Online, Monthly Teddy Bear Magazine

Ken Yenke is an author, historian, teddy bear appraiser and museum curator who answered questions about vintage bears and toys.

 

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It is with a heavy heart that we announce the death of Ken Yenke, who on March 19th succumb to leukemia after a 6 month battle.

 

He was alert to the end of his 69 years and was with his family as he passed peacefully.

 

Ken will remain in our hearts.

Our heartfelt sympathy goes to his lovely wife Brenda, his children and family.

   
Ken, Toby belonged to my mother and was given to her by her mother when she was "about the same size as the bear." She was born in 1936, so I'm guessing that would have been around 1938-1939. He appears to be in very good shape with some wear on his fur near the pads of his feet. His eyes have been replaced. Family lore is that he is German. His arms, legs and head move and he's large 36". I have several pictures of my mother with him when she was a child, including a Christmas morning under the tree photo when she got him.
Thanks,
Blair

Blair this is a 1940's Knickerbocker. Great American bear valued at $500.00 with the photos of your Grandmother with the bear.
Ken

   
Dear Sir,
 I would like to know more about this particular bear my wife has in her collection. He was found by a friend in an old estate. He his a very nice one and quite large, he stands 37",  is fully jointed and appears to be excelsior filled. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and appraisal. Thank you.
Fritz

 

Hello Fritz,

You have a 1920's Ideal (American) bear. There are several restorations to the original body, but they do not affect its value. However, the resin nose and shoe button eyes should be corrected to return it to the proper origin. Keep the embroidered nose and use glass eyes! Value in updated condition would be $750.00.
Ken
   

Hi Ken, We are looking for an appraisal of Jacky Boy’s value. He has been part of the family for five generations now. But I am wondering if he belongs in a museum or safe environment of a collector. I believe my grandmother’s Uncle Billy brought him over from Germany many years ago when he went on a cruise, but I may not have the history straight.
Elizabeth

 

Elizabeth you have a wonderful 1940's Gund Bear (American). As far as it's environment, your home is perfect! Value of $500.00 is for insurance purposes.

Ken

   

The length from top of ears to bottom of feet when laid flat is 19". The paws and feet are covered in felt that feels like a heavy wool felt similar to what old theater seats are made of. The glass eyes are nicked up pretty good as you can see in the images and they may even have linear cracks in them. The bear is jointed with all feet and head able to turn about. There is some thinning of the mohair as you can see in the images, but I would say bear has 90% + hair intact. This was a recent estate sale purchase with only history given by a distant family member that thought it belonged to the deceased woman's grand mother. Thank you in advance for your evaluation, Perry

 

Perry you have a 1940's-1950's Knickerbocker teddy bear.
If you would have a photo of the original owner holding the bear it would increase the value substantially.
What with the mohair thinning, and without personal inspection, I place the current value around $175.00
Ken

 

   

Hello,
I would love to know about these two sweet bears I have.  I bought them at a garage sale for $1 and now use them as decor in my children's bedroom.  We know nothing about them except they are fully jointed, have glass eyes and felt paws and tongues.  I see no tags or markings.

Jessica

 

Jessica,
You have two American Character class bears, estimate from the 1950 circa. Mohair and look to be in fairly good condition and cute. Without further personal investigation, I'd set the value around $200.00 for the pair.
Ken

 

   

I found this bear today in an antique's shop. I am interested in purchasing him but first I need to know if he is authentically old. He is 18-20" has mohair fur, felt paws and a hump in the back. His stuffing feels hard and crunchy in the back. He has strangely small sized limbs, with a bigger body and head. Fully jointed. Can you tell me what I have found and what this bear's value is? Thank you.

Best regards,
Michele

 

Michele,
This bear is from the early 1920-1914 era and made by the Great American Stuffed Toy Company. Without a personal inspection, the original eyes I believe should have been glass. Nice bear. Value as shown about $400.00 or so.
Ken

   

Ken,

I found these two old bears while cleaning out my mom’s house. Mom is 83 but not in any condition to tell me the bear histories. She grew up on a farm in Oswego County, NY and my dad grew up in Manhattan. He is 85. I suspect the bears were my mom’s or maybe handed down to her from her dad or mom who were born in 1900 and 1902.

Thanks, Barry

 

 

 

Barry, you have two very old bears.

 

Bear number one is an early Strunz German bear from the 1910 era.
I see a lot of wear but still a cute bear. I'd value you it up to $500.00

Bear number two is a German Petz. The mohair seems to be all gone. This Petz goes back to the early 1930's.
Value as shown is in the $100.00 range.

Ken

 

 

 

 

Bear 1

 

Bear 2

   

This is what I know about the bear. No other buttons or tags, feels like it has noise maker inside. Owner stated that is made noise years ago. Arms move as one - rod connecting them Legs the same move one they both move.

