In December 2015, Davidd told us the tale of The Great Teddy Bear Shipwreck Mystery. The story goes that back in 1903 some three-thousand teddy bears were sent by ship from Steiff’s factory in Germany to America only for them to disappear. The bears were made and packed up for shipment, but there is no record of them ever reaching their destination and none of the US-bound bears has ever been found. The templates, patterns and even photos of the bears exist but not even one sample was kept. One popular explanation is that there was a shipwreck and the bears had a watery end. All that is certain is that if just one of these bears turned up today it would be ‘open chequebook’ time for museums and collectors. After all, these were the first teddy bears ever made.
For some time now, Razzi has been asking if we could get him a Steiff Bear as a little companion. Although he already has Pookie, I thought it might be a good idea. Because of the history of the Steiff Company, to bring one of their bears to join us here at Jammy Toast would be fantastic. After searching for a while, we discovered that the most expensive Steiff Bear ever sold was a Steiff Monaco Bear which sold for £130,190. It was dressed by Louis Vuitton and sold at a charity auction in Monaco. Razzi said he had to have one of those!
Margarete Steiff was born in Giengen, Germany on 24th July 1847. Margarete was a very lively, well-built child and led a carefree life until she became ill with polio before her second birthday. She was destined never to walk and to be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Her mother, above all, found this very difficult. She would have to care for her daughter for as long as she lived. Her daughter would never be able to take on the role of housewife and mother and, at the time, it seemed as though she had absolutely no prospects for the future.