Online, Monthly Teddy Bear Magazine
Teddy Bear & Vintage Toy Appraisals
December 2018

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.

Hi Brenda,
Winnie is in perfect and mint condition. He is a 1994 Walt Disney World Teddy Bear Convention Steiff Winnie the Pooh. 24" tall, has a working growler and is signed on his large white ear tag by J.R. Jun..... I can see the name, but can't figure it out. I believe he was someone from Steiff. He is a limited edition of 25 and my bear is number 8. In 1994, at the convention, he cost $2500.00. I have searched everywhere and can't find any that have been sold. I would like to sell him, but have no idea what to ask because there were only 25 made.
Thank you,
Susan

Hi Susan,
Wow, what a large Winnie you have! Back when the Walt Disney Conventions were well supported by collectors and dealers, you could get top dollar for the merchandise. I really think when the internet became common, it sent most of the values in a downward trend. That is not to say it will never return, but the law of supply and demand has consequences. The year of your special edition Winnie (1994), continued to draw collectors. The signature of J.R. Junginger is still very notable. He came to the U.S. several times for appearances, and was the great grand nephew of Margarete Steiff. Mr. Junginger passed away at the young age of 58, in 2001. Your limited edition Disney World Winnie is on the rare side, with only 25 made. The retail value was $2,500.00 at that time. According to the Sortiment Steiff book of 2003, the value escalated in euros from 3,750.-6,250. Today, the value would be more realistic in the $1,200.-1,600.00 range. Just like the stock market, the secondary bear market has ups and downs. Thank goodness for the new Disney Winnie the Pooh movie. Maybe this will help increase demand! We can hope....enjoy your big buddy!
Brenda

Hi Brenda,

My bear is 23 inches long.
I believe he’s quite old. His paws need repair and there are intermittent fur-less Spots on his body. His head and limbs swivel. Please, please let me know if I paid the right outfit. Thank you so much and I’m very interested in what the bear is worth. Sincerely,
Lloyd

Hi Lloyd,
Your very early Steiff dates to 1906-07 era, and with the large size of 60cm, also makes it a rarity. He has aged, as you mention in your description, but he is an antique at over a hundred years of age. Amazing that he was so gracefully kept for all these decades. The mohair is longer in length, so that too adds to the appeal. He is totally original, along with the shoe button eyes, and bit of cord loss on the nose. The very large feet and hands seem to have strong mohair backing. This is also a positive from using kapok and excelsior stuffing as opposed the heavier excelsior. He would have had an underscored ff Steiff button, which followed the blank button. The feet have the felt lining as in the early pieces, for extra strength. This could be professionally recovered, or simply stitched in place to prevent further deterioration. The same restoration could be achieved with the nose cord. If you provenance accompanying this bear, that adds to the value. Photographs of a child or adult who this teddy, would be part of his lineage. The teddy bear market was tops in the 1980-90s, with a somewhat downward trend today. We hope it gets out of the bear market and into the bull swing! Today, your Bruin would be valued at $3,800.00. A gorgeous original teddy! Brenda

Greetings Brenda,
I have a bear that was passed down from my mom who used to own a toy store and loved Steiff animals of all kinds very much. This particular bear stands out at 31" tall and the tag seems older and it’s signed by B Steiff 1985. It says something else too. It is rubbed off on the bear foot but clearer on the ear tag of a horse which was signed at the same time when one of the Steiff family members came to visit our store and signed some animals. So I included that picture too. My mom made me put on a Steiff costume and stand there all day.

I think I was about 13. I don’t think the tag is paper, but it is not the newer, folded yellow ribbon either. Considering passing on the bear to a passionate collector but want to honor my mom by considering the bear’s value. He is very cute!

Thanks!
Ellen

Hi Ellen,

What a great story of you and your Mom, and the inherited Steiff teddy bear! This is a large sized Original Teddy in the caramel color, and it seems to be in excellent condition.
The tag in the ear is yellow, meaning this was a stock piece-produced from 1968-1990. It is the cloth tag, the older material as opposed to the paper tag of today. It was signed by Hans Otto Steiff and his wife, Birgit. Hans Otto was President of the Steiff Co. from 1951-1981, retiring in 1984.
In retirement, they traveled and appeared at toy stores for autographing the famous Steiff creations. You were lucky enough to meet them, and have a signed bear for provenance.  He was a direct descendent to Margarete, she was his great grand aunt. He passed at the young age of 75, at the end of 1994. Your teddy is missing the cardboard chest tag, but has the brass button and ear tag. Signed in 1985, the Original Teddy series features the heart shaved muzzle. 
Today the markets are rather down, thanks in part to the internet. Several years ago, the value was up to $300.00, but since yours is signed and documented, we will continue this value for your piece. Take pictures of your daughter with this bear to continue the story.  Great heirloom!  
Brenda

