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Teddy Bear & Vintage Toy Appraisals
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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?
See below for details on the appraisal procedure.

Brenda, once again I'm looking for your expertise in identifying one of my bears. I found him at an outdoor antique market. A nice bear from his late father's large collection. Because of the body shape and brown twill nose his father thought this might be an early American bear's perhaps by Ideal? 24" tall, has brown glass eyes with black pupils, a short, rounded snout and wide-set ears. He has no identification tags or labels; all his joints work well but he does have one paw pad that has been replaced. He is firmly stuffed with excelsior and made from very short mohair. His arms are on the short side and curve slightly at the paws. He has very straight legs, tapering at the ankle and
smallish feet with felt pads and no claw stitching. I would describe his body as long, sort of football or barrel shaped with a straight back. If he is indeed an older bear I think his condition is really good except, of coarse, for his replaced paw pad and a few lightly worn spots.
Best regards,
Peggy
Hi Peggy,
I am impressed with your recent find and the knowledge that was passed along to you through the owner! It is a very good example of the post war teddy bear made by Ideal. The shorter mohair is in excellent condition with his original amber glass eyes on wire shanks. In the 1920s, the limbs were made more slender along with the arms being shorter and hands turned upward. Most of the footpads had less of a point, with smaller feet from the previous decade. This was to save on material and increase production. The nose of twill fabric was also a time-saving method, along with no claws. As characteristic of these American icon bears is the football shaped body you so aptly described! This is considered a large bear at 24". His stuffing is excelsior, with the arms placed lower on the body, creating the shoulder area. Notice how the humps have become less prevalent as well. With cupped ears and slight turn up of the muzzle area, he is even more attentive. The original pads are intact, with a well sewn replacement. The value today would be $700.00.
Very fine teddy!
Brenda
Hi Brenda,
I have a bear from my mothers estate. I think it is a Schuoco, fully joined bear from 1925 due to the vertical stitching on the nose and embroidered protruding tongue. I don’t know if I’m right or not. I would like to identify the bear and have an idea as to its value before
I sell it.

Thank you,
Dave

Hi Dave,
Wonderful condition teddy with very long pile mohair! I think it comes from England, as a Merrythought. As Britain's oldest family owned factory, with original production of weaving, they produced some great mohair from the spinning company. Seeking a way to use their plush, they established a toy factory in 1930. I think your bear dates to the post war period, with designs used from the pre war era. The slight dropped stitch at the end of each nose, the three overstitched claws on the wool felt pads, and the glass eyes point to this famous maker. They had a nice fabric tag sewn on the right paws, declaring Merrythought Hygienic Toys, made in England. A later adaptation noted Ironbridge Shoppe instead of the Hygienic Toys. At 16", this is a medium sized bear, a perfect companion, capable of hugging back. The only factor not accounted for in this factory is the red embroidered tongue. Cramer of Germany was noted for this trait, however, the other weighing identification does not fit. So, we will keep him in the English Royal family of bears, dating to the late 40s, with designs of the 1930s. Since they transformed their factory to war efforts, patterns and materials were put into storage. England saw a large demand for their toys with many unwilling to buy from Germany. Value today would be $375.00. Brenda
Brenda,
I purchased this Teddy bear from a Consignment booth. I believe his deceased owner was born 1902.
He is 19" tall, is made of golden mohair and stuffed with wood (Excelcior?). He's lost his eyes and I found steel pins in the eye holes. There are remnants of a different felt fabric that once use to be the claw pads.
His nose and mouth are embroidered and still very visible. It looks as if his ears were re-attached. My guess is that he is an American bear.
Texas Greetings
Dalene

Hi Darlene,
Your intuition is correct on the identity of this teddy bear! He almost should be called Ted Bear, with his stature and large presence. The eyes were glass, attached to wire shanks, with only the remnants of the wires left. He dates to the 1912-14 period, early in bear years and this makes him an authentic antique. His arms are lower on the shoulders, yet are much longer than the bears of the 1920 era. Nicely formed feet are well defined and attached to the football shaped body of this classic Ideal. All the seams are top stitched, a procedure that made production easier and quicker. The finishing closure is the back seam, typical of American manufactures. Excelsior is used for the stuffing, with a twill cloth nose and corded mouth and nose extension. As with many of the bears of this time, he has some loving wear to let you know he was appreciated. Typical of American Ideals, they tried to duplicate the imported European bears. At 19", with some visible wear and thinning, he would have a value of $275.00 in today's market.
Brenda

