Thursday, September 29, 2022

Breakthrough Bear Surprises At Ladenburger Spielzeugauktion's Fall 2022 Event!

Auctions always deliver surprises, and that's one of the reasons many collectors love them! Ladenburger Spielzeugauktion's recent Steiff sale, held in the wee hours (at least on the East coast!) of Saturday, September 24th, 2022, produced some really outstanding results - especially on some "under the radar" items. Here are three that bubbled to the top, in the most delightful ways possible.

The first head-spinning highlight from this sale was also the top lot in the entire button-in-ear offering. This was lot #3047, a large, lovely, and important prewar white center seamed bear. It was cataloged in part as, "...bear with seam at the middle of head, with button, block letters, long trailing f button, shoe button eyes, white mohair, bright embroidering at snout, 60 cm, felt paws in very good condition, long snapped off arms, hump, nice bright mohair, voice isn't intact, extremely expressive." 

This bear was estimated a €2,500-€5,000, generated 70 bid, and hammered for a whopping €38,000!

This big beauty was certainly the package when it comes to all the things vintage Steiff enthusiasts adore. His white mohair, black eyes, and center seam facial construction checked all the boxes. He also retained his original Steiff button-in-ear, which only added to his appeal. And then of course was his adorable personality and presentation - classic, timeless, and just plain irresistible. It is interesting to note that this cub hammered almost twice that of a Happy Teddy bear (€20,000) or a fine rod bear (€20,000) also sold through this sale.

This next auction highlight is certain to bring a smile to your face.
Here we have lot #3049, an impish, blonde mohair Steiff Dicky bear. He was cataloged in part as, "...with button, red cloth tag label, No. 5322,2, glass eyes, velvet paws, airbrush is partially a bit subtle visible, 34 cm, long snapped off arms, very expressive, mohair is a bit thin at minimally places, otherwise beautiful." 

Dicky was estimated at €950-€1,900, generated 81 bits, and hammered for €14,500.

Dicky bears are among Steiff's most desirable prewar novelty cubs. Steiffgal suspects, but has no proof, that the pattern may have been named in honor of Richard Steiff. Dicky bears were produced at a challenging socio-economic period in Germany and designed with features which made them faster and more efficient to manufacture than Steiff's standard line Teddy bears. Steiff's marketing materials described them as, "A new, improved, and less expensive Steiff Teddy Bear. Attractive design, newly formed head, strong squeeze growler, soft filling, blond or white mohair with painted pads, movable head and joints, famous workmanship." This fine example had a great attitude, retained its premier and fully legible red ear tag and Steiff button... and clearly radiated an "X" factor which spoke to many bidders!

And three's a charm with lot #3037, a terrific Ted from the mid 1920s to early 1930s timeframe.
He was cataloged as, "...exceptional, pre-war era, with button, block letters, faded, red cloth tag label, glass eyes, bright embroidering at snout, white mohair, exceptional size, 75 cm, clearly damages at the felt paws, long snaped off arms, hump, nice, bright mohair, scattered mohair loss, very expressive." 

Big Ted was estimated at €1,200-€2,400, generated 55 bids, and hammered for €6,700. 

This cute cub is good for a few supersized Teddy hugs! He was the second biggest standard sized prewar Teddy bear produced, with the largest being 115 cm. This example - with his oversized glass pupil eyes, fuzzy muzzle, and toddler-esque proportions - perfectly embodied the playful and upbeat aesthetic of "the red ear tag" era. In retrospect, it should have come as no surprise that he caught the hearts, eyes, and wallets of collectors worldwide. 

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on these three top auction lots has you going for the gold today.

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