and Collecting Teddy Bears
OF BEAR COLLECTORS
It's a funny
thing about collectors of something like teddy bears
they always seem to divide up into mutually exclusive, sometimes openly
hostile camps. Bear collectors are not as overtly vicious as, for example,
train collectors, but scratch that veneer of plush and you'll find some
sharp edges among the three groups. Here are the species:
collectors. Since these can be the most expensive bears, some members
of this group display a flinty air of smugness about them. At the low
end, they hang around flea markets and bear shows; at the high end, Sotheby's
and other auction houses. For guidance, they primarily read price guides
for classic bear companies like Steiff.
Artist collectors. They buy hand-sewn, custom-designed bears by well-known
bear artists. They consider the antique bear collectors to be stuffy.
Their magazine of choice is Teddy Bear Review.
collectors. The first two groups are united in only one thing: Contempt
for this group, the members of which have the gumption of collecting whatever
suits their fancy. Most of their purchases are near the low end of the
market: Cute bears, Paddington Bears, Home Shopping bears, magazine-ad
bears, dressed-up bears with names like "Humphrey Bear-gart,"
even (horrors!) those inexecrable Beany Babies. Their magazine of choice
is Teddy Bear and Friends (subscription info 1-800-829-3340).