Brenda,
My mom received this bear from a lady she worked with back in the early eighties. She was told that the bear came from Britain or England and that's all she can remember. The bear is wearing a sling because his arm needs to be fixed and I don't want to accidentally create more damage. It is stuffed with wood wool and the eyes appear to be glass amber with a black pupil.
I believe the paws are made of some type of rexine or leather and it is a jointed bear. There are no marks on the bear and I don't know if the yellow ribbon is original or added later. That's all I know! Any help is greatly appreciated.
Best Regards,
Nancy

Hi Nancy,
Your Mom’s teddy appears to have some English connections, but Australian roots. The material is a sheepskin, natural wool, very dense pile and contrasting ear fabric. The Jakas Soft Toy company had traits of flat, large ears, a vertically stitched nose, brown glass eyes with a black pupil and no claws on the feet or hands. They did create some bears in the 1930s, but
I think your teddy dates to the 1950s. The oilcloth pads were very common on English teddies and Australian bears. The excelsior you feel for stuffing, enabled the teddy to retain his shape through the years. Sometimes, they combined this fiber with kapok to make the bears lighter. You do not mention the size, but from the pictures it looks to be about 20”. The straight arms are placed slightly lower on the shoulders. Usually this real fur backing has a tendency to crack or peel due to temperature changes. The arm could be repaired eventually, but the sling helps hold the shoulder in place. Condition does affect the value of a bear. Today, as is, the value would be $200.00

Brenda

Brenda,

Hello, I inherited this bear from a avid collector over 10 years ago.  The other day someone saw it in my curio cabinet and said that is was a rare bear and worth a lot of money and that I should get it appraised.  It’s in excellent condition.  All limbs and head turn completely around. Clothes and twine seem permanent.  There are no tags or indication of what type bear it is.  Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
Melanie

Hi Melanie,
Your teddy bear appears to be a manufactured one, most probably imported. The very cherished Boyd’s Bears of the 1990s, mimicked the teddy craze of 1907! This could be one of their teddies! The Sweat Heart tag appears to mean Sweet Heart, after the three heart charms on her necklace. Boyd’s dressed many of their bears and named them as well. However, the original tags are not visible, and may have been removed. Most imports need identification to come into the country, and follow child safe laws. At one time the Boyd’s phenomenon was also advertised on the Home Shopping Network as well as QVC. They were available in department stores, gift stores and just about everywhere. The fur is acrylic, with black button eyes and a hand sewn cord nose. The stuffing is probably a blend of pellets and poly-fil, with the ease of creating a dangling effect on her limbs. At the time she was made, her price could have been $35.00, which would have escalated in value and perhaps doubled by the 2000 era. With mass production being the rule, today their sentimental value surpasses the monetary value. She has a “sweet” appeal and brings a smile to all who encounter her presence.
Today’s appraised value would be $25.00.
Brenda

Hi There Brenda
I would like to know more about this bear. He has been tucked away for many decades, so very little wear other than around his nose.
He is 10' long with felt pads, his fur is more "crunchy" than soft, his head legs and arms are jointed and his stuffing is very firm. He has glass eyes.
His claws are drawn rather than stitched.
Thanks very much,
Beth

Hi Beth,
Oh, what a sweet little teddy bear! The condition is excellent, with the air brushed paws still intact and visible. This is an American bear, from the Character Novelty Co. and dates to the 1950s with the glass amber eyes. Character was founded in 1932, by Caesar Mangiapani and Jack Levy, in Norwalk CT. Caesar did the designs, while Jack did the marketing. The NY showroom was opened after 1945, widely expanding their business. The trademark was printed on a cloth ID tag, attached to the left ear. They were most noted for appearing on the Elvis Presley 45 record jacket, Teddy Bear. In that appearance, the bear was acrylic, had black button eyes with felt circles, and a red tongue. Yours is an earlier example with the glass eyes and no tongue. Referred to as a baby bear, the 10” size is “doll sized”, and jointed. Character ceased doing business in 1983, with the death of Caesar. But, their legendary teddy is still appreciated. If you have pictures of him with original owners, this makes the provenance. Value today for your teddy would be $150.-200.00. Enjoy, Brenda

