Charity auction marks Rupert Bear's 90th birthday

A Steiff Rupert Bear Steiff's 20in (52cm) bear goes under the hammer later this month

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A charity auction featuring a one-off collectable Steiff bear will help mark Rupert Bear's 90th birthday.

The cuddly toy and art from Rupert illustrator Stuart Trotter will be sold to celebrate Britain's oldest bear.

Proceeds go to the Muscular Dystrophy campaign Bidding on the special replica remains open until 14 November.

Rupert Bear was created in 1920 for the Daily Express, making him six year older than Winnie the Pooh and 40 years Paddington Bear's senior.

Milestone

Rupert's adventures still feature in the newspaper and the 75th annual was recently published. Rare copies of early annuals can fetch as much as £20,000.

Rupert's creator, artist Mary Tourtel, first developed the cartoon to compete with rivals including a mouse called Teddy Tail in the Daily Mail and Pip, Squeak and Wilfred (a dog, penguin and a baby rabbit) in the Daily Mirror.

Meanwhile, fans have been celebrating Rupert's milestone at the Rupert Bear Museum in Canterbury, where current illustrator Mr Trotter signed books.

Rupert's adventures with Bill Badger have entertained generations of readers and his red jumper and checked yellow trousers make him instantly recognisable.

Bidding on the Steiff bear - the largest made - is open until 2000 GMT on 14 November.

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