Steiff White Clown Bear, ca. 1920
This is a Steiff Teddy Bear. My mother gave him to me. I was collecting toys at one time. I moved and lived on a boat and he ended up in a box, and I've just never had any place to put him. But I thought of him, I pull him out every once in a while, and I just love him to pieces.
He is such an adorable piece. It's not one that we see very often. I have watched bears and collected and sold them over probably the last 30 years, and this is the first clown bear that I've seen up close and personal; I've only seen them in pictures. And as you pointed out, he has a Steiff button in his left ear. This particular one is a small button that is a double-F underlined button. It was started originally in about 1905 on, and he also further has part of his original tag, which a lot of times the tag is totally missing. That tag started being available in about 1908, and that went on for another approximately 15 years after that. So we can date him pretty well from those two things, and then we also look at his glass eyes. The first eye was a shoe button eye. This one is a glass eye, and you can see his little brown eye there. Glass eyes were available from about 1908 on as an upgrade, so he dates probably around 1915 to maybe as late as 1920. And he has his original hat. He is missing his ruff that he had around his neck, his little clown ruff, but he does have his hat with original pom-poms. And then my very favorite part: he's white. The very hardest color to find in Steiff is white. And he's in wonderful condition. I would clean him a little bit-- it would help his value. But in a retail setting, in a retail antique doll show, this is a bear that would probably be somewhere between $2,500 and $3,200. So he's a delight. Cleaning him up would add a little bit of value to that, maybe about ten percent.
What color is he supposed to be?
He's white. I mean, that's part of where he...
He's supposed to be white?
He is a white bear, believe it or not.
He's had a little bit of a dusty background.
I thought he was beige!
No, he is a white bear.
That is too funny.
If he were a beige bear, he'd probably be worth not even half of that.
Well, he's going to have a prominent place in our house from now on.
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