The Original Online Teddy Bear Magazine
Teddy Bear & Vintage Toy Appraisals
October 2020

Introduction . . .

 

I am now honored to reach out to the collectors and owners
of unidentified bears, stuffed animals and vintage toys.

 

Ken did this for years and was an expert appraiser. I was his understudy or apprentice and together we viewed and enjoyed each and every request that came our way.

Appraising bears online will be a fun adventure for all of us. We will share our discoveries here on this web page.

Meeting new faces, in teddy bear form, and sharing the knowledge I have gathered, will be a joy. Together we can discover that everything old can be newly appreciated!


Beary best,
Brenda Yenke
 

How much is your beloved bear worth?


Cursor down to discover the appraisal procedure.

Hello Brenda,

This bear belonged to my mother as a child. It was given to her by her grandmother. For the last twenty years it has been stored in a glass cabinet. My mother has always said it is a Steiff bear. There is a hole in the left ear, but no button remains. The head does swivel, and it has felt pads and glass eyes. It has a working squeeze music box in its chest. The bear is 18" tall. The small triangle nose is horizontally stitched. I'm trying to identify it for possible sale to help with her care now.

It's in good condition although the right ear has clearly been sewn back on, and there is some staining on the foot pads. There is a definite crease in the chest from pressing to play the music box.

The pink color is pretty striking despite the wear and tear of handling when my Mom was little.
Thanks so much for your help.
Best,
Valerie

Hi Valerie,
Oh what a sweet teddy! Your heirloom teddy has a Swiss origin, with the beautiful melodious music box. He was referred to as a Helvetic teddy, made in the 1920s and was first advertised in the Toy World journal from 1928. The name Helvetia, is the Latin name for Switzerland. However, there is no known factory that existed under this Helvetic name. Upon further research, some have assumed that a German manufacturer, Joseph Pitrmann, known as Jopi, also had this pump music box. The construction was a bit different, with eyes inside the head seam, and most had vertically stitched cord noses on the larger bears. So, I am going with the name Helvetic, with the wide apart eyes, shaved muzzle and horizontally stitched cord nose. The pink mohair is long and dense, the porcelain eyes are original, with full ears, and four claws on each limb. He is five way jointed, and stuffed with excelsior. The pads are wool felt, with some wear. At 18”, this is considered a large sized teddy with a singing tune to match. If you have pictures of your Mom and teddy that would increase the value with provenance. Value as is would $2,000.
Brenda

My bear Roufus is 29” tall and until recently, he did growl. He is mohair, filled with straw and is being eaten by moths? He is currently in deep freeze thanks to your advice. My mom says that he is a Steiff but he has no button in the ear. He was given to me when I was born, 1951, so he is 69 years old. I was born in Guatemala, Central America and there is a large German population there which would coincide with the bear being a Steiff. Anxiously awaiting info about my friend.
Manola

Hi Manola,
Your very large teddy is German, but not from Steiff. He most likely was made by the cottage industry of Hermann. Johann Hermann (1854-1919) and his wife, Rosalie began their factory with wooden toys back in 1896. In 1913, they enlarged their premises to include plush animals. They had six children, all who eventually joined in the plush, felt and velvet animal production. Located in Sonneberg, Neufang their famous work ethic was appreciated. Within this family, five firms were established-Bernard Hermann, Anker, Baumann & Kienel, Max Hermann and Arthur Hermann. Know for their quality plush inset muzzle design with shorter wool fabric. horizontal cord noses with an inverted Y mouth, ears sometimes contrasting with the body fur, and great voices, (growlers). Their eye were a red glass. Several designs existed, most 5 way jointed, and cardboard ID tags were sewn unto the chest. Roufus at nearing 30” is very large. His fur is a curly wool, almost like original sheepskin. The stuffing is excelsior, and the original pads were wool. It appears to be pulling away from the center seam, which could be gently and carefully hand closed. He most resembles the Hermann -Spielwaren, under the direction of Max Hermann. After WWII, he fled Sonneberg and went to West Germany to avoid the communist take over. A new location was formed in Coburg, Bavaria. Your teddy, accordingly dates to 1951 as you mentioned. If you have pictures of you as baby or youngster, and teddy,— that increases value and is known as provenance. If not, please start the documentation now. I would try to place him in a large clear plastic bag, enclose some cedar blocks or Enoz lavender scented moth packets, to help with the deterioration of the wool. Leave him in the bag, and check at 1 week. If any little critters are deposited within the bag, you can see them. Empty and start anew with additional moth repellents. You could leave him in there for up to 2wks. Freezing was a method we were advised not to do..temperature extremes deteriorates fabric as well. Value for your very large teddy is $450.00.
Brenda