Brenda, 
I have my grandfather’s teddy bear that I’d like to know more about and have appraised. My grandfather was born in 1905 so I believe the bear can be dated to 1905 or 1906. He is in pretty good shape considering my grandfather took it with him everywhere for a couple of years. He is approximately 12 inches tall with a slight hump on its back. He is made of mohair in a medium brown color and he has golden glass eyes. I can’t find any indication that he ever had a button that everyone talks about.
He has his original felt pads on his feet and hands. His head, arms, and legs all swivel. There is a slight tear on his upper left arm and his thread nose is showing wear. I plan to share this information with my 84 year-old mother who has always wanted to know more about her father’s teddy bear. 
Thank you!
Diane
Hi Diane,
    Your grandfathers teddy is an original Ideal, from the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co. of NY.  They have been credited in many areas for creating the first teddy bear; they did produce early ones, however Steiff from Germany was the originator of the articulated bear. Your family heirloom is precious, especially with the fact he was loved as a true companion. Glass eyes came into use during the 1910 era, with shoe buttons being used before this. His touch of fabric nose was a familiar trait on many American bears, and he would have had four cord claws. He is of short mohair, the premium covering, and stuffed with excelsior. Notice the football shaped body with front closure seam, another Ideal trait. The original pads were wool felt, but they have been recovered nicely. We can date him to circa 1910, with the side position of the ears and the amber glass eyes. The length of the arms also indicate this time period. If you have pictures of your grandpa with the bear as a child, this would elevate the value. However, you still have family provenance by keeping a picture of him alongside teddy. Value today for your Teddy would be $300.00. Nice!  Brenda
Hello Brenda.
I love this sweet bear. He sits perfectly in my arm's and is weighted like a child. He sits up well. In his left ear is a knot of thread that is sewn through the ear that looks like a button might have been sewn on to. He has glass two tone blue eyes with a large thread knot at back of head where I think eyes were joined at the back to. He is 47 cm. His limbs and head are 360 degree jointed and have metal rods covered with strung attaching them. The whole body is a crunchy feeling and heavy except for part of the torso, which I think was repaired and stuffed with a softer fabric. He has
a noticeable hump and longer torso. He is mohair with four claws on each appendage. Cynthia
Hi Cynthia,
Your teddy bear has an interesting background. He is German, as other manufactures in this area also used this teardrop paw pad. Originally founded in 1891, under the direction of Hugo Heubach in Sonneberg, they produced Christmas tree decorations and toys. He moved the firm in 1945 to Neustadt in W. Germany, and changed the name to Heunec. Your teddy was made in the 1950s, and is a pure wool plush. I think the eyes are replacements, or have been anchored in the middle of the head back as opposed to the usual position at the base of the neck disc. The eyes are glass, and this is correct. He is quite large, and can stand with assistance. Some of the bears had cardboard to reinforce their feet. The stuffing is excelsior, which helps maintain the shape, particularly in the head. The ears are somewhat large as well, and sewn toward the top of the head for this time period. The joints should be cardboard discs and cotter pins. In 1972, the factory expands to the Swiss market, China, and Mauritius. They still held their design and administration in Neustadt. A simple cord nose and sweet smile along with the four claws complete his appearance. However, with the extensive moth damage that was probably years ago, maybe a little shawl would help boost the appearance. I also use cedar planks under and near as a diversion for the inviting smell of wool to critters. Value today is affected by this, as condition is paramount.
For sweet innocent teddy his appraisal would be under $150.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,

I'm writing in hopes of finding out about my grandmother's bear.

 

She went to the Steiff museum and the toy museum in Germany and returned with this bear. She passed away in july and I was given no other information about the bear.

 

The bear is 31" tall, has dark brown mohair. Jointed. Coos when tuned up and down. I'm not so sure it is a Steiff as I'm almost positive its Knickerbocker bear.

