Posted 6 years ago
I am a lifelong Steiff collector and admire many of the company's classic and wonderful designs. However, a particular favorite of mine has always been their "Teddy Baby", a pattern that debuted in 1929 and has been produced on and off in the line ever since.
Teddy Baby has been produced in a number of slightly varying designs over the years. However, all Steiff Teddy Baby bears have three things in common: a distinctive, well defined muzzle; flat, broad, clawed feet made for standing; and sweet, toddler-like features. Pre-World War II, Teddy Baby was made in 9, 12, 13, 15, 20, 22, 25, 30, 35, 38, 40, 45, and 65 cm sizes.
It is interesting to note that Teddy Baby was one of the very first items Steiff started producing when the factory in Germany opened after the war. Due to limited supplies and logistical complications, he was made in artificial silk plush (a transitional, lower quality material) in 1948. Then, once supplies and operations were back in order, he was produced in blonde or brown mohair in 9, 22, 28, 30, and 40 cm in the identical pattern made before the war. All sizes over 9 cm came with a leather collar with a bell. Teddy Baby remained in the Steiff line from 1949 to 1957, although due to his popularity with collectors, has been replicated many times in numerous limited edition series.
The Teddy Baby "foursome" shown here are modern, replica bears produced within the last 15 years. The Teddy Baby "threesome" pictured are vintage Teds from the late 1940's and early 1950's. The close up is a 9 cm Teddy Baby from 1950; it is in almost pristine condition with its original chest tag, button in ear, and white linen US Zone seam tag.