Antiques still alive and well

This antique teddy bear and vehicle were made by Steiff.

As you can see by my photo this week, the topic is a wonderful vintage children’s toy that may have been a gift under a Christmas Tree on Christmas morning. This is a remarkable example of what Steiff may have submitted for sale for children on that magical morning of Christmas. Steiff made wonderful teddy bears for children of all ages, but they made toys for those teddy bears to ride on as well. And they didn’t just make teddy bears, but so many other various stuffed animal toys. The magic goes on and on — the delight on a beautiful Christmas morning with all the new little and big toys sitting and waiting for the children to awaken and to play with them all.

I found this particular toy online — the bear is definitely a Steiff bear with the shape of his face and nose along with the ear style, plus the arms are extra long and the body definitely portrays its style. This bear has been played with quite heartily for sure, but we need to remember that was one of the main reasons they were made was for children. They could take some pretty good roughhousing and still stay strong. The toy cart itself is one that you would sit on, naturally, and pull the handle towards you and then push it out away from you (push, pull), and you would find yourself moving right along. The mohair on the bear (or I should say, what is still left on the bear) portrays a story of much love and hugging and just generally rubbed off or worn out. But, that just reminds me of all the loving that some child or children had given him.

The Steiff bears and other animals — such as giraffes, camels, lions, tigers and a few other animals I cannot recall at the moment — were all handmade with such love in mind for each child who would some day hold it tightly when they were going to sleep at night. It was a toy that would give back as much love as it was given.

As I was combing the internet for a few ideas for this week’s TNT article, I discovered that HGTV is showing so much more collectibles and/or antiques and how to display them with fantastic ideas for storing or display, or for just plain decorating ideas. I was amazed at the the many sites I visited and it seems that the antique and collectible markets are still visited with as much gusto as they always have had. As an antique collector as well as a dealer over the past 50 years, it makes all the time I have spent in researching and/or collecting all worthwhile. I have to admit, I am somewhat a diehard as I did not want to give up my love for antiques and the unusual items that may be “just around the next corner” attitude, or lifestyle I have known for so long.

When I step into someone else’s home and see what I have seen through the past several years, it is just amazing what people will collect and search the world for these treasures. When talking with friends recently, many would say they are not into antiques — but then, while visiting a bit longer, they would mention liquor bottles collected throughout their lifetimes and/or the many different decanters they have found, usually around the Christmas holiday season. It is so rewarding to hear someone talk about their likes and, naturally, their dislikes, as well. But in further conversation, I would discover the many other little things they may have collected without realizing they were actually “collectors” in my world of antiquing/collecting. Many people love to collect jewelry, or even vintage clothing. I have others who are always looking for a new (old) pieces of pottery (such as Roseville or Hull) or maybe a new/old piece of glassware like Heisey or Fenton, and so many other companies out there that made such wonderful and “lasting” items that they will still be hot antiques in the next generation as well.

I have visited with people who have collected fishing poles and all the equipment that goes along with it — the lures in so many shapes, colors and materials from plastics and metals, to even feathers for fly fishing. And then that leads to many treasured moments of fishing in different scenic areas and beautiful mountain lakes. One thing just falls into another realm of collecting — whether it be a collection of shotguns or the collection of memories while on the hunt — as well as all the fishing trips and the different styles of rods and reels as well as the lures being used. Or maybe, these collections are behind glass in cabinets in their homes and the vacation or traveling they have done is in the hunt of finding more to add to their treasure coves in their family rooms or studies.

All of the information I find online — along with the many selling/buying sites available — just proves to me that antiques and collectibles are still alive and well. I am one of those people that love the hunt and I treasure every single moment during the hunt when friends find something that warms their heart. Each person collects something whether they actually call it a collection or just something fun to do. Please remember to visit your local antique or collectible stores as often as you can. Many dealers will bring in different items each week or at least every month, and you never know what you just might find at your next stop. Have a good week, everyone!