Rare stuffed animal going up for auction in Glendale

Dec 26, 2023, 8:00 PM

A Bonzo stuffed animal is up for auction at EJ’s Auction & Appraisal on Saturday. It's estimated ...

A Bonzo stuffed animal is up for auction at EJ’s Auction & Appraisal on Saturday. It's estimated to be worth between $25,000 to $45,000. (EJ’s Public Relations photo)

(EJ’s Public Relations photo)

PHOENIX — A vintage stuffed animal is hitting the auction block on Saturday.

A circa-1927 Steiff Begging Bonzo Dog, being auctioned at EJ’s Auction & Appraisal in Glendale, is one of only 115 that were manufactured. The dog is 10.5 inches long and features glass eyes, ears made of black velvet and a tongue made of red felt.

Due to the rarity, those that have been auctioned in the past have fetched between $25,000 to $45,000. The current owner lives in Phoenix and bought the toy almost 40 years ago at a flea market in Michigan.

Online bidding is currently open before the auction starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Previewing of the toy is open from Wednesday until Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and also Saturday morning before the auction.

“The fact that so few Steiff Begging Bonzo dogs were made is a big deal to collectors,” Erik Hoyer, EJ’s Auction & Appraisal’s CEO, said. “It’s pretty remarkable that this rare stuffed animal made its way to our Phoenix auction house.”

According to Hoyer, Bonzo was a cartoon character created by British artist George Studdy in the early 1920s. While Steiff is a popular manufacturer of stuffed animals, Steiff had manufactured 115 Begging Bonzo dogs that Studdy was displeased with, so he opted to use Chad Valley instead to continue production.

Each Saturday, EJ’s Auction & Appraisal holds online auctions at 10 a.m. as well as free appraisals on the fourth Friday of each month.

While weekly auctions take place, the annual holiday auction features the most prized items. Other items include jewelry, art, musical instruments, vases, furniture, vintage stereo speakers, an Andy Warhol signed limited edition serigraph, a gold Rolex, a Mercedes, a suit of armor, a life-size World War I German Fokker replica airplane and a life-size Native American warrior on horseback bronze.

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Rare stuffed animal going up for auction in Glendale