Thank you and have a great evening.
Diane

Hi Diane,
Your special heirloom teddy speaks volumes in size and sound! I can see why you think it looks American, under the guidance of Knickerbocker, with the contrasting pads and dark brown mohair. But, I think he is a German carnival bear, made by the cottage industries and dating to the 1950s. The painted glass eyes were used by several German factories. His short arms and ears toward the top of the head help to date him. The nose is unique, sculpted and varying from the resin and composition noses. The large head is almost in proportion to the size of his body! He is stuffed with excelsior to give the body a lasting shape. No claws, or sewing of the mouth extension is also a time saving labor during production. He has a good growler, for it to still be working, with no air pockets. Many of the home workers helped with the factory demand, and provided excellent work for those who enjoyed sewing. Keep a picture of your grandma by teddy, and help maintain the provenance. These were called carnival bears because they were prizes won during the fairs. Now you have the blue ribbon! Value today would be $275.00.
Brenda

Brenda, I purchased this Twyford bear in 2010 and hope you can provide me with some additional information and a current value. He is approximately 16 " tall, has plastic eyes and a vertically stitched wool nose. He has his original Twyford fabric label sewn into the left side seam. I'm not sure what he's made of but I don't think it's mohair. His condition is very good with little sign of wear except for his rexine paw pads which are bare but in tact.

His head is firm so thinking excelsior but I believe his body, arms and legs are kaypok filled. There seems

to be a little excelsior in the middle of his back, maybe placed around a voice box?

If that's the case it no longer works. Best regards,
Peggy

Hi Peggy,
Another royal teddy with the Twyford label the reads "Made in England." It is mohair, which is a combination of wool and cotton to make it soft and classic. The parent company of Twyford, was J.K. Farnell, maker of the famous Winnie the Pooh! Another name for Twyford was "Action Toycraft". They were a short-lived factory with production
years of 1964-1970 and that is why he has plastic eyes, to conform to the child safety laws. The head is excelsior stuffed for shape and definition, while the body is kapok for playing. The excelsior you feel in the back would have been to keep the voice box in position. With the slightest air pocket the noise is usually silent and non-working. That does not affect the value. At 16", this bear is considered mid-sized. The bear market is still down, due to the availability within the internet. The rexine pads were common on many English teddies and the wear usually shows. Most often they crack, exposing the woven nature of the cloth beneath the pads. Today the value would be $125.00. Enjoy, Brenda
Brenda, I recently purchased this sweet bear. He is 16" tall, has brown and black eyes and a black moulded rubber nose. His plush mohair is in good shape but he does have some gently worn (not bald) patches; nothing that you wouldn't expect from a well loved teddy. His back legs are chubby with flat, oval shaped pads and there appears to be a bit of mark or indent on his right paw pad, maybe from a tag.
His arms curve upward and all pads appear to be made of a velvet-like material. There are 4 stitched claws on each of his back paws but if there were claws on the front non remain. His head is firm so I'm thinking excelsior but I believe his body, arms and legs are kaypok filled. He has a voice box that sometimes works. Peggy
Hi Peggy,
Your sweet bear is English, made by Chiltern! He is indeed royal with mohair fur, and resembles the Hugmee series. The roots of Chiltern go back to 1908, with Leon Rees, who was born in Germany and relocated in London. Teddy bears were not in their factory until 1915, with the introduction of Master Teddy. Your bear dates to the late 50s, with the rubber nose and glass eyes. These eyes were pretty much considered large and they have that puppy dog appeal! Perhaps that contributes to the Hugmee label. The four claws were common along with the velveteen pads, some reinforced with card board for standing. The head is excelsior with the soft kapok filled body. A blue and white tag would have been attached to the footpad, reading Chiltern Hygenic Toys. The upward turn of the hands is another tribute to this hugging characteristic. At 16", your bear is a medium sized teddy with a value today of $325.00.
Enjoy!
Brenda