I found this teddy bear at an estate sale in a really old house with lots of really cool old stuff! The bear is 12" tall. I'm not sure what the fur is; rough though.
Nose is hand stitched with black thread and mouth stitched with red. Pretty sure the eyes are marble. Color is black with amber around the eyes. The bear's stuffing gives a crackling noise. Maybe feels like straw or something. He has a very old odor Looking forward to hearing about the bear!
Thank you!
Kelsey
Hi Kelsey,
Thank you for your careful searching on the internet, to find an answer for your teddy!
And especially for your kind words..very sweet of you. Your estate bear is referred to as a “crib bear”, without the hard disc joints; perfect and safe for baby. It is American, made by the Character Novelty Co. of NY. They were first located in Norwalk, CT. with founding in 1932. After 1945, the business expanded and moved to NY. Most notable traits were felt white circles around shoe button eyes, and red felt tongues. Your example dates to the 1950s with mohair pads and a plush cinnamon cotton fur on the body. The nose is hand sewn cord with a red mouth extension instead of the felt tongue. Glass eyes have a cool touch feeling, while plastic eyes are nonconductive, and feel warm. Also with glass, the perimeter around the eye is smooth, while plastic eyes are rough. Your teddy probably has glass eyes. The stuffing is a mixture of excelsior and kapok. The bears were labeled with a white cloth tag, sewn into the left ear. Most had a ribbon around their neck before leaving the factory. At 12”, the value would be $75.00. He is in good condition, with slight wear, and vintage! Brenda
Good Evening,
When my Aunt passed she gave me this Steiff bear. It is 30 inches long, move able head, arms and legs, humpback and mohair, stuffed with straw it looks like. It still has the Steiff metal button in the year. This bear was her step mothers that was from Germany. I believe theses are pictures of the bear in a boat in Germany. It was brought over when she came and then given to my Aunt after her step mother died. I wanted to to know more about and how to preserve it.
Thank you,
Katherine D

Hi Katherine,
Wow, you have one of the largest jointed bears made by Steiff! This has an effect on the limbs, as we can see from the wear on the thinner ankles. Stuffed with excelsior, this is teddy has an impressive impact. He was gently enjoyed through the years, with the signature FF underscored button, dating him to 1905-07 era. The eyes are the original large shoe buttons, and at 30” he commands an audience. Very stature with the hump on the back to mimic the shoulder blades of a real bear, his original wool felt pads on the hands are in great condition. With any bear, the importance of the condition is paramount. He is an “antique” bear, over 100 years old. He has had many adventures, contributing to his provenance. There is slight wear to the mohair, and a bit of settling with the stuffing. The nose seems to have the felt backing showing, with only the drop stitch of the original cord visible. He seems to have wear on the top of the muzzle as well. Four claws can be discerned. Several years ago, these teddies were going for $10,000 in perfect condition. The market has adjusted, with a slight downturn, all with the over exposure of the internet. Today, the value would be realistic at $3,500.00- and up. A professional restoration of the nose would help increase this value. He is an awesome giant of the bear world!
Brenda

Hi Brenda

 

Can you please tell me about this old bear that was passed down to me?

Thank you

Annie

Hi Annie,
What a sweet teddy, with an even sweeter genealogy!
It appears to be an American manufacturer, Knickerbocker from the 1933 era. The mohair is in good shape, and the color is still vibrant. Characteristics of this company include large ears, amber glass eyes, velveteen paw pads and a vertical stitched nose. The stuffing is excelsior, which helps to keep his shape, and kapok for softness. Nose designs in the early bears were like yours, with an elongated snout and slightly shaven muzzle. The later bears had an inset muzzle. The arms are
set low on the body, forming the shoulder area. Knickerbocker started in the Victorian era, making wooden alphabet blocks. Located in NY, they started manufacturing teddies in the 1920s and stayed here until a move to NJ in the late 1960s. Known for the association with Shirley Temple, they were regarded as a nationally iconic teddy factory. Pictures of your Mom with teddy will establish the provenance. I am assuming he is rather large (18-20”) from the great photo of all the Steiff collection and your cinnamon Knickerbocker! Today this teddy would be valued at $475.00. Brenda

This one is 20" again... and has a very odd head shape. Stuffing is extremely firm but the hair is soft and a bit silky also. The foot and paw pads are stained. Again is this something I try to clean or fix? The nose is also very pronounced and made of the same material as the foot and paw padding.