Hello Brenda,
I’ve recently acquired this bear from an antiques dealer who said it was from the estate of a local historian. It is approximately 12”-13” (depending on whether or not mohair is measured), and has no button, tag, etc. The filling seems to be excelsior since it is hard and crunches and it doesn’t seem to contain a squeaker or growler. The joints are disks that can be felt and the eyes are “boot-button.” Each foot pad is in excellent condition and he lacks embroidered claws. He does have an inscription on his right foot pad that seems to say Steiff and contains the number 10. There are other words that I can’t make out. Thank you for your help!
Keri

Hi Keri,
Your teddy is an artist teddy made by Steve Van Houten. He was very popular during all the teddy bear shows and related to some pretty famous parents..Lin and Jon Van Houten. Their designs were termed Land of the Merrylights. Known for the totally hand stitched designs, Steve also preferred to do one of a kind bears when approached for artist work. Your example dates to the 1980s-90s. It is mohair, made from the angora goat fiber. It is stuffed with excelsior, like the original examples. The felt pads have a signature on the right foot, and the number 10 may refer to the edition of this particular bear. As far as historians, this family collected antiques and lived with this primitive adventure for their inspiration! Each piece they made was original and designed with their artistic gifts. Ken was so enamored with a 4’ example Steve made years ago, he dressed him in an Army uniform to stand guard in our family room. This bear was featured in the Teddy Bear Sourcebook by Better Way Books written in 1995 on page 170. The chapter was titled, “A Salute to the World’s Most Popular Toy”. Your originally designed teddy at 12” would be valued at $125.00.

Brenda

Hi Brenda,
This large one measures 20". The head, arms, and legs fully rotate. The eyes are clear buttons. It was found with the eye glasses. I'm not sure if they are original to the bear. The mouth and nose are woven. The feet and hand pads look to be felt. The fur looks good overall with some loss in areas.
Gabriel

Hi Gabriel,
This is a very gorgeous teddy, with good coverage of the golden mohair. At 20”, he is considered a large bear. The outreaching of the arms, makes him very huggable. As my late husband use to say, when you give Teddy a hug, who lets go first? Ahh, he happens to also be American, from the Gund company. Their’s is an interesting company, one that still makes teddies, but they are imported today :(. Your example dates to the late 1920s, with no inset muzzle, just a nicely formed snout. The nose is horizontal on the early ones, as shown in Teddy Bear Treasury I, page 47. Our example has a hand tag, which is very unusual to find nearly a century later. Your teddy is hand closed from the back, and has a long extension for the inverted V mouth. The glass eyes were amber colored, simply on wire posts, which is why someone chose buttons to affix for his ability to see. I am sure the glasses helped..but were added too. There are no claws. The ears are placed outside the head seam, and are slightly cupped. He is five way jointed, and must have some kapok for softness. The wool pads are over stitched as most Gund’s. For historical reference, once started by Adolf Gund as a German immigrant, the predecessor became Jacob Swedlin, a Russian immigrant who worked along side Adolf for several years. He was offered the business when Adolf retired. Today, family members keep involved in this venture, although there is a foreign entity who manufactures their products. Value for your teddy Gund would be $750.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,
This small one measures about 14". It has one glass, amber colored eye, and a woven mouth and nose. There looks to be a wood disk sewed inside the chest. It looks to be straw filled. One foot has 3 sewn claws, and the other has two. One paw has three sewn claws and the other two. There are some faint signs of blonde fur. The arms and legs fully rotate. The head looks like it did rotate, but it's been sewn still. The feet and hand pads look to be felt.