Hi Brenda,
This gorgeous teddy has been the"favorite" in my collection for nearly a decade now. I won him in a very lively auction on eBay years ago. The gentleman selling this bear said he had inherited it from a 'well to do' elderly friend of his. That lady was teddy's only caretaker he thought and she intimated to him that it was a Steiff. However as teddy has not retained any identification I would like to have that either confirmed or debunked. Most of all though I would just like to know as much about him as possible. Regardless of his brand or worth today I have and will continue to love and admire his wonderful face and configuration.
14" tall and is solidly stuffed. I believe he possesses a now defunct growler in his midsection . If so this growler box maybe a double growler as it feels about 3" long. Fortunately he seems to have been cherished but throughout his entire life his mohair is still in excellent overall condition and color. I see the tiniest bit of thinning at the foot seams by the claws but that is all. His felt paw pads are fine as are all five joints and sixteen claws. I am excited at the prospect of learning more about him.
Thanking you in advance,
Sandy
Hi Sandy,
The stoic and steady pose captures his magnificence. Yes, he is a Steiff. He hails from the vintage era 1951-53. The style is the "Original Teddy" and this particular model had longevity, and saw slight changes over the years. One such change was the vertical nose on the 14" (35cm) teddy. He is white and considered a rarer color mohair with the brown cord nose. The longer arms and contouring of the face suggest a more mature example. The stuffing is excelsior and the larger than normal voice box is a growler. After the war many supplies that were stored were often used to fill orders. Germany had to use the zone tag for articles that were exported, 1948-53. This tag said, "made in US Zone, Germany". Wonderful that you found a treasure with a one person ownership. That accounts for the great condition! It has the hand finished seam on the front body, four claws and the brown painted glass eyes. Margarete Steiff said only the best for our children, and she meant it! Keep all the notations you have about this bear together which contribute to his provenance.
Today, the teddy would be valued at $550.00.
Brenda
Hi Brenda,
I bought this bear because of the unusual 2 buttons in his ears. It perked my curiosity and I have no idea what
I have. The buttons look strange although I knew they were blank.This bear is 18" tall, not mohair. Needs lots of love and has had some sloppy repairs. I looked it up in my Steiff Identification price guide, pg 40 and possibly hope that it's him? I hope the photos show his fur or lack of and he doesn't have any bald spots but is dirty in places.
I am so glad I ran across your website. I wasn't sure how
I was ever going to find out about him.
Thanks, Charlene
Hi Charlene,
Your newly acquired teddy bear is definitely old and considered in the antique category. However, the blank brass buttons are more of a decoration than an ID trait. It is an American manufactured toy and with the wool plush material most resembles the Miller Antiseptic teddy bear. The company was a short lived, making their teddies somewhat rare. The eyes are shoe buttons and the five claws support the age as 1907. This was known as the age of the teddy bear when everyone desired to have this toy. The finishing seam on the body is in the back, another common thread for American bruins. The stuffing is most likely excelsior with some settling of its contents over all the years. The pads are wool felt and the nose is wool cord. At 18", this is considered a large sized bear. Today the value would be around $800.00.
Brenda
Hi Brenda,
I bought this bear at our local consignment shop. He came with a bit of provenance that says he belonged to a woman who was born on October 27, 1905. Bear is 12” in length when laid flat and measured from the tip of an ear to the foot on the same side. His arms, legs and head move/ swivel. He is crunchy when squeezed and I believe there is something solid in his center, but I can’t be sure; it might just be packed filling. His eyes are solid black. His fur appears to be mohair.
He has stitched claws on all four paws. His pads are felt-like and appear to be in pretty good condition. The button is puzzling. It reads “Steiff,” does not have the long “f,” but appears to be one of the iron/nickel plated buttons since it attracted a magnet I held to it. It is difficult to ascertain whether the diameter of the button is 3/16” or ¼”.