Amy

 

Hi Amy,
This bear is made from a silk plush, and is also an artist inspired teddy. At 20”, this is a large sized teddy made with a center seam on the face. Steiff did this procedure to save on the mohair yardage, with only 1 out of 7 bears sewn in this fashion. The nose is cord, done in a very artistic half diamond shape. The center seam makes the face very wide, and with the long muzzle-the nose is prominent. It seems the muzzle and pads have a shaved appearance to the plush, making it appear as backing. No claws are sewn on the feet or hands. The ears are joined in the head seam, making them very low on the head, and almost turned back ears. Eyes are shoe buttons, and the stuffing is excelsior. The pads were distressed by the artist, to make it appear somewhat worn. This is a reproduction teddy made to emulate the old bruins. Some artists actually put holes in the pads etc. to give it the shabby look. Yours is in perfect condition and dates to 1990-2000. Value for this large silk plush teddy would be $150.00. Brenda

Hi Brenda,
This is a bear my mother received as a gift between Dec. 1938 and April 1939. Based on the photos I have of her with her bear and her age, that fits the time line. It is a gold color with glass eyes and moving arms, legs and head. He has been played with through the years so is showing wear especially the glass eyes which have portions missing and his hind paws which have split seams. It stands about 20" tall and seated is almost 18". Wondering if it has more than sentimental value.
Thank you,
Suzy

Hi Suzy,
Your Mother's companion teddy is an English maker, most probably Chad Valley. The center seam on the head was only used by a few factories, most notably Steiff and Chad Valley. This British firm began as a printing business, then produced their first teddy bears in 1915. The registered trademark of Chad Valley enabled them to move into the Wrekin Toy Works in Shropshire in 1920, and establish their new soft toy industry. Glass eyes, the best mohair, a heavily sewn cord nose, large flat ears and tubby body are all traits of this company. In 1930, they expanded and produced many Disney toys, and cartoon characters. The felt pads, reinforced with cardboard, enabled teddy to stand. In 1938, they were granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment as Toymakers to the Queen, which continued until Elizabeth II became Queen. Pictures of your Mom with teddy will help with the provenance. At 20”, this is a large sized huggable teddy! His pads could be blind stitched to secure and cover the excelsior. At the time he was made, 1938+, a tag was on his right paw that read, “Toymakers to Her Majesty the Queen”. Later bears had rexine pads. The mohair is in very good shape, and with some repair the value would be $375.00. Brenda

Brenda I was given this bear as a baby from my grandmother around 1976-1977 I'm guessing and my mother is not sure where the bear was before me. It is in really really good condition as it hasn't really been touched in 40 years. There is absolutely zero wear or damage, it looks like there is only one bit of red ink it seems under his chin but hard to see (I have not tried to clean this off as of this time) There is bells in both ears that work perfect. Bear has lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia it's whole life.
Mike

Hi Mike,
What a terrific teddy, hailing from England with the Merrythought company!Particularly notable is the style of the bear, it is called a Cheeky Teddy, and was introduced for the first time in 1957. Merrythought is a classic factory, as evidenced from the ID sewn tag on the left foot. They started in 1930, on the Shropshire location. Unique to this firm, they always remained an English made product. Your iconic teddy is an original and the designer was Jean Barber. It was named Cheeky from a story told that the Royal Family visited the premises, and someone remarked, “a Cheeky little bear”! As noted from the storyteller, they were not sure if this was the Queen Mother or the present Queen Elizabeth. Nonetheless, Hygenic Toys became their quality control along with patented locked in eyes in 1958.He is mohair, with wool felt pads and the distinctive smiling face. The bells in the ears followed production until 1983. Your particular model seems to be from 1977, with a corresponding likeness in color. I am thinking he is 15”, however, they did make a 25” model in 1959. Because of his desirability and condition, the value would be $900.00.

Brenda

Hi Brenda,
This is a 12 inch bear that I purchased from the internet. He has glass eyes and a funny heart shaped nose. His pads are felt. His head is very solid and so are his arms and legs. But his body is softer to the touch and he looks like he has been hugged a lot. He does have something hard in his belly, but he makes no noise.
He does have something stamped on his foot, but I cannot read it. His finishing seam is up his back. I would love to know who is he. I just love that face!
Thank you,
Mary Jane

Hi Mary Jane,
Your sweet little teddy is an early American bear, manufactured by Aetna. They had the characteristic woven nose, which in your case has a heart shaped design. Production started in NY, like many of the other businesses, in 1906. They were formerly known as the “Keystone Bear”. George Borgfeldt and Co. were the sole distributors. That was the premier supplier of goods in the US. In Playthings magazine, 1906, an ad appeared for this company with a patent applied for intention. Pictured is one of the seven sizes they made, with the words AETNA stamped on the right foot. Made as an equal to the imported bear (Steiff), the highest grade of materials and workmanship were also described. Your little guy is in excellent condition, and to have the trace of the stamp is remarkable at over a hundred years old! He dates to 1910. Cardboard reinforced soles allows for teddy to stand! The pinkish felt coverings are also good, with just an inkling of a tiny hole. They were hand closed in the back seam, a trait for many American companies. Notice how the ears are more towards the side of the head, a precedent for early bears. As the years passed, teddies ears moved toward the top of the head. E. I. Horsemann and Co. of N.Y. bought the Aetna Doll and Bear Co. in 1919. The squeaker you feel in the tummy is most probably non operational. Your fine example would be valued at $1,500.00. Good bear hunting and trained eye on your part! Congrats.
Brenda

