimally place with mohair loss in very nice condition, very expressive, unusual, collection Koskinen."

There's something really magical about white mohair Teddy Baby bears.
Unlike their blonde and brown mohair peers, the white versions were made for only a handful of years - from 1930 to 1933 overall. Blonde and brown mohair versions appeared from 1930 to 1943. As such, far fewer white mohair versions were produced over time, and most collectors would love to add one to their hugs. Like most coveted collectibles, it’s a supply and demand thing, and Steiffgal suspects this petite treat will be on many auction watchers' wish lists. It is also interesting to note that this example comes from the Koskinen collection. Edith and Johan Koskinen authored several well respected Steiff reference books and price guides over the years. You can see a few of them here on the left, the photo is from Bloss Auktionen. His top shelf provenance certainly adds to his appeal - if that's even possible!

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on Teddy Baby auction highlights has brought out a bit of your inner child today!

Have a question about one of your Steiff treasures? Let's talk! Click here to learn more!
The teddy bear search engine