Collectors of teddy bears fancy Antique Steiff Teddy Bears because of the history of the toys. It all started in 1877 when a Felt mail order company started in Giengen, Germany. They manufactured felt garments.
Because of the success of the felt elephant pin cushions, toy production started in 1880.
The first Steiff antique teddy bears were made in 1892. The first designs were bears that were placed on iron wheels. These were sold in stores in 1893. The stuffed toy design of the bears that Steiff manufactured began in 1902.
The company eventually registered as the Felt Toy Co. By 1904, Margarete and Richard Steiff, the pair behind Steiff, were awarded the Gold Medals for their effort in the industry which was introducing Steiff teddy bears in the market.
These bears are the Steiff antique teddy bears which collectors add to their collection today.
The concept of the button in the ear was made in 1905. For any collector of Steiff antique teddy bears, getting these bears with the Steiff trademark was a jewel to their collection.
The earlier versions of the Steiff antique teddy bears, the better. These bears go back 1892. The style of these Steiff antique teddy bears either stand on hind legs or they are down on all fours.
There are also designs that come with four wheels. The limbs of the early Steiff antique teddy bears were somehow rigid. When the moving joints were developed, Steiff adapted these to their designs.
The first ever jointed teddy bear produced by Steiff was the Bar 55 PM. The number means that the bear was 55 centimeters in length and P means plush and B means beweglich which is "jointed" in German.
This bear is a replica of a real bear. The arms and the legs were attached to the bearīs body through a twine that has been fastened and tied like a knot under the plush.
This was the bear that was viewed by American Herman Berg at the Leipzig Trade Fair in 1903. Berg eventually ordered 3000 of these models and brought these to America.
Richard Steiff was determined to improve the designs of his bears. These are the Steiff antique teddy bears that can be found in stores which collectors frequent.
The evolution of the Steiff antique teddy bears range from limbs becoming more loose depending on the rods and wires that were used.
Disc joints were also introduced which make the limbs of the bears more movable and more human.
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