Thank you, Gabriel

Hi Gabriel,
This teddy is very well loved, as only his backing remains. He is American with the sliced in ears, a manufacturing choice to produce more teddies with less labor involved. The fine art of teddy bear making involves patterns, designs, and techniques as well as the hands on critique of the maker. The one remaining glass amber eye is very typical of the American market. They were simply attached to a wire and inserted-before child safety laws. He reveals a disk within the tummy, used for his voice, a squeaker. He has a hand closed seam in the front, revealing the gold mohair threads still intact on his inside. The neck joint may be missing in the body, as I only see the disc for the head. This could be easily fixed with a cotter pin and disc, or simply attach an old ribbon for a bow. There is no visible hump on the body. Back in 1907, the Columbia Teddy Bear Manufacturing, located in NY City did this sliced in ear on several of their models, and shoe button eyes. Your example could be from this firm, or developed as a similar style. We have little documentation as to other bears they made, aside from the Laughing Roosevelt teddy with an open mouth. By the way, the company was named after Christopher Columbus! Your example is later, mid 1910s, his arms are slim, with felt pads and shorter legs with formed feet. The glass eyes were from this period, shoe buttons were earlier. With the three claws, that also relates to Columbia. The nose is a simple horizontal cord with an inverted Y mouth. Value for your American teddy would be $150.00.
Brenda

‘Sooty‘ what I would consider to be life size, at 22" long and 12" tall. Unjointed. Full coverage of black wavy Mohair with velvet pads. Excelsior and kapok filled. Clear glass eye’s with black pupils (uncertain if they were originally painted).
Black silk cloth nose that is worn and shredding. Label to underside - institute of hygiene Pangure Pets Chiltern Toys. He is a lovely old boy, in great condition and came wearing his leather collar with lead. Based on research on his original label I now know that Harry Stone acquired Pangure Pets of Edinburgh in 1925 and have read that Pangure Pets were a division of H G Stone Chiltern.
Kind Regards
Dawn

Hi Dawn,
Your charming black Scotty does have a life like presence. Originally founded by brothers Joseph and Gabriel Eisenmann, the Eisenmann & Co. started in 1881. In 1900, Leon Rees moved from Germany to England to become Joseph’s partner. As an interesting side note, he was marketing and sales and represented Bing as well. The story continues...Later, he also became his son-in-law. Chiltern Toy Works was opened and named for their location in England, Chiltern Hills. They only made dolls. In 1915, Master Teddy was created, their first teddy bear. Joseph passed away in 1919, and Leon inherited the Chiltern factory. In 1920, Harry Stone, originally from J.K. Farnell forms a new relationship with Leon Rees. Stone worked the design end, while Rees did marketing. The new company was called H.G. Stone and Co. Ltd. They opened a second factory in 1921 in Tottenham, using the Chiltern trademark. The Chiltern Toys logo was registered in 1924. The following year, 1925, Chiltern took over Pangure Pets from Edinburgh. They were known for creating animals from life, thanks to Paris designer, Ann Cameron Banks, from Salan des Humoustes. Your example dates to the 1930s. Wheeled animals became available from 1929-1947. The linen red and white tag reads Institute of Hygenics..either appointed by or commissioned by Royal Charter. The rest of the label is difficult to read. It seems to note the Paris design, a figural trophy within the bay laurel wreath and a noted degree of excellence.
Harry Stone passed away in 1934, and in 1963 Leon Rees died. The company was taken over by Dundee Complex, then in 1969, it became a subsidiary of Chad Valley. Back to Bing and the true to life bears they created..Leon Rees must have carried this request to Harry Stone, the designer. These pets are rare and very collectible. Your Scotty has a missing nose it seems, perhaps a rubber or plastic. Aside from that, the condition is good. With his pedigree and papers, he is royal as he is. All mohair, excelsior and kapok, with original glass eyes, his value would be $500.00.

Brenda

Hi again Brenda<

This is a truly amazing bear and in wonderful condition.
Named Jefferson and was sold as a 1920’s. 21" tall American Teddy Bear; believed to be a Knickerbocker sitting by with magazine. He is a rather special bear as he appeared on the front cover of Teddy Bear Times magazine; Millennium Edition.