Thank you in advance,
Laura
Hi Laura,
Interesting that the birth date of the original owner to coincide with Teddy Roosevelt's birthday which is Oct. 27th! Your original Steiff teddy bear dates to 1907 with the shoe button eyes, felt pads and four claws on the hands and feet. The nickel plated iron button was used after the blank button and elephant button. It has a magnetic force. Usually, the FF underscored button is the norm, with the FF trailing in effect. Perhaps this area is worn, from the metal. There is some damage to the wool felt pads and with careful sewing could ensure the contents will not leak. So, the original owner got him for her 2nd birthday and the bear is considered an antique, over 100 years old. At 12" it is still considered small, as the doll size is 10". Measuring teddies while they are on their backs, from the top of the head to the heal of the foot, insures a proper length. He is stuffed with excelsior and has
a squeaker in the tummy. Most have not retained their voice box, as air gets into the squeaker and the seal is broken. Some mohair loss but overall a very nice bear.
Value today for your piece of the archives is $750.00. Any pictures of the original owner with the bear would increase the value around 10%.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,

This is a bear my mother owned. I did not play with this bear. He was kept for show. My mom was born in 1923 and I do not know when she received the bear, but am sure it was when she was a child. He is 24" from bottom of his foot to the top of his. No tags visible. Has disk joints arms and legs and his head turns. Amber Glass eyes and rubber nose. Cinnamon color. Paws feel like thick wool felt.
Thank you,
Kathleen

Hi Kathleen,
Your provenance could increase the value of your teddy bear, once owned by mom! Look for pictures that might have both of them photographed, but if none are found, you should at least take a picture today of you and the bear. It dates to the 1930s and is from the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co. of NY. Many have stated that this firm originated the first teddy bears that were inspired by the Clifford Berryman cartoon published in the Washington Post. However, in recent years with more investigation, we know for sure that their factory started mass production in 1907. It could be that Morris and Rose Mitchom made some hand made bruins and put them into their stationery store's window before the teddy craze. Now, back to your large mohair teddy that is stuffed with kapok. The reddish color differs from the brown Knickerbockers of this same time period. What sets him apart is the rubber nose. Ideal started with cord noses, then varied their designs with rubber, hard plastic and later, vinyl. The contrasting wool felt pads have an over stitch similar to Gund. An inset shorter mohair muzzle with large ears and amber glass eyes rate him a very good vintage condition teddy. Some had voices, but most are not operable today. The hang tag would have been cardboard. By 1938 they shortened their name to Ideal Toy Co. Value on teddies have suffered a down market, but with all this into consideration, your American icon teddy should be insured for $400.00.
Brenda
Hi Brenda,
I do love to have my bears appraised by you. That's the only way I am confident of which bear I have.
I bought this little bear off eBay. He is 10" tall and has glass eyes he is in reasonable condition with only a few bald patches and one foot pad replaced. Although he has a Steiff button I have always wondered if he could be a modern replica Steiff bear that has been aged. His body does seem to be thinner and longer than other small Steiff bears in my bear books. He is very cute though, small but perfectly formed.
Many thanks
Denise
Hi Denise,
Nice win on your auction bid! Yes, this a legitimate Steiff dating to 1912. He has the FF underscored button, which they used for several years. At 10" he is considered "doll sized" which is a teddy with all the attributes of a much larger bear. With miniatures as well as smalls, this quality characteristic elevates their value. He is the classic styled teddy that originally started in 1906 with shoe button eyes. Yours has glass eyes and they are adorable! Stuffed with excelsior, felt pads and four claws, the wear spots to the mohair put his overall condition as good with slight balding. At over a 100 years, we should all be so lucky to have this critique! The bottom line for teddies are judged by the top rated Steiff Company. Margarete Steiff was known to say, "Only the best, for our children". Today, our markets are somewhat down, due to many collectors selling their items. However, I think your Teddy would appraise at $800.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,

This is my newest find from a sale. I was told he was being sold for a 91 year old great-grandfather. I believe I spent too much money on him but could't resist his sweet face.

I thought he would be easy to identify because he does have a ear tag. It is blank or name has worn off. The bear is 14". I believe original glass eyes Seems to have original flow nose, mouth and four claws on feet, 3 on arm paws. His paw pads are worn but no holes. The fabric is something other than felt. He has a shaved nose and his mohair is evenly worn through out. Please help me identify my new bear.
Lori

Hi Lori,
What a sweet bear as a royal teddy! Your find has connections to Britain, and the firm of Chad Valley. They like many others, tried to identify with the German Steiff Co. and the use of buttons in the ear. Back at the beginning of the 20th century, Steiff fought long and hard to keep this territory their own trademark. It was successful in some instances and other times, after a law suit, the offending factory decided to not challenge the edict. So for this button in your bear's left ear, the original blue paint must have worn off, and the silver remains, helps date the bear. Chad Valley began as Johnson Brothers, with stationery as their product in 1850. Time passed and in 1897 the trademark was adopted as Chad Valley. Their bear making began in 1915, just in time to fill the void of WWI, as German imports were banned. Your Teddy dates to the 1930s and seems to be in very good condition. The amber glass eyes are original along with the felt pads. The foot pads have a cardboard layer under the felt. Oddly, the button was usually in the right ear, but sometimes that varied and the left ear was used. It would have read, Chad Valley, British Hygenic Toys. Identification tags were also attached to the right foot pad. In 1938 they were granted a royal warrant: Toy Makers to Her Majesty the Queen, with the additional royal coat of arms emblem. Glad you have found a treasure! Teddy at 14" is a medium sized bear. Today the value would be $750.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,
This bear is my mother's bear and was given to her in the 1930's. She is uncertain of its age the time it was gifted to her. He measures 18" tall, is very scruffy, yet rather charming, but my kids are terrified of him! The paws are a velveteen type of material. The arms, legs and head all rotate. His body is very firm, not soft & squishy. I'm hoping you can help us out with some history & value for this handsome guy.
Thank you so much.
Jennifer

