Saturday, September 3, 2022

It's A Teddy Bear Affair At Ladenburger Spielzeugauktion's September 24th, 2022 Steiff Sale!

Is it time to add something really special to your Steiff collection? Of course it is! Then check out the vintage to antique button-in-ear temptations on offer at Ladenburger Spielzeugauktion's upcoming Fall Auction. Over 100 carefully curated Steiff treasures go under the hammer on Saturday, September 24th, 2022. The sale offers some breathtaking examples, including several outstanding prewar bears that caught Steiffgal's eye for their rarity and condition. Check out this terrific trio and just try and resist their charms - and backstories!

This first bear highlight can't help but put you in a jolly mood. This is lot #3040, a lovely and distinctly childlike example of Steiff's Happy bear. He has a starting bid of 1,800 euro. This cub is cataloged in part as, "Happy, one of the highlights of the auction, with button, block letters, long trailing f, big glass eyes, pointed mohair, long snapped off arms, clearly hump, 51 cm, here and there places with mohair loss, very expressive, produced 1926-27, small holes at the felt paws, but otherwise beautiful." 

Happy dates from a joyful time in the company's product development history - the mid to late 1920s. It was during this era that several of Steiff's beloved named, novelty bears were introduced. These included Teddy Rose, Teddy Clown, Petsy, Teddy Baby, and of course, Happy! Happy was produced for a short time - from 1926-1927 only - in relatively low numbers. As such, examples are very few and far between on the secondary market. That is one of the reasons that this fine Ted - in an important size and in sweet condition - should catch the eyes of enthusiasts worldwide. FYI: the most famous version of Happy was purchased by an agent for the Volpp family at Sotheby’s in London in 1989 for £50,000 to celebrate a wedding anniversary; the underbidder was the British Royal Family!

It's no joke that original prewar Teddy Clown bears top the wish lists of many vintage Steiff collectors. And this next highlight is really dreamy in many ways. Here we have lot #3050 - a charming and petite brown tipped Steiff Teddy Clown - with an opening bid is 1,300 euro. He is cataloged in part as, "Clown bear, with button, block letters, long trailing f, produced 1926-27, 25 cm, pointed mohair, at 1 felt paw a hole, mohair is except of 1 place at the right shoulder in good condition, very expressive, original hat and ruff, 25 cm." 

This bear's factory original accessories make him one well attired Ted. But, one question that Steiffgal often hears is, "How do you know the hat and ruff on a Teddy clown are original to it?" Here are a few guidelines. First, make sure that the hat and the ruff have equal wear, loss, dust, or other condition issues to each other, and also to the bear. Technically, the bear, hat, and ruff should be the same age. As such, they should all have had the identical display, play, or storage history. If things don't align in terms of wear or loss, it is possible that the accessories are replaced. Steiffgal has also noticed that original Teddy Clown felt hats are stuffed with excelsior and have a cardboard disk at their base. This is to  hold their shape and to secure them in place. Check for these details. And finally, it has been her observation that for the most part, the color of the pom poms on the hat should match the ruff or its trim. If these are not in the same color family, it is possible that some or all of the accessories are not original to the bear.

And finally, this third terrific Ted is one heavy metal favorite.
Here we have lot #3055, a fantastic and very early Steiff rod jointed bear. 
 His bidding starts at 3,500 euro. He is cataloged in part as, "One of the highlights of our auction, with elephant button, shoe button eyes, original sealing wax nose, peach-colored mohair, 5 claws, produced 1904, retouched felt paws at the feet, clearly distinct hump, long snapped off arms, otherwise mohair in very nice condition, extremely expressive, extremely rare in this color."

There's nothing not to love about this extraordinary bear. His color is off the charts great; his deep apricot mohair looks lush and still radiant after all these years. He retains his elephant button  - as if there were any doubts on his origins or brand! His gutta percha nose is like a tiny work of art with its one of a kind shape and traces of his maker's fingerprints. And his excelsior stuffed body has aged so well. Such tight and heavy filling was necessary to hold his heavy, large metal jointing solidly in place in his torso. Hubba, hubba, hubba!

Steiffgal hopes this discussion on these museum-quality Steiff cubs has given you the warm and fuzzies!

For more information about Ladenburger Spielzeugauktion upcoming Steiff event on September 24th, please click here!

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

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