He is a 5 way jointed, excelsior filled bear, and is made of the finest brown shaggy Mohair that is as soft as silk. Painted back glass eyes, hand stitched nose and mouth with 5 claws stitched on his feet and paws.
Dawn
Hi Dawn,
This is a beautiful teddy, but I think he is more German than American. Knickerbocker teddies were available from 1925 at the earliest, when they created a permanent identification tag. Few have surfaced at this early time, but similar characteristics should have been established and followed for pattern continuity. They are know for their vertical cord nose, amber glass eyes, placed wide apart on the head, and large cupped ears located between the head seams. There are no claws on the hands or feet. Their wool pads are oval shaped on the feet, with an extended length for the hands. There is no noticeable hump on the back.
So, to begin at the top with your brown teddy, your painted glass eyes (a trait with Steiff, and other good brands..), horizontal stitched cord nose, a well formed large natural muzzle, not shaven, and the wool foot pads come to a point at the top. There is a hump on the back. At 21”, he is a great bruin and could possibly by a Petz. They have all the traits of your bear, and produced teddies until 1967. Located in Neustadt near Coburg, they even produced mechanical. This was one of Ken’s favorites. In Teddy Bear Treasury I, page 71-73 are a few of our Petz bears.
Value would be $1,200.00.
Hello Brenda,
I believe to be a rare find, especially in such great condition. I know from information sourced that Farnell first produced their white art silk Lady Kitty in 1935 and due to its popularity led to the production of a musical Lady Kitty in 1937. My Lady Kitty is 14“ tall. Full coverage, no thinning or loss to art silk.
Original blue glass eyes. Pink hand stitched nose and mouth. Working musical box; tune is unknown to me.
Original taffeta jacket and bonnet. Jacket has sustained some moth nibbles to the frilled collar and to the back, however has protected the cat from any nibbles.
Dawn
Hi Dawn,
Great info you referenced for this Lady Kitty by Farnell! With the iconic production of their felines they were thrilled to have such overwhelming approval. First introduced in 1929, the Kittikins made their first appearance. The white cat was introduced after the blue Persian-actually a grey mohair. Then in 1930, the night dress version made it’s debut, still in the Kittikins category. After the devastating factory fire, a comeback was launched for a white mohair Lady Kitty in 1935. Then came the musical version in 1937, who actually sang for collectors when they picked her up. Set her down, and the music stops. Genius interlude. She came dressed with a bonnet and jacket, frilly and fashionable. When sitting, she measures 14” to the top of her bonnet. With tags and ID, the blue on white label originally started in 1925, reading J.K.Farnell, an Alpha Toy. The blue glass eyes and apricot nose blends in with the ruffles on her jacket. They made white and grey plush kittens. It also spurred them to create a Puss in Boots in the 1930s. Farnell is long remembered for the original Winnie the Pooh teddy bear, who still resides in the NY Public Library! Value for your musical Lady Kitty in excellent original condition Is $2,000.00. Brenda
Hello Brenda,
We know some of the history of the teddy bear as it belonged to my husband's father. He was born in 1906. My husband can't remember the exact year his Dad got the bear, but knows it was when he was quite young. This bear probably dates in the 1906-1910 nor do we know the manufacturer.
Bear is 12" tall and has lost plenty of hair and the glass eyes. We assume the bear did have glass eyes at one time.
There has been critter damage to the bottom pad of the left foot and the tip of the right foot. The straw stuffing inside is separated in the lower part of the right leg producing a bend in that leg. The bear is jointed and appendages can be turned.
Carolyn

Hi Carolyn,
Your heirloom teddy has significance as it was made by the German manufacturer, Steiff. He is made from mohair with a combination of wool and a bit of cotton. He had a button at one time, with the name Steiff and the ff was underscored. They were merely clamped on in the early years! If you have pictures of your Father-in-law with the teddy, that would increase his value! Most collectible are the children’s photos, and for succession, they carry the story forward. The Steiff Factory is located in Giengen, Germany. They were established under the expertise of Margarete, who at a young age of under 2, suffered a paralysis from contracting the Polio,Virus. She was a determined soul, and cheerful, so her good will was a shinning example for all. Her parents tried all kinds of medical cures, but she was to remain confined to a wheelchair as an adult. She had limited use of her right arm, her left foot was paralyzed, while her right foot had partial paralysis. Regardless, this faith filled girl/woman became a favorite friend to many. She took up sewing, and the rest of the story is iconic. “Only the best for the children”, was her motto. First animals were from felt, all extremely valuable today. Richard Steiff, Margarete’s nephew, exhibited for the company at the Leipzig Fair. He was a graduate of the Stuttgart Art School. In 1903, he developed Teddy Barle, the first articulated teddy bear. Steiff is still on top of the Bear world! Dating to 1907, your example of a 12” Steiff was at one time white, with this apricot colored nose and claws. This was the year of the teddy craze, where everyone wanted one. They were pricey compared to American made teddy bears. Butler Brothers imported the bears and made them available in the USA. The horizontally stitched cord nose with outer stitch around the perimeter is still in great shape, as an antique. Antiques need to be 100 years old to be granted this title. He has cupped ears, long arms and legs with defined ankles, and a slight hump on the back due to settling of the excelsior. The left leg could be gently repaired with insertion of crimped excelsior. His eyes were shoe buttons. A light professional cleaning might help remove some settlement.
Value as he is, with eyes inserted, and provenance would be $400.00.

