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  Steiff (Germany) - 1880 - THE BEGINNINGS OF A FAMILY COMPANY the official date of foundation of Margarete Steiff GmbH. The "Elefäntle" developed into the company's first big-selling product. Her younger brother, Fritz, successfully sold the felt elephants at the nearby Heidenheim market. Six years later, Margarete had sold over 5,000 elephants. At this point, Margarete also designed other fabric animals.

1902 - BIRTH OF THE TEDDY BEAR Richard designed "Bear 55 PB", the world's first toy bear with jointed arms and legs. While looking for a suitable material for the fur, Richard found the cuddly and dye able mohair plush, manufactured by the Schulte pile-fabric weaving mill in Duisburg.

1980 - 100 YEARS OF DREAMS IN FABRIC AND PLUSH The Margarete Steiff Museum - predecessor of today's "Die Welt von Steiff" Adventure Museum - opened in Giengen to mark the 100th anniversary of the company. At this time, Steiff also began producing limited numbers of replicas for Steiff enthusiasts.

The most expensive teddy bear ever sold at auction is the Steiff 1904 ‘Teddy Girl’ bear. It was sold at Christies in 1994 to Yoshihiro Sekiguchi, owner of the Izu Teddy Bear Museum in Japan, for £110,000.

The bear was originally bought in 1904 for Colonel Robert “Bob” Henderson on the day that he was born.


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