Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hedge fund manager forced to sell $1.3 million teddy bear collection - US

AN American hedge-fund manager who pleaded guilty to fraud charges is auctioning off his teddy bear collection valued to be worth at least $A1.3 million, says art dealers. 

Paul Greenwood, a former partner of brokerage WG Trading Co, was charged with conspiring to defraud his clients of $US554 million ($571 million) between 1996 and 2009 in July, reported Bloomberg.
The US Securities Exchange Commission said Greenwood, who will be sentenced in December, used the money to buy "multimillion dollar homes, a horse farm and horses, luxury cars, and rare collectibles such as Steiff teddy bears."

A spokesman for British auctioneer Christie’s would not reveal the seller’s name, but an antique teddy bear dealer understood it was Greenwood who had collected the soft toys over 15 years.

Greenwood’s collection is of extraordinary quality. He only bought museum-grade pieces in mint condition," said Jasper Pearson, a partner at UK-based teddy bear dealer Sue Pearson.
Most of the 1300 bears for sale are toys made by German manufacturer Steiff who created the teddy bear after former US President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt adopted it as a political mascot.

A Mickey and Minnie Mouse pair is valued at £15,000 ($24,594), while a teddy bear with a hot-water bottle is expected to garner £30,000 ($49,187) at the auction on October 13, Christie’s said.

“I’d be surprised if there were more than 10 of (the hot-water teddy bears) left in the world,” said Daniel Agnew, Christie’s consultant for the sale.

“The collector specialised in the more unusual things, oddities that were never factory-produced.

"The majority of the lots date from before World War II, which is the stronger collecting market."


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