Reproductions and Fakes

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Please scroll down the page to see a gallery of photos of reproduction bears.

Reproduction or Fake?:

Reproduction bears have been made in good faith by producers like Steiff and these are authentic reproduction of earlier models and are labelled and sold as such, often in limited editions.

However, bears often turn up that are made to look like originals with the intent to deceive collectors , dealers and auction houses alike, into believing that they are old original ones.

Eastern Europe and the Far East:

Firstly there are what I call the 'fake' teddies that originate in various forms from Eastern Europe and the Far East, have been around for many years now and have been mentioned in various teddy bear books but still they turn up for sale at fairs and internet auction sites and often make good money. I have had several brought to me by both dealers and private collectors thinking they have bought a bargain Steiff bear only to be told it is a fake. To an experienced collector there should be no difficulty recognising they are not original Steiff. They are usually made in a cotton or artificial plush material not mohair, If they have felt paws the felt is usually a modern nylon mixture felt, not the wool felt as on the originals. I have also seen examples where the thread used to sew them together is a nylon thread and have even seen ones [reputed to be family heirlooms from the early 1900's!!] completely stuffed with modern stuffing and having plastic joints. When there is a button in the ear it is usually a discoloured brass one, blank and of the wrong size.

Fake Steiffs:

Another attempt to deceive is to put a real Steiff button in the ear of a non- Steiff bear and I've seen this on many occasions on markets around Europe. Also on internet selling sites. It is always a good idea to study as many real Steiff bears in books, museums and at good bear fairs to get the look and the feel of them so that you get an instinct when something is not right and can avoid an expensive mistake. [It can also help to spot the bargain!!! ].   When buying bears my philosophy is always if in doubt, leave it!

Detective Work:

I don't like to call myself a 'Teddy Expert'. My personal knowledge on teddy bears has been amassed over many years of collecting and repairing and this is very much an ongoing learning process. Much can be learned from the inside of a bear as well as the outside and this can help in putting forward ideas for identification. It is almost like being a detective and I always try to substantiate any theories I may have.  I am always willing to give novice collectors the benefit of my experience.

Click on the pictures to enlarge:


An example of what I call the 'Fake' bears.

A genuine Steiff reproduction bear from my collection