Hi Jennifer,
What a sweet American teddy, from the Knickerbocker Toy Co. Your mom received the quintessential plush toy, made famous from Shirley Temple and her love of this styled bear. The company has NY heritage, with the original factory in Albany, to produce the Victorian alphabet blocks in the mid 1800s. The teddy bear was developed in the 1920s, as their earliest example. In the 1960s, they moved the factory to NJ. Your provenance with mother's teddy, helps the value. He is in excellent condition, with all the mohair and the fur the original brown color. So many times, this bear turns a copper color from exposure to direct light. His velveteen pads are also pristine, along with the nose cord and original glass eyes. This model dated from the 1930s, early for this manufacturer. They also did a few with metal noses during this era. The stuffing is excelsior. Later examples had a kapok blend. At 18", this is considered a large sized bear. If you pictures of your mom with teddy as a child, this would increase the value. Today without photos, he would be valued at $500.00. You mentioned your children are afraid of teddy. Maybe this is the color of the fur and his realism. Black bears were often scary to youngsters, however today they are quite collectible and more rare. The factories got wind of this aspect and stopped producing them. Enjoy your treasure!
Brenda

Hi Brenda,
I have one for the books here. I bought him 25yrs ago from a friend in CT. He is 7.5'' tall has moveable legs and arms, black wood shoe button eyes and thread nose. Someone who loved him made him a drop seat pajama and a wool coat plus felt/wool shoes. That is the good part. He never had ears in my ownership. I do not know if he is a bear or a walrus. My friend said a bear. I have kept him close to me, have no idea why except he just looks in need of love. Could you attempt to ID him. I thought maybe he was Japanese made because he is crude. His 'fur' is so worn. Thanks so much,
Connie

Hi Connie,
Poor bear, no ears to hear the good news! He has what we call a peanut shaped body with a non-jointed neck. At one time, the joints holding the arms and legs in place, were thin metal rods that protruded through these limbs and were fastened on the outside. If you have a Bing Bears and Toys book, written in 2000, by Ken Yenke and published by Schaffer, page 65 has a very similar bear to yours with the ears. The shoe button eyes are original along with the cord nose. Ken dated this bear to pre 1910 and had Bing as the manufacturer. I think yours is definitely German, however I cannot say for sure it is a Bing. Petz did a similar bear, with slits in the head for the ear placement, but the shoulders are quite low compared to the Bing. The stuffing is excelsior, and no pads were a way to save on production time. He is well loved, and at 7.5", could be easily carried for a companion. The classy outfit helps keep him in style. Today his value would be around $85.00 as is. Period ears would help retain value and restore his look!
Brenda

 

 

Hi Brenda,


I found this bear at an antique store thought it looked like a cool old bear but I have no information on it. It's a bit rough. Arms and legs are jointed but looks like someone did a quick fix on one of the jointed arms. The head moves. The pads feels like leather and most of its fur is missing. He's about 17".

Nicole

Hi Nicole,
Your well loved teddy is a German bear, from the Hermann factory. Most specifically, the Max Hermann branch of this talented toy industry is centered in Sonneberg. They began in 1920. Max was their youngest son. Your example dates to the 1930s and it is mohair with the inset muzzle. The leather pads were recovered carefully and hand stitched many years ago, along with the adorable supporting patches to mend teddy. Your bear is 5-way jointed and stuffed with excelsior. Most had growlers and Hermann's were a very good quality music box. The slightest gap in the device makes them inoperable today. The eyes are a red glass. The horizontally stitched cord nose and three claws were familiar traits to this company. At 17" tall this is a medium sized huggable bear. Given lots of love through the ages because the mohair is fairly worn. Value for your vintage teddy bear is $125.00.
Brenda
Hi Brenda,
I am 72 years old and sending you pictures of my teddy bear who is about 69 years old. (1948-49?) My mother, now in her late 80s, told me they had to have this bear for me, even though they could not afford the bear. I played with him as a very young child and removed his eyes. Other than the missing eyes he is 100% original and looks in excellent or maybe mint condition. His arms, legs and head rotate and he still growls. Looks like 19". When I turned him over for the picture he growled. He had lived the last 60+ years in a closet.
Sincerely,
Jerry