Brenda

Hi Brenda,
We purchased this bear at an antique market in Clearwater, Florida
for $70.00. He is about 21" tall and I think he's stuffed with straw like material. He has the cute black button eyes and a great face. One ear is starting to come out from the inside, but his fur is in really good condition. We love the little hump back. Any info is appreciated.
Thank you.

Amy

Hi Amy,
What an interesting teddy you found at the FL antique market. At 21” this is a large sized bear, made of short mohair and stuffed with excelsior. He is five way jointed. With the hump back, squared off shoulders and black shoe button eyes, he most resembles the German traits. A toy company called Capelle and Braun in the Sonneberg area produced a very similar bear. The facial contour, turned upward pads on the paws and the horizontal cord nose will date him to the 1920s. The hand sewn seam is in the back, and possibly he has a voice box. The ears seem larger than most, and are flat as opposed to the cupped design. This side detail for the placement makes him have a gentle appearance. The pads are recovered, and he has a few areas of wear, but the condition is good. The leather collar with bells helps support his head, a nice addition. This company was known for their exported toys (bears, dolls, and animals), in various sizes. Value for your teddy would be $400.00.
Brenda

I have inherited this lovely antique bear from my mom, who passed away a couple of yeas ago.
No real provenance exists, unfortunately, except for a note she left me stating that around the time she was born (1925), a friend of the family bought it for her as a gift while in Europe on holiday, and brought it back to New York. The bear is 12 1/2 inches tall from butt to the tip of ears. The head articulates back & forth when the tail is moved left & right. Arms appear to be movable vertically, but seem kind of stiff, so I haven't moved them. After an extensive search online for images, the closest image I have seen is the bear pictured with you on your desk. It stopped me in my tracks! Andy

Hi Andy,
WOW..what a nice teddy bear! He hails from Germany, originally called Schreyer & Co. founded by two Heinrich’s—Muller, and Schreyer, in 1912. The factory was in Nuremberg, better known as the toy capital. Both men worked for Bing, who invented the clockwork mechanism. They brought their expertise into this new company. In 1918, Schreyer left and Adolf Kahn became a partner. The name Schuco was given and applied for as the patent as early as 1913. Their mechanical teddies and toys were top notch. Your 17” mint example of the yes/no bear dates to the 1920s. He is mohair, has movable arms and legs and most importantly the ability to talk by saying yes or no. His pads are the early ones, linen. They are mint as well, because often this material showed age and wear. He has four black claws on each limb, and a perfectly detailed hand stitched nose. They made this teddy into the 1950s, but by then, the paws were turned downward instead of straight. This older mechanism is most dependable for the tail moves head. Later examples of the yes/no movement can be inoperable. The metal interior makes him a heavy bear, with the solid excelsior as stuffing. His value would be $3,000.00. A most awesome and mint teddy who is soon to be 100 years old and an authentic antique!
Brenda

Mr. Jack told me that Willie had been his as a child. I believe he was probably born in the early 1900s maybe in Germany. Willie is about 15 inches tall with tipped mohair fur. He is jointed at arms, legs, and neck. I can feel the round disks that make him move. He his stuffed with wool excelsior. His head is much harder than arms and body. There is no sewing on felt paws. His nose and mouth are sewn on. The nose thing that is not original is his shoe button eyes. He had mother of pearl stickpins(which I have) that were deemed too dangerous for me so Grandma put on the shoe buttons. He makes no sound and has no identifying buttons or tags. Willie has been well but gently used.
Carol

