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1905 Five-Claw Steiff Bear

Margarete Steiff (1847-1909)

Date

1905

Medium

White mohair

Dimensions

12" standing, 9" sitting

1905 Five-Claw Steiff Bear by Margarete Steiff (1847-1909)
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This is an original early white mohair Steiff bear with five claws and a wonderful quizzical expression.

Margarete Steiff was born in Germany in 1847. She developed polio as a young child, and her parents were concerned she would suffer a life of dependency on others. So her father sent her to school to train as a seamstress. She made felt clothing and became interested in small stuffed animals. Her first was an elephant, and from there her creations continued. 

In 1902, the teddy bear was born. Three thousand of her bears were ordered brought to the United States, and they were named "teddy bears" after President Theodore Roosevelt. To protect the integrity of Steiff Bears, the "button in the ear" was created and is a distinctive mark to ensure a true Steiff. 

This bear is an original early (1905) white mohair Steiff bear with five claws, felt pads, a blank ear button, and jointed arms and legs. Excellent condition – bear has wonderful quizzical expression! Preserved under a glass dome.

Front Street Fine Arts also carries an original 1907 Steiff bear and two 1980s Steiff sailor bears.

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