Hi Jerry,
Oh my goodness, you played so gently with Teddy that his condition is excellent! He dates to the 1940s with the inset mohair muzzle (shorter fabric), and the longer more plush mohair body and limbs. The glass eyes were simply on wire shanks, and predated the child safety laws, so they were easily removed. He is soft stuffed, with a cotton called kapok. The pads are velveteen, and are original. The growler you heard is often not working, so glad his voice is still heard. The American company who made him is Knickerbocker, originally formed in 1850 to produce Victorian wooden alphabet blocks. They introduced teddy bears and other toys in the 1920s. Headquartered in NY, they stayed here until the late 60s, then moved to NJ. They actually have a famous connection to Shirley Temple, as her favorite large teddy bear was also this brand. At 20", this a considered a large bear too. Values today are a bit down, however he would be $375.00 with your provenance and photos, contributing to his heritage!
Brenda

Hello Brenda,
I found this stuffed German Shepherd dog at a local flea market.
From nose to tail he's is 16" long and stands about 14" tall.
Thank you.

Marilyn

Hi Marilyn,
Awesome German Shepherd, that happens to be a German toy! It dates to the 1960s, with plastic eyes and nose and quality mohair in varying lengths. I think it is from the Hermann Company, who made top notch plush from the early 1900s. The stuffing is excelsior, which is the early fill used by many factories. Very common at this time were open mouth dogs, with a tongue. Sometimes, this was frightening for young children, so the closed mouth was a great alternative. The plastic collar and red mouth along with the black air brushing are further details included with a mohair piece. At the time he was manufactured, he would have had a hang tag with ID, which if given to a child for play, was probably removed for safety reasons. The standing position was more detailed in design and not jointed. Sitting and lying examples would be less expensive. Dogs and cats are next in popularity after teddy bears. Value today for your show dog is $150.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,
I was surprised again when yesterday at an antique auction I spotted this wonderful orphan. I dare not tell you what I paid but it was very low! I am completely smitten by this bear! It measures 21” in length. No Steiff tag in the ear. Curly mohair with some losses as you can see in the photos. The ‘squeaker’ still works! Dark brown wool snout, whiskers and claws. Eyes appear to be glass, two wool claws on hand and three on feet. Paw pads look original. Head, arms and legs and all rotate fully. Excelsior filling.
And this bear is still plump-excelsior has not dribbled out of any holes etc. No labels that I can see. Seam down the middle of the arms, down the middle of the stomach and down the back. Paws are curved almost 90 degrees at the wrist. Any information you may have as to the toy company etc., would be much appreciated. Thank you again for your wonderful service.
Yours truly;
Johanne

Hi Joanne,
At first, he seemed very English to me until his signature styles surfaced. The bear is German, and has such a touching story of provenance. Hans Leh, founded a factory for dolls and toys in 1893, centered in Coburg, and they came into the plush industry in 1921, with a concentration on the classic form and a variety of mohair fabrics. When Woolworths developed their department store in Sonneberg in the late 20s, Leh was registered as the first customer in the list of suppliers. Business was good. However with WWII, he was forced out of the factory with a military take over of the premises. After he died in 1945, the factory was restored to his two sons. I think this is where your bear was created, after the war with a curly plush mohair and fabric pads. The nose is under the head seam, sewn in a horizontal manner. Slightly lifted paws seem to wave "hello", while eyes are painted glass. This mohair has Zotty styled connections! At 21", he is considered a large bear. Glad he is still talking with the working squeaker. At the end of their era for toy making, some unfortunate financial difficulty caused the factory to close. Value today, with a much loved status would be $175.00.
Brenda

Keep your bears safe!

You can keep your bear bug free today by placing some moth repellent near him. Cedar is pleasant smelling and comes in thin wooden planks. I use Enoz moth packets, lavender scented, in all the glass cases where the bears are displayed. It is available at Walmart and not expensive. They last for several months, then you just replace each packet with a new one. The sweet smell of the mohair and the attraction of the excelsior is a magnet for the undesirable critters.

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