Foggy Sunset

Foggy Sunset
Photo by Aisling Doonan

Friday, 20 May 2011

Steiff Hug

  • The entire 'Hug'
I know I initially intended this little blog to be solely a knitting affair, my mind does wander to other things (read - obsession!), like bears for example.

  • Mostly steiff with 2 artist bears visible (in blue)
It all started about 12 years ago when my then boyfriend (now husband) bought me a surprise present (it was a surprise mainly because he's usually terrified to buy me anything off the cuff in case he gets the 'oh, that's lovely' face) for my birthday.  He had been driving through Trim when he spotted a little shop called Ted's Eclectic Lot (not sure if they're still open) and immediately thought of me.  He came out a  little poorer but with my birthday present all wrapped up so he was feeling rather pleased with himself.  I still remember the moment where I opened the bag and removed the tissue to reveal a beautiful brown mohair bear.  He was a Hermann bear and he had a round pleasant face and a sturdy little solid body and soft little curls in the fur.  I was in love.  As you can see anything old, antique or Victorian especially is right up my alley and now I could add old style bears to my list of loves.

  • Some of the club 10cm bears, and artist bear, Hermann in the background and my handmade blue bear
Also in the bag was a Steiff leaflet with details on their Steiff club.  I didn't own any Steiff, but I joined straight away as they were offering a delightful 10cm mohair bear with movable limbs as a welcome to the club present.

  • Edward - I love blue and I have a few other blue bears which I will show you later.  He is stuffed with sawdust like the original version with boot button eyes, he feels divine to hold, so solid.  Limited Edition Replica (1908) of 1,908 pieces, 32cm jointed mohair bear with growler (black & white tag)
And so began a wonderful journey into arctophilia.  Over the years I have collected 12 tiny 10cm bears from the club membership, 3 other artist bears and 8 medium to large Steiff and even one I've made myself.  Both my children have bear each and my daughter also has two soft baby toys which she still plays with.

  • George - Last years birthday present, my most recent acquisition.  Adorably cuddly, his hair curls over his eye so he looks a little funny!  Classic 1920 Teddy Bear, 35cm brass mohair, fully jointed with growler (yellow tag)
I will do another post, maybe next week with details and photo's of my handmade attempt, artist bears and the smaller Steiff.

  • Hennessy - He reminded me of the colour of brandy, my mothers maiden name is Hennessy so I combined the two!  Irish Bear 2002, Limited Edition of 2,000 pieces, 35cm fully jointed mohair bear (red and white tag)
I know that most people put them away in a cabinet and just gaze at them, but personally I don't see the point to that.  They are meant to be loved, sat on, cuddled, slept with, dropped on the ground, dressed and spoken to.  They are first and foremost, toys!  They were made at the beginning of the last century to be childrens playmates and confidents, they can handle a little rough play.  There is nothing sadder than a teddy bear that has never been held and that is in pristine condition.  Obviously, the original bears that have survived are now worth a lot of money, but that doesn't mean that the ones I have today will exceed their buying price.  They live on the headboard of my bed and my bedside locker so they are always near. 

  • Richard (top) - Limited Edition of 2,600 pieces, Club edition in 2005, 30cm grey mohair bear, fully jointed (red and white tag)
  • Toast (bottom) - My sister named this bear, he was a Christmas present the year I was pregnant with my daughter.  My sister was feeling jealous and left out so I let her name my bear!  Classic bear, can't find much information on him, he's big about 43cm gold mohair, fully jointed with growler (yellow tag)


  1. Aw! So many gorgeous bears. I adore teddies too, I always have one nearby so I can sneak a cuddle. :)

  2. Hehe, my hubbies not to impressed though when they find there way into the bed! Squishable loveliness :-)