Appraised Value: $22,500 (1997)
IMAGE: 1 of 6
Appraisal Video: (2:47)
APPRAISER: Now, Shirley, are you a bear collector?
GUEST: Yes, I have a few old bears, and I collect some new bears as well. Right.
APPRAISER: And how long have you been collecting?
GUEST: Oh, perhaps for the last ten years.
APPRAISER: Oh, that's great, that's great. Well, you have some fine examples here of some Steiff bears. And I want to point out some features that really make this particular bear here stand out. Now, does he have a name?
GUEST: Yes, it's Precious Old Dear.
APPRAISER: Precious Old Dear. Well, this Precious Old Dear is a nice early Steiff bear. And what makes him very early, you can take a look at some of the features here. The nose in particular is made of sealing wax. And Steiff did this about the turn of the century, about 1904, 1905, somewhere in that era. And you can see that this is very different than some of the other noses on some of the other Steiff bears that we've seen. They only did that for one year. It has boot button eyes, and those were leather-covered shoe button eyes. And that's what these are here. It would have a tag here in the ear, but unfortunately that's missing. And you can see that there is some wear on the mohair that is here. Another nice feature is that this is a white bear. And that makes it a little more desirable than the regular brown color. The white really stands out. You can see the stitching on the pads here, and that's a light brown stitching. And the interior would be stuffed with wood shavings, what is called excelsior. Now, the thing that really makes this important is that this is called a rod bear. And you brought us some X-rays that we can really see the interior of the bear. And that really confirms that yes, this is a rod bear. That really makes this a very desirable and rare Steiff collectible. Now, do you have an idea of what this might be worth?
GUEST: I think it's probably worth several thousand dollars if it's a rodded Steiff.
APPRAISER: Well, this is actually a piece that, because of its rarity and because it was only in a very limited production, for only about one year, at auction it could bring in upwards of $20,000.
GUEST: Okay. That's great.
APPRAISER: Which is really nice.
GUEST: That's great.
APPRAISER: This is also a nice little Steiff bear here, but you can see the difference in the stitching and the nose. And it's much smaller. And that's the typical brown color. And because he's a little bit smaller, and those were mass produced, he would have a value of about $2,500. So you can see, a very significant difference.
GUEST: Very good.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.