Start of Content
teddy bears search

 

Use Advanced Search


teddy bear menu

New Arrivals

Steiff 1929 Donkey on wheels Replica 403194

Steiff 1929 Donkey on wheels Replica 403194

170.00

1929 Donkey on wheels Replica by Steiff. This beautiful limited edition ...
find out more


Charlie Bears Isabelle Buster SJ5234

Charlie Bears Isabelle Buster SJ5234

240.00

Buster from the Charlie Bears Isabelle Collection. A stunning limited edition ...
find out more


Steiff Grandpa Teddy Bear 034169

Steiff Grandpa Teddy Bear 034169

235.00

Grandpa Teddy Bear by Steiff. This beautiful limited edition piece in ...
find out more


Steiff 2015 Cosy Year Bear 664625

Steiff 2015 Cosy Year Bear 664625

40.00

Steiff 2015 Cosy Year Teddy Bear is made in beautiful soft ...
find out more


Steiff Nicholas Teddy bear 034268

Steiff Nicholas Teddy bear 034268

179.00

Nicholas Teddy bear by Steiff. This beautiful limited edition piece in ...
find out more


Renny Classic Reindeer by Steiff 040450

Renny Classic Reindeer by Steiff 040450

85.00

The classic Steiff Renny Reindeer is made in beautiful white alpaca. ...
find out more


LOTTE Teddy bear in Suitcase by Steiff 111464

LOTTE Teddy bear in Suitcase by Steiff 111464

32.90

Beautiful LOTTE Teddy bear with her very own suitcase. Lotte ...
find out more


Steiff Jocko Magnetic Chimpanzee 060212

Steiff Jocko Magnetic Chimpanzee 060212

109.90

Steiff Jocko Magnetic Chimpanzee is a wonderful character, made from cuddly ...
find out more


Steiff Nutcracker Teddy bear 034480

Steiff Nutcracker Teddy bear 034480

160.00

Nutcracker Teddy bear by Steiff. This beautiful limited edition piece in ...
find out more


Steiff 1905 Baerle 28 PAB Replica Teddy Bear 403187

Steiff 1905 Baerle 28 PAB Replica Teddy Bear 403187

199.00

1905 Baerle 28 PAB Replica Teddy Bear by Steiff. This beautiful ...
find out more


Margarete Steiff

Margarete Steiff

The story of Margarete Steiff is filled with fairytale quality. Margarete contracted polio when she was just 18 months old, which meant that she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. However, this spirited and courageous young lady took her life into her own hands - not allowing a disability to divert her. She learnt sewing and tailoring and soon became a very skilled seamstress. She started up her own small business, initially making ladies' and children's clothes. Little did she know, when she was working on a little fabric elephant to be used as a pincushion, that she was laying the foundation stone for the international company of the future - Margarete Steiff GmbH.

Richard Steiff, nephew to Margarete, joined his aunt's company in 1897. He was to become, after his aunt, the second most influential figure in the Toy Industry and the most important figure in the history of the Teddy bear. In 1902 Richard Steiff designed the very first jointed Teddy bear, a bear gifted with movement and a bear that would take the world by storm. Thus, the company name became synonymous with high-quality soft toy animals the world over.

Founded in 1880, Margarete Steiff GmbH has pursued excellence with determination, fuelled by their guiding principle "Only the best is good enough for our children". From humble beginnings the enterprise blossomed into the world's most famous soft toy company. Today the company embraces its history, and in doing so embraces innovation, imagination and perfection. Proud of our heritage yet forward-looking and venturesome, Steiff never stops chasing dreams.

The company's extraordinary and unequalled ability in bringing comfort and companionship to millions provides the perfect reason to celebrate a million occasions.

Birth of a Trademark

Birth of a Trademark

100 years of "Button in Ear"

To protect Steiff products from imitation and plagiarism, Franz Steiff, Margarete's nephew, invented the legendary "Button in Ear" in 1904, one of the first trademarks of the 20th century.

Since 1 November 1904, therefore, every Steiff animal has sported the characteristic button in the left ear, which makes the products unmistakeable and unique. To prevent imitation, the term "Button in Ear" was also registered as an official trademark on 20 December 1904, and was given legal protection on 13 May 1905. Thanks to this brilliant idea of Franz Steiff's, the Steiff "Button in Ear" brand has developed to become one of the world's oldest and most well-known brands. To pay homage to the 100th anniversary of the Steiff "Button in Ear" brand, a special collection of four Teddy bears is available - but only until the end of 2004.

Each of these valuable bears sports a specific feature, an imitation of the original elephant button from 1904, in its left ear!

Steiff - 100 Years of the 'Button in ear'

Steiff - 100 Years of the 'Button in ear'

In 1902, Steiff invented the Teddy bear and presented him to the public at the Leipzig Trade Fair in 1903. It didn't take long for the Steiff Teddy bear to become most children's favorite toy and many adults fell in love with it, too.

With this tremendous success, many competitors started to copy Steiff products. Consequently, Steiff had to find a way to distinguish their creations from its competitors. There was a general agreement that a company trademark was needed, that had to be permanently attached to the products.

Up until this point in time little cardboard tags were used, fastened to the body or the clothing of animals and dolls showing an elephant with a trunk raised in the shape of an "S" for Steiff. As these labels could be torn off without difficulty, Franz Steiff, one of Margarete Steiff's nephews, wanted a more permanent trademark and invented the "Button in Ear".

Steiff - the elephant button

Steiff - the elephant button

After several alternatives had been tested, a metal button embossed with the elephant having an S-shaped trunk was finally chosen and attached to the left ear of every product. The new trademark was born and the "Button in Ear" has been firmly fixed to all Steiff products since November 1, 1904. An application for registration of the "Button in Ear" trademark was submitted on December 20, 1904 and the registration was confirmed in writing on May 13, 1905.

The metal button with the elephant design was only used in 1904 and 1905 and was thereafter replaced by blank buttons and buttons with the word "Steiff". As the elephant button was in use for such a short time only, items bearing this trademark are considered a great rarity today.

Check out the full range of Steiff products including baby safe items, to adult collectable pieces.

teddy bears basket

Items:, Value:

view basket

checkout


ashby bears email bulletins

Sign Up for Email News


Steiff new for 2014


Ashby Bears Blog


Best Sellers

Steiff 2014 Cosy Year Bear 663604

Steiff 2014 Cosy Year Bear 663604

Steiff 2014 British Collectors Bear 664380

Steiff 2014 British Collectors Bear 664380

Beige My First Steiff 664120

Beige My First Steiff 664120

Mickey Mouse by Steiff 354939

Mickey Mouse by Steiff 354939

18cm LINDA Lamb Pull Along by Steiff 238253

18cm LINDA Lamb Pull Along by Steiff 238253

Minnie Mouse by Steiff 354946

Minnie Mouse by Steiff 354946

Teddy Hermann Erik Teddy Bear 146377

Teddy Hermann Erik Teddy Bear 146377

Steiff Winnipeg 664700

Steiff Winnipeg 664700

LILLY 28cm Cream Dangling Teddy Bear by Steiff 111556

LILLY 28cm Cream Dangling Teddy Bear by Steiff 111556

PETSY 35cm Blond Teddy Bear by Steiff 012273

PETSY 35cm Blond Teddy Bear by Steiff 012273

spacer
End of Content