Steiff teddy bear 'to set a record'
He may look a little down on his luck - but this teddy bear could become a record breaker when it is sold at auction.
The 1925 "harlequin" could break Christie's £110,000 world record for a teddy following a flurry of interest, the auctioneer said.
The red and blue mohair bear, initially with an estimate of between £50,000 and £80,000, is among a "once in a lifetime" collection of more than a thousand luxury Steiff soft toys, which could fetch more than £1 million.
The private collection presents a "unique" opportunity for museums and collectors from around the world, according to the auctioneer.
The sale, at Christie's South Kensington saleroom in London on October 13, is said to be the "largest and best quality collection" to remain in private hands. It will go on public exhibition on Saturday.
Set up in Germany in the late 19th century, Steiff is famous for its hand-finished bears, elephants, rabbits and other animals featuring a button in their ear to show authenticity.
Teddy bear specialist Daniel Agnew, working as a consultant for the Christie's Steiff sale, said: "It's pretty much unique. There is such an amazing array and it's in such fabulous condition. It really is a once in a lifetime collection."
Mr Agnew described Steiff as the "Rolls-Royce of the soft toy world".
No details have been released about the mystery collector who owned the toys or why they are being sold.
The collection includes toys dating from 1890 to the 1970s, Christie's said.