Tim

 

 

This was typical carnival supply bear. Made of acrylic plush from the Eli Company. Quite a cute bear. From the 1950 era and I'd place the value around $150.00. Ken

 

 

 

Hi Ken,
This bear has been in the family a minimum he is 50 years. He is 3 1/2" long, his arms move and his legs. His foot has a hole but inside he has spring in the leg and I want to say saw-dust stuffing. He has one glass eye. I would like to know why I still hold on to him is he worth anything in monetary value? Where did he come from?
Randy

 

Randy it looks as if your bear is in quite a poor condition. Without being able to see it personally, I'm thinking it is from the 1950's and perhaps a Steiff teddy-baby. Considering the wear and condition I would value it up to $100.00 tops.
Ken

   

I am the owner of an old teddy bear that belonged to my grandfather. It is in really bad shape, but I am still interested in its possible value. I don't know anything about the bear other than it is jointed. My grandfather was born in 1908 and died in 1987. I wish I knew more about the bear.

Sally

 

Sally you have a 1920's America Toy & Novelty Company Bear. Great history of your Grandfather. If you have a picture of him with the bear the value will double. Value as seen here is in the $200.00 range.
Ken

   

Hi
He is beaten up and looks pretty ancient. Mohair body, felt pads, wood fibre stuffing and a pronounced open mouth which makes him look 'startled'. He has a label sewn onto his left paw 'Hofer'  Standing 23cm tall with limbs and head that rotate. I purchased him over 25 years ago at a street market next to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin at the time just after the Berlin Wall had fallen, and all the East Berliners were trying to sell their possessions to the 'Westies.' I immediately spotted him and have adored him ever since. There is something compelling about him but I don't know why? Anything you can tell me about 'Boney' (his name now) would be much appreciated.

Kind regards, Lona

 

What you have Lona, is a 1950 Steiff Zotty bear. To me it looks quite worn. You have a very nice story about the bear. In today's condition and market,

I would value the bear, up to $200.00 in value.

Ken

   

Dear Ken,
Here is a lovely furry bear of 13" high. I am not sure of his origins! He has a cloth nose which strikes me as American, lovely glass eyes and nice long limbs and a chunky body. His head looks a little small for his body but he has a nice long snout. He has three claws on each paw. My feeling is he is 1920s American? Do you agree?? I bought him in the UK.
Kind regards,
Evelyn

 

Looks like one of the cutest Deans Bears manufactured in England, that I have seen in a long time. Great mohair and has an universal appealing face. Bear was made in the 1930-1940 ears. As I see the bear now I would set the value in the $550.00 price range.

Ken

   
Hi Ken,


I found this bear while cleaning up an estate. I thought it was a Steiff, but have been told it is an American Bear. The arms are jointed, but not the legs or head. It came with some clothing.

Thank you,

Lu



 


Your bear was made by the American Stuffed Toy Company This was originally an electric eye bear. Most were made between 1910 - 1920. Non working electric bear is valued around $300.00

Ken

   

I found this nice bear when I was going through my Grandmother's estate. He's super cute with tons of personality even though he has no ears! He has a tail that moves his head around and he's about 20" tall.  He's super sweet and happy to be out of the box he'd been in for who knows how long. Can you tell me anything about him?

Thanks so much!

Caroline

 

One of my favorite bears, Schuco. Caroline yours is a 1940-1950's style Schuco teddy bear. Have someone make matching Mohair ears for him to enhance his value. Market value as is $300.00 and With new ears the value jumps to $500.00 and up!
Ken

   

This bear was from an elderly (90+) lady's home. The bear is presumably one of her children's. There is no tag and no place for a tag that I can see. One eye is missing and remaining eye feels like plastic. Eye is held on by a thickish metal wire. Limbs turn complete 360 degrees. Bear has a tail! Fur is very soft, but does not feel like actual hair. Joints have faintly visible white string (?) deep down in joint which Bear is 14" long. Stuffing makes no sound and is firm but soft, not hard. Nothing "leaks" out. Nose appears to be leather and is hand sewn on. Other than missing eye and slightly abraded nose he seems immaculate.
Much thanks, Susie

 

Susie,
You have a wonderful hand made bear from the 1960's. This pattern was used during that period and your bears is done very well. Your little bear is plush with glass eyes. In great condition $50 to $75 value and it would be worth a little more with some early photos from 60's accompanying him. Ken

 

Ken,

I bought this bear at an estate sale.  The story is that it belonged to the mother of one that is now 78.  Could be a fishing story.  I don' know.  

