One of the world's largest and most valuable collections of German cuddly toys go for auction in London. The toys come from shamed financier, Paul Greenwood, charged in 2009 for fraud. The pristine cuddly toy collection expects to reach more than one million pounds.
One of the finest collections of teddy bears and stuffed toys made by German company, Steiff, is going under the hammer in London.
The collection, valued at around £1-million ($1.6-million), is from disgraced American hedge fund manager, Paul Greenwood, who earlier this year pleaded guilty to fraud involving hundreds of millions of dollars.
Auctioneers were amazed when they visited Greenwood's home to value the toys. They found the vast collection of Steiff bears, dogs, monkeys, lions, cats and elephants stored all over the property.
[Daniel Agnew, Christie's Teddy Bear Expert]:
"They are some of the best examples to come to market. They are all in exceptional condition. They range from the very early period right up to the 1960s and they are some of the rarest things that have been on the market for a very long time."
The most valuable teddy bear is the 1925 Steiff Harlequin with red and blue mohair, which is estimated to fetch between £50,000 and £80,000 ($80,000—$128,000).
Other interesting lots include a 1910 hot water bottle bear, valued at £20,000—£30,000 ($31,000—$45,000).
One of the oldest lots is Steiff's first design, a velvet elephant pincushion from around 1907. It's valued between £10,000 and £15,000 ($16,000 and $24,000).
Agnew said the collection is so remarkable because it consists of many toys which were never manufactured, but were saved in perfect condition by Steiff factory workers.
The day-long auction, which is expected to attract collectors from all over the world, is being held in London on Saturday.