Hi Carol,
Willie is a German teddy, most resembling those from Max Schilling & Zitzmann, a toy and doll factory in Sonneberg. It was founded in 1899, and produced fine long hair teddies in the 1928 catalog. He dates to this era with the bicolor mohair, shorter arms and smaller cupped ears. The shoulders are low, while his tummy is round and full. The excelsior head enables the shape to remain perfect through the years. I see some of the stuffing is missing from the right arm, but that could be gently restored to shape. How wonderful you have had him all these years, with the kind gifting of Mr. Jack and his wife! As shown in a black and white page from a German book, the eyes may have been shoe buttons to begin with. A bit larger size would compliment his 15” size. Glass painted eyes could be another option. He does have some mohair loss around the face, no doubt from being kissed and hugged! The old adage that there is usually a sad story to go along with a vintage, perfect teddy bear! He’ll be an antique in eight years..100 Years old. His vertical black cord nose and smile make him a very happy teddy. Value for your special tipped mohair teddy with provenance would be $450.00.
Brenda

I have a bunch of vintage 1950's Steiff Original teddy bears in my collection. I think they came in 4 different colors and I always wanted a chocolate brown one. I bought this on eBay thinking this bear was their chocolate version. I asked Steiff expert Rebekah Kaufman (Steiff Gal), if this was a Steiff and she said no. I believe he is German and don't think he was made by Hermann. He is big and 22" tall, 3 black claws on each paw, fully jointed, cloth paw pads with some kind of weaving pattern showing through, very hard straw stuffed or hard material stuffing, has a tilt growler that works when tipping him forward and backwards, beautiful glass eyes and lush mohair. He has seams down the front and back of his torso and on his legs. His black stitched nose has little longer stitched tails trailing down on the edges and his mouth looks like an upside down

Deanna

Hi Deanna,
Your brown mohair teddy with the beautiful glass eyes has many traits of an English bear. The two downward stitches on the vertical cord nose is most evident with your close photography. Considering this attribute along with the eyes sewn into the head seam, no hump on the back, and torso, I am going with Merrythought. A Christmas catalog from 1955, has a very similar teddy. They list four sizes-11,13,16, and 21” available in golden or brown mohair. It was also noted that Merrythought teddies should be considered amongst the best in the world, Traditionally, they used kapok with excelsior, but I believe he dates to the 50s, with the three claws instead of four. At this time, war supplies caused shortages, as well as their contribution with war efforts—so they altered their products to use what was on hand. They also banned all German bears from coming into the country. Production began again in 1947. The cloth pads are also English, again using resources in stock. I am glad he can still growl, usually there is a bit of air in the device that prevents the box from working. He is in very good condition with no fading to the mohair, so he has been kept away from damaging light. Value for your large teddy would be $900.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,
I just purchased this old mystery bear on eBay. He is 12" tall. He is hard stuffed with some kind of crunchy material that feels like straw when I squeeze him. He has a cloth zigzag nose, and flat, oval, pointed feet with some kind of hard cardboard in them so he can stand easily. He has no claws and his pads appear to have been made out of wool or felt. He has a non-working press squeaker in his back that feels like it could be made out of metal with a spring in it?
He has amber/orangey colored glass eyes with pupils. His mouth is stitched in an upside down Y manner. He is fully jointed and can be posed.

I added the little bell and pink ribbon around his neck and it is not original to him. He looks old and is in remarkably good condition with nice full mohair that appears to be bristly. I figured he might be American, but could be wrong. Thanks in advance for your identification and value.

Best wishes,
Deanna

Hi Deanna,
Gosh, all your teddy bears are adorable! I think this little angel is my favorite, with the perfect light amber glass eyes, and her long luxurious white mohair. The pink bow and bell are so suitable! She is American, done in the style of Ideal with the carefully over stitched twill nose and extended Y mouth that happens to be smiling! Her feet are cardboard lined for ease in standing and exhibit the over stitched pads done in wool felt. There are no claws. She has a squeaker in the back, a suitable voice for a small teddy. The ears are small and cupped and sewn into place. Ideal was very prolific, and after WWI, they also had home cottage workers making products to increase the supply. Dating to the 1920s, with excelsior stuffing, she would have a value of $500.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,