Scott,

 

This is a nice plush teddy bear made by the Ideal Toy & Novelty Company. Composition bear-style nose and plastilene eyes confirm it was made after the 1950's. Value open market around $150.00

Ken.
   

I need some information regarding this 21" teddy. White fur and soft to touch. Arms and Legs move. A tag on its right hind leg says, "Claire Creations Inc. N.Y." Bear feels heavy and is somewhat firmly packed. I look forward to your appraisal and information regarding this unique teddy.
Nicholas

 

These types of bears, lambs and rabbits were not jointed and they were made as cuddly crib mates. Several American companies made them or allowed sub-contracting. Very hard to pin point the exact manufacturer. Value as shown up to $100.00 and if you have early photos of family With the bear the value increases by 50% or more.
Ken

 


 

 

   

Hi Ken!
I was very excited to find your site online as I've been trying to identify this teddy bear for sometime. It was my moms and she can't remember if her mom passed it down to her. my guess for the date range anywhere from the 40s to the 60s... It's not a snuggly teddy bear ...it feels quite stiff. His eyes are hard plastic from what I can tell The only identification is the tag that reads "sewn in Haiti". 
Thank you so much!
Julie

 

Your teddy was made in the 1960/1970's and is made of a dual cotton plush. The eyes are transitional plastilene, glass would indicate an earlier year. No joints so it was a crib bear for a youngsters. Several firms sent to Haiti for there work to be made; Gund and Character companies were two. As shown with family history $75.00 and up. Worth more with photo of your mom with the bear.

   

Hi,
This teddy bear that has been in our family for generations. I would like to know more about it and its worth.
Regards
Angie

 

Your well loved teddy's best feature is that it is a family heirloom. Condition is terrible, mohair material has disintegration , Nose area has all been replaced, Maybe you can find a mint photo In old family showing its original condition. With all the repairs I still think it is from 1907 and is a 24" Steiff. I would have to inspect it personally. Value as shown in the $300.00 range. Ken

   

Hi Ken,
I was wanting to know how old this bear might be and if it's a Steiff? The bear is stuffed with excelsior it's 11 1/2" tall with  glass eyes, sewn on claws, curved jointed arms and legs. Ears are sewn on and the bear has the hump on the back. Mohair with felt paw pads. Jeff

 

Sorry this bear is not a Steiff. It appears to be an artist-made bear from the 1980's and the only bear it looks similar to would be early Ideal. Nice bear. Not old. Value on today's market would be in the range of $100.00 or so.
Ken

   

Hi Ken,

Please can you identify and appraise my bear. I don't know anything about her other them she is 13" tall.

Thank you

Carol

 

 

Nice teddy bear Carol,
There seems to be much wear and some repair and I think it is a cute bear made in England during the WWII era by Dean's of England.

As shown it is a doll size bear (10-12") that should bring $300 or so from collectors
Ken

   

This was my Grandfathers teddy bear and passed down to me. I also have some newspaper clippings that he gave to me along with the bear.

Janice

 

 

Great looking Steiff bear. It appears to be 12 or 13" as you did not mention. Love the look and if you have photos of the bear with your grandpa the bear's value would raise the price 25% or more
Looks as if the bear needs some attention; pads are replaced (2 or four of them) and mouth stitching needs sewn to be restored
Someone has replaced the eyes with shoe buttons when they should be painted brown glass. Does the bear have a tilt growler or squeeze voice. As shown I would expect a collector who does not need perfection to pay $2,000.00 range for this bear.
 
Ken

 

   

We would greatly appreciate your evaluation of the attached pictures of a bear we acquired in a storage locker auction marked Steiff.

Becky

 

 

This is one of the circa 2000 Special Editions of Steiff. They are usually made with an embroidered something special. Do you have the box? The original Certificate? Without those, and as shown, I'd value the bear at $200.00 and up.
Ken

   


Hello, do not know much about this Rabbit that was given to me along time ago from my Aunt who has had it since she was young. Thank you for any information you can give me, Tiffanie

 

Cute rabbit. The style of your bunny originated in the 1920's and resurfaced on the 1960's. Many firms made these: Gund, Knickerbocker and English/German too. Without a tag we can't be exactly sure but I do know it is after 1960. The value would be in the $125.00 range. Old family photos with the bunny would help increase its value. Ken

   

Hi, this bear was given to my father in 1929. He was
2 years old and we don't know much about him. He has a hat on him too as you can see.  David

 

 

Your teddy is definitely from the 1920 era. Although their is much wear and tear it still has good features to identify. Eyes would be glass, and if you have any old photos of the bear with your dad it would add 50% to the value. The bear is a German Cramer clown bear. As shown $275.00 and up. When found Mint condition the value would be $2,000.00

Ken

 

 

There will be no more appraisals.

RIP Ken

   

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