Next week, a lot of 1,300 vintage Steiff teddy bears and other soft toys worth approximately $1.9 million will be auctioned off by Christie's in London. The collection, which has been fastidiously cared for, includes such rarities as the Hot-Water Bottle Bear, of which there are only ten in the world, a perfectly preserved Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and a never manufactured Bonzo the Dog toy. Who would part with such a carefully cultivated collection, one that is so clearly beloved? It can only be one man: Paul Greenwood, the Connecticut hedge-fund manager who was convicted of a $553 million fraud last year.
“Greenwood is the seller,” Jasper Pearson, partner in the U.K.-based antique teddy-bear dealers Sue Pearson, said in an interview. “Greenwood’s collection is of extraordinary quality. He only bought museum-grade pieces in mint condition.”
Fred Hafetz, Greenwood’s lawyer, did not immediately reply to an e-mail asking for comment. Christie’s does not publicly comment on the identities of sellers. “The vendor is anonymous,” spokesman Matthew Paton said.
He probably should have listed them under the name "Victor Nightingale."