My mom got the bear as a child about 1930
The bear is 11 inches long 4 inches wide and 7 inches tall at the head.
Thanks, Kip

Hi Kip,
Now this is a very interesting bear on all fours! I assume the eyes are original, and the tail is unscrewed to reveal an open container for either batteries or a candy container. This would put him in the American bear category. Usually candy containers would involve the head being removed to reveal the tubing for the container, while your Mom’s bear has the opening in the tail section. Electric eye bears were a novel idea, however, with the short life of the battery power, they ceased lighting. An ad for these electro teddy bears was published in 1914 from the Montgomery Ward catalog. A red, mohair teddy with electric eyes was also advertised in 1908. They were made by several companies, however, The American Stuffed Toy. Co. was most common. He has an original vertically stitched cord nose and inverted Y mouth done in salmon. His fur is mohair, and there is wear. The seams are top stitched, and his pads have been replaced. As a novelty piece he would have a value of $125.00. Pictures of your mom with bear would add provenance.
Brenda

He is 3.5" tall. His neck appears to be stationary, but his arms and legs move. If one arm moves, the other moves too. If one leg moves the other moves, so they must be attached in the middle of the bear? I can feel the wire that he has in his limbs. He is prickly to the touch, not a soft fur. He has a piece of peach colored felt on each ear. One ear is pulling apart. He has a bit of a bald spot on his head..His nose feels like a piece of dried leather and his eyes look like glass beads or pin heads.
Tiny bear currently resides in a zip lock baggie. I don't know how to preserve him and I was afraid air might be the enemy? He's a cute little guy, bald spot and all, but if he's something special, he should be on display where people can admire him, not tucked away in a baggie.
Sincerely, Lynn

Hi Lynn,
Your little teddy bear is made from mohair, the special fur that actually comes from the Angora goat. The wool is combined with a bit of cotton to achieve a luxurious real fur like material, He is historic in the fact the country he came from is now renamed. Originally made in East Germany, under the Russian occupied zone, the factory was able to continue producing under strict control. Many of the toy companies in Sonneberg, relocated to the US Zone Germany in 1949 to act freely on their production. Two such examples were Max and Bernard Hermann, from the fabled Hermann dynasty. But, your little guy stayed in East Germany, and had a little circular red/white paper tag in his ear, or on his foot stating East Germany. He was made in the 1950s, making him vintage. The occupied state was freed in 1990, and Germany was reunited. The joints are pin jointed, meaning a small rod is inserted into the arms and legs so they move simultaneously. It was a quick and less expensive procedure. The eyes are glass stick pins, and his muzzle is shaven. The nose was usually sewn cord, but yours could be a piece of felt. He has no pads or claws. The left ear held the tag, as we can see from the fabric separation. The ear lining is a synthetic plush. He is a miniature teddy, and could be used in display with dolls. As far as storage, take him out of plastic, let him breathe, and place in indirect light. You could do a vignette with some small wooden blocks, a little wagon etc. Enjoy your piece of history! Value is $50.00.
Brenda

Greetings Brenda,

I have a bear that I bought about five years ago. He came from a dealer in Germany. I have looked in my many books, but I am not sure of his identity. I do think he is German, but I am pretty sure he is not a Steiff.  He is 10” long. His hair appears golden, but what is left of his nose his reddish tan like Steiff used on white bears. He has foot pads but no pads on his very straight arms. His eyes are shoe buttons. He has a squeaker in his tummy, but it no longer works. There is some hair loss, but not too much. Overall he is in good condition but he could use a bath. The back of his ears have been restitched. Could you please tell me who made him and his age.
Thank you,
Marilyn

