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Steiff Titanic Mourning Bears-Did You Know?
Chuck and Cathy Steffes

Bearly A Memory


Many of you have asked why there are two different Titanic Mourning bears being produced by Steiff to commemmorate the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

Richard Steiff produced a black bear prototype as early as 1907 but felt it was to scary for young children. 

Again in 1908 another black bear prototype was made. 

Neither of these bears were put into production.

When news of the Titanic’s sinking was received in Giengen, black “Mourning” bears were immediately put into production. 

There were two types produced.

The first type wasmade of long, curly black mohair. 

It was produced in five sizes:

EAN      CM      Inch      Year    # Made

5320       30         12           1912      240

5325       35         14           1912      139

5328       40         16           1912        27

5332       46         18           1912          6

5335       50         20           1912        82

This made a total of 494 pieces made in 1912.

 An additional 161 bears were made as follows:

EAN     CM      Inch       Year       # Made

5320      30         12            1917           8

5325      35         14            1917         17

5328      40         16            1917         15

5332      46         18            1919         56

5335      50         20            1917         65

This made a total of 655 Black Bears of long mohair. Many had red felt behind the eyes. As this pattern was also used for bears of other colors, a number of black bears were produced with center seams which made them even rarer!

“Othello” EAN 403088 would be the same as the 5335 (50CM) long curly mohair bear made in 1912. Only 82 bears were made in this size. Othello is an original “Mourning Bear” owned by Ian Pout of Teddy Bears of Witney in Witney England.

The second type produced when Titanic sank was made of short pile plush or “Sealskin”. This bear was also produced in five sizes as follows:

EAN     CM     Inch    Year    # Made

5217      25         10        1912     583

5220      30         12        1912     372

5225      35         14        1912       78

5228      40         16        1912       12

5235      50         20        1912       69

This type totaled 1,114 pieces. All had red felt behind the eyes and were only produced in 1912. Thus a total of 1,608 black “mourning” bears were produced in 1912 and an additional 161 between 1917 and 1919.

Cathy and I own an original “Sealskin” “Mourning Bear” EAN 5225 (35CM) made in 1912. Only 78 bears were made in this size. The Titanic Commemorative Centenary Bear #664151 is the replica for this bear.

I hope this has helped clear up some of the mystery surrounding the differnt types of black mourning bears made by Steiff in 1912. 

RMS Titanic, property of White Star Corporation, was built in Belfast by Harland & Wolff Shipbuilders. She was at the time, the largest moving object ever created by man. She was also one of the most lavishly appointed ships ever built. More than just a ship, Titanic was a virtual floating palace; more of a luxury hotel than an ocean liner. Shipbuilders‟ magazine claimed the ship was “practically unsinkable”. But fate was to intervene on the ship‟s maiden voyage. On April 14, 1912 – 100 years ago – the ship struck an iceberg and sank into the icy waters of the north Atlantic. This tragic event left England and America in mourning. Steiff, wishing to pay their respects, produced a black „mourning‟ bear – a bear with red discs behind the shoe button eyes to represent tear-stained eyes. Now to mark the centenary of this occasion, Steiff is bringing the “Mourning Bear” back in a Limited Edition of 1,912 pieces, exclusively for the U.S. and U.K. markets. This is your chance to own a piece of history. Reserve your Titanic bear today. 

Steiff Centenary Titanic Ted Bear EAN 664151 is a USA/UK Limited Edition of 1.912 pieces.

On 14 April 1912 the passenger liner Titanic was speeding towards New York on her maiden transatlantic voyage when, at 
11.40pm, she struck an iceberg off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, Canada. Water poured through a 90 metre gash below the waterline, and in less than three hours the liner had sunk. The sinking of the Titanic was one of the worst shipping tragedies of all time. 1,513 people lost their lives. When news of the catastrophe reached England the whole country was plunged into mourning. Steiff responded by producing black mohair bears to mourn the disaster. These were displayed in shop windows throughout London within weeks of the disaster. Clearly touching a chord, they sold out quickly. Only 494 were produced resulting in them being greatly prized today. Ian Pout, owner of Teddy Bears of Witney, bought one of these remaining original 
bears at Phillip´s, London in October 1990 – “Othello” is his name. 

Steiff Othello Teddy Bear Titanic Replica 1912 EAN 403088 is a 2012 Worldwide Limited Edition of 1,912 pieces.