Waterworks Wednesday: Playful Beginnings with Rebekah Kaufman

An Introduction to Steiff’s Early 20th Century Teddy Bears, Dolls, and Animals

April 5, 2017

Rebekah KaufmanJoin us for a very special presentation on Victorian era Steiff collectibles with noted historian and expert Rebekah Kaufman. Ms. Kaufman will examine the history and origins of these wildly popular toys, including the original Teddy Bears, and will discuss the evolution of the product lines as examples of historical material culture. Following the talk, Ms. Kaufman will stay for an identification and valuation clinic of vintage Steiff toys for a $10 per piece (limit 2) contribution to the Waterworks Museum.

Rebekah Kaufman is a third generation, lifelong Steiff enthusiast. Her passion became her vocation when she became the Steiff Club Manager for the North American division of Margarete Steiff GmbH in 2003. In 2008, she was appointed as Steiff’s North American archivist. In this role, she leads collector’s events around the country, authors most of the vintage related articles in the biannual Steiff Club Magazine, and authenticates and values vintage Steiff treasures on behalf of the company.

Ms. Kaufman has consulted for TV networks including HGTV, CBS (Inside Edition), (Pawn Stars), and E! Entertainment (Clean House). She has been an invited guest on radio and video programs for the Antiques Auction Forum, Gemr, Ruby Lane, Auctionata, The Collector’s Show, and Harry Rinker’s Whatcha Got. She acts as a go-to resource for industry, auction houses, and the media; her engagements have included Teddy Dorado, Theriault’s Doll Auctions, James D. Julia, F.A.O. Schwarz, The Boston Center for Adult Education, The Marin Country Mart, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg, Town and Country, and The Huffington Post, among others.

Her blog, My Steiff Life, focuses on vintage Steiff finds, Steiff antiquing and travel adventures, international Steiff happenings, and the legacy and history of the Steiff company. Her book, Sassafrass Jones and Her Forever Friends ABCs, features vintage Steiff as an integral part of the storyline. It was co-authored by Cathleen Smith-Bresciani, a fellow Steiff enthusiast. She truly leads “The Steiff Life.”

Ms. Kaufman will give an illustrated lecture on Steiff collectibles and will stay for an identification and valuation clinic at the conclusion of her talk. A $10 per piece (limit 2) donation to the Waterworks Museum is requested to support ongoing Museum programming. Join us on April 5 at 7pm in the Overlook Gallery for this very special event.