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Steiff Bears

The Steiff toy factory was founded in 1880 in Geingen/Brenz, Germany. Margaret Steiff, the company's founder, was a victim of polio and confined to a wheelchair. She became a seamstress to help support herself and began to make stuffed toys for children. In 1892, the company's first catalogue was published, offering a variety of stuffed animals for sale.

In 1897, Richard Steiff, Margaret's nephew, joined the company. He designed a toy bear with movable arms and legs in 1902. To make the bear cuddly, he covered it with mohair. The toy bear was displayed at the Leipzig toy trade fair. An American trader ordered 3,000 of the bears and began to sell them in the United States as "teddy bears." The bears became extremely popular, especially with American customers.

The original Steiff bears were made with rods through the hips and shoulders to allow for joint movement. These bears are marked with a button in the ear showing the Steiff logo. Richard Steiff continued to design bears, and his toys set the standard for other toy manufacturers. With a few ups and downs due to wars and economic hard times, Steiff has continued to manufacture bears to this day.


Quick Facts

  • Margaret Steiff's first stuffed toy was an elephant that she made from a pattern as a pincushion. The small elephants became popular as children's toys instead
  • Steiff currently operates Steiff galleries, a Steiff collectors' club, and the World of Steiff experience museum in Geingen
  • In 2000 ,a Steiff Louis Vuitton teddy bear sold at auction for $2.1 million, making it the highest price ever paid for a teddy bear

Recommended Items at Auction

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Lot (8) 4" Steiff Original Teddybars in various colors.
Oct 07, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot (8) 4" Steiff Original Teddybars in various colors.
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$707 Bids
15 1/2" Steiff Polo Bear by Ralph Lauren, "The Chairman of the Board" 617/1000. Tagged, no box or bag.
Oct 07, 11:00 AM EDT
15 1/2" Steiff Polo Bear by Ralph Lauren, "The Chairman of the Board" 617/1000. Tagged, no box or bag.
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$1406 Bids
Lot of (9) Steiff miniature bears.
Oct 07, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot of (9) Steiff miniature bears.
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$705 Bids
10" Steiff Classic Pooh "Owl", tagged, COA and box.
Oct 07, 11:00 AM EDT
10" Steiff Classic Pooh "Owl", tagged, COA and box.
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$705 Bids
Lot of (10) Steiff miniature bears.
Oct 07, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot of (10) Steiff miniature bears.
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$704 Bids
10 1/2" Steiff Classic Pooh "Eeyore", tagged, COA and box.
Oct 07, 11:00 AM EDT
10 1/2" Steiff Classic Pooh "Eeyore", tagged, COA and box.
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$254 Bids
11" Steiff Classic Pooh "Winnie the Pooh" bear, tagged, COA and box.
Oct 07, 11:00 AM EDT
11" Steiff Classic Pooh "Winnie the Pooh" bear, tagged, COA and box.
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$704 Bids
Pair of possibly Steiff "Floppy Kitty" 10" & 6". Neither have tags, no COA or box.
Oct 07, 11:00 AM EDT
Pair of possibly Steiff "Floppy Kitty" 10" & 6". Neither have tags, no COA or box.
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$103 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Steiff Bears


Apple Tree Auction Center

Apple Tree Auction Center

Chaucer Auctions

Chaucer Auctions

Davidson Auctions

Davidson Auctions

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers