Paul Greenwood (teddy bear collector)

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2015-06-26 10:43:37

Paul Greenwood (teddy bear collector) had the world’s largest private collection of teddy bears and soft toys. The collection sold for more than £1 million in 2010.

Fraud

Greenwood is a former US hedge fund manager. In 2010 he pleaded guilty to a multi-million dollar fraud.

The collection

The collection comprised 1,300 Steiff toys, including bears, elephants, lions, monkeys, cats and dogs.

The toys range from the company’s early years in the 1890s up to the 1960s.

Many of the toys were never manufactured but were prototypes that retained their tags.

A large number of the manufactured items were bought by Steiff staff, who kept many of them in excellent condition.

2010 sale

The collection was purchased for £1,082,356 at a Christie’s auction in London by an unknown buyer.

Daniel Agnew, Christie's teddy bear expert, told ITN ahead of the sale: "They are some of the best examples to come to market. They are all in exceptional condition. They are some of the rarest things to come to the market for a very long time.”

1925 Steiff Harlequin

The highlight of the collection was a 1925 Steiff Harlequin. It is a unique production by Steiff, who experimented with placing a growl mechanism within the toy that was activated when the bear was turned upside down.

It made £46,850 in the 2010 auction, slightly below its pre-auction estimate.

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