Princess Xenia red Steiff teddy bear
Princess Xenia red Steiff teddy bear is a red Steiff teddy bear called Alfonzo which belonged to Princess Xenia. The story
In 1908 the Grand Duke of Russia, George Mikhailovich, bought a red 33cm tall Steiff bear for his daughter, Princess Xenia. She named him Alfonzo.
Princess Xenia took Alfonzo everywhere with her including to London in 1914 to spend the summer at Buckingham Palace.
Xenia’s father died in 1919 and the bear remained her only momento of her father.
When Xenia died in 1965, Alfonzo was passed down to her daughter Nancy.
Main article: Steiff
Steiff is a German teddy bear manufacturer founded by Margarete Steiff in the 19th century.
Margarete Steiff’s nephew, Richard Steiff, designed “Bear 55PB”in 1902, the world’s first toy bear with jointed arms and legs.
In 1903, Margarete allowed Richard to present the bear at the Leipzig Toy Fair. An American businessman saw the bear and placed an order for 3,000.
From 1906 onwards the bear sold under the name “Teddy bear” after US president Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.
In 1989 Alfonzo returned to London, this time to be sold at a Christie’s auction. Interest was extremely high due to the provenance of the red teddy bear. The bear sold for £12,100.
Alfonzo ended up in the UK teddy bear shop Teddy Bears of Witney, who commissioned Steiff to make a limited edition replica, exclusive to the shop.
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