Cuddle Up With Your Steiff Teddy Bear Collection

If you remember having a special teddy bear as a child, then collecting Steiff bears may be a great hobby for you. When you shop for a vintage Steiff bear on eBay, you may find teddy bears that are more than 100 years old. These German-built Steiff bears for sale were made by hand.

Dating Steiff Bears by chest tag design

If you are wondering the approximate age of your Steiff bear, take a look at the design of his chest tag:

  • Before 1926 - Chest tag is white and has an elephant on it
  • 1926 to 1928 - White tag with black lettering
  • 1928 to 1950 - Red and yellow paper tag with a bear head on it extending below the circle
  • 1950 to 1972 - Red and yellow paper tag with smaller bear head
  • 1972 to present - Half gold and half white paper tag
Notable Steiff bears

The company has produced more than 90,000 unique animals, and since 1905 many of them have been teddy bears. Some of them are unique, including the following:

  • Hot water Steiff bear - The front of this bear made in 1910 opened up, allowing the user to insert a hot water bottle before lacing the bear's front closed.
  • Centre seam Steiff bear - This cinnamon brown mohair bear has a silver brooch that reads Will. He was born in 1908, and his center seam makes him unique.
  • Blue Elliott bear- Especially in the company's early days, they often made sample bears. The Blue Elliott sample bear was created for Harold's Department Store, but he was never produced.
  • Harlequin Steiff bear - Originally made in 1925, this Steiff teddy bear was made from red and blue mohair. Collectors often seek the original ones, and Steiff has reproduced this bear many times, including in miniature form.
  • 125th Anniversary Steiff bear- Only 125 anniversary bears were created. Their rarity makes them a bear many collectors want to add to their collection. Additionally, the bear is sewn with a thread containing gold, and the bear's eyes are diamonds.
What do the different ear tag colors mean?

When you are looking at Steiff bears for sale, you may want to pay attention to the ear tag color. If the tag is yellow, then the company has an unlimited run on that Steiff bear. If the tag is white with red lettering, they are limited edition Steiff teddy bears. Some of them were initially released only to a particular region of the world, while others were released in conjunction with a specific company. White tags with red lettering held in place with a Swarovski Xillion crystal are newer Steiff bears that were released in minimal amounts. If the ear tag is white with black printing, then they are limited edition re-releases of vintage Steiff teddy bears.