Hi Marilyn,
What a sweet little teddy, who does resemble the Steiff Co. and even a bit of the Bing bears! He is German, and has many characteristics of the Wilhelm Strunz factory. Founded in 1902, in Nuremberg, Wilhelm established an artistry of bears and animals, using mohair and also felt specialities. They had many original pieces, but they were also known to copy and make Steiff look a likes. Steiff had them in court to answer for their button in ear, which Steiff said was their territory...the Strunz was a six sided button, a plain hexagon. In 1908, the court agreed they could use a clip in the right ear to affix the pendant info. They never used it though. Strunz has many quality pieces to their famous name, and by the 1930s were still mentioned with the Nuremberg address. Back to your example with the brown horizontal nose and inverted Y mouth..similar to Steiff. The shoe button eyes seem a bit large to me, but could be original. The smaller bears of Steiff and Bing in some cases, had no pads and just straight armature. The 10” size teddy was the “doll sized” bear. His ears are cupped and somewhat toward the top of the head, dating him to 1911. He is very expressive, even with the voice box working. The hand closed seam is in the front. Remarkable little guy, and probably rarer than Steiff, because fewer were made and survived. Value would be $1,000.00.
Brenda

Hello Brenda,

This bear came was found in a trunk in storage. Its somewhat heavy. It’s is about 30 inches tall. Has red ribbon around neck, I took off for photo purposes and to show stitching. I know nothing of the bear other than its antique and pretty cool. Any information you have will be greatly appreciated.
Mike

Hi Mike,
The trunk must have been a large one too, holding this 30” teddy bear! He is English, from the contour of his body, ears sewn into the head seam, and dates to the 1960s. The company he most resembles is Chiltern Toy Works, which had early beginnings in 1908. They were one of the first factories making teddy bears in England. They produced bears during the War years, but during the 50s and 60s, they had an array of designs and fabrics. Yours is a curly silk plush, and is five way jointed. The plastic molded nose is a trait from the 1960s, with an inverted Y cord mouth that is missing. His eyes are plastic, sewn outside the head seam, while there are no claws or contrasting pads on the arms and legs. His joints are primitive, with the cotter pin showing through the plush fur. The stuffing is excelsior, leading his shape to be well maintained. In 1967, Chiltern became associated with the Chad Valley firm, as both founders had passed away. Value for your very large teddy would be $375.00.
Brenda

My Farnell fox Terrier dog is 11“ tall and 12 “ long. I would be interested to learn of the year of production and if he was manufactured & sold under the description of his breed or does he have a name? This lovely large size Farnell alpha toys dog in beautiful original condition. He retains his full coverage of lovely thick white wavy Mohair with a contrasting fawn / beige colour around the eye area, inner ears are made from black short pile mohair.
Excelsior filled. Glass eyes and hand stitched nose/mouth. Legs are unjointed - head is the only part that turns. He retains his Farnell Alpha Toys label on his underside and came wearing an old brown leather dog collar.
Dawn
Hi Dawn,
Lovely mohair fox terrier made by Farnell! It is a touching story how this particular dog breed became a Prince in England. King Edward VII had a real pup, named Caesar. He followed his Master everywhere, even after the King died. In May of 1910, when the casket precession was proceeding into the streets..Caesar followed behind-walking behind his casket the entire time! It was such an endearing sight, that everyone loved little Caesar’s dedication. So, Farnell developed their example to honor Caesar, in many designs. Your toy is a large sized standing example, unjointed in the legs, but the head is movable. Tagged on the body with “Farnell’s Alpha Toy” Made in England, this embroidered ID dates from 1925-45. I would put him in the 1930s, with glass eyes and cord nose and extension mouth. The collar fits perfectly in size, allowing an easy turning of his head. He is in wonderful condition. Value would be $750.00. Brenda

Hi Brenda,

Tis old panda is 10" tall. My best guess where it came from; Eastern Kentucky or overseas.

Robert

Hi Robert, 
       Your panda was made by Gund, an American company that was founded by Adolf Gund in 1898 in CT. making novelties. A move to NYC in the early 1900s, put him in the middle of the manufacturer’s hub. By 1906, he ventured toward the teddy bear toy, followed by
rabbits. In 1909, a Russian immigrant, Jacob Swedlin,  came to work for him doing several tasks.  He was so industrious that by 1925, Adolf retires, and sells the business to Jacob. The Swedlin family eventually all worked here, immigrating as well. Your panda dates to the 1940s and is one of the unjointed designs.  It is a cotton plush material, soft stuffed, and had clamped in moving eyes made of plastic, on the black patches. The nose is sewn cord with a inverted Y extension for the mouth, and a bit of a red tongue still intact. At 10”, this Four Circle Cuddle Panda would be valued at $50.00. Perfect find with the birth of the new baby panda at the National Zoo!  
Brenda

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