Forebears of the Modern Teddy

Teddy Bear Therapy

Winnie the Pooh

Bears in the News

X Ray

Making and Collecting Teddy

Good Bad Fat Skinny

  Making and Collecting Teddy Bears

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:

Antiques 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.

Contemporary 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.

Manufactured Bear 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).

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