Brenda, I purchased this teddy from a dealer in Great Britain a year ago. Though he has handled many teddies over the years, he had never seen one quite like this. My broad-shouldered teddy is 22 inches tall. He has short and very soft mohair. His head and body are very solid and stuffed with wood shavings. His arms and legs are softer, like kapok. His eyes are glass. His paw and foot pads are felt. I love his shield shaped body.I have looked through teddy books and cannot find anything as "muscular" as this guy. I don't know how or he is, but he is a keeper to me!
Mary Jane

Hi Mary Jane,
What a unique teddy! The fact that the dealer was a bit mystified from Bruin’s attributes, is worth noting. I think he is characterized by the English manufactures, and in particular, LeFray Toys Ltd. They were established in 1948 within west London. In 1958, they moved to NW London; then two years later, relocated to a larger factory in St. Albans Hertfordshire. That move brought them an increased productivity with the upgrade in machinery. Moving to Wales in 1969, they remained here then converted to Real Soft Toys in 1980. Ten years later, they received the license to produce Rupert Bear. That is their history now back to your Teddy! He dates to the 1950s, is mohair (English), and has company with some of their unusual designs. Larger bears were common to Le Fray, with the excelsior torso and head, then sub or soft stuffed limbs. The noses were vertical, yours is a simple square completed in vertical fashion. The pads are felt, matching the inner ear lining, another trait of LeFray. Three claws on the feet and usually had claws on the hands as well. The eyes are glass, before the child safety laws. A hand sewn finishing seam is completed on his back. He is in very good condition, with no loss of mohair. At 22”, this large vintage teddy would be valued at $375.00. Another seldom seen teddy!
Brenda

Hi, Brenda,

This bear belonged to my dad. He acquired it as a small child. He was born in the late 1920’s, so I believe it is from the 20’s. It is 15 inches tall, and its legs, arms and head move. It has glass eyes, and I believe the coat is acrylic instead of mohair. It appears to be stuffed with wood or straw. He’s missing a bit of fur on his front side but none on his back. His paws are felt and damaged a little. He is clean and from a smoke-free home. Not bad for almost a hundred years old! I’ve searched and searched but I can’t find a bear that looks like him. I’m excited to hear what you think about him! Thank you so much!
Sincerely, Kathryn

Hi Kathryn,
Sweet heirloom teddy from your Dad! He is a Knickerbocker, dating to the late 1920s- early 30s. The long arms are indicative of this period, along with the felt pads. The company was founded in 1850 in NY to produce lithograph alphabet blocks for children. They did their first teddy bears in 1920, then moved to NJ. Shirley Temple had a Knickerbocker in her childhood film, Captain January, and it became a favorite of hers! They are also credited for producing Smokey Bear in the late 1960s. Your Dad’s toy has glass eyes, and luckily they are still in place! His nose is missing threads, but this can be corrected. Teddy bears were made specially for boys in the 1906-7 era. Girls had their dollies, and boys needed a companion as well. Fashioned after our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt, this legend of Teddy’s bear lives on. He is well loved, as the fur is missing in spots, but he is still able to interact. If you have pictures of your Dad with teddy, especially as a child, this would add to value and create provenance. As he is now, the value for the 15” model is around $65.00. The felt pads could be filled in, to prevent excelsior from leaking.
Brenda

My estate find today Brenda is this big bear. Would love to find out more about the bear. He is fully jointed and is 21" tall. Feels like small glass eye. When i squish the body it sounds like rafia or something inside. That is really all I know. I do not collect but fell in love with this bear.
Thanks
Joann

Hi Joann,
You picked out a wonderful teddy at the estate sale! He seems to be an American, from the Aetna Co. and dates to the 1906-07 era. The sweet face is indicative of this factory, with mohair and excelsior stuffing. The five claws were the earliest teddies, and he was advertised in the 1906 Playthings magazine as having the style and quality of the imported bears. The feet, with the pinkish wool felt, have cardboard inserts to help him stand. At 21”, this is considered a large teddy. Originally these bears were called the Keystone Bear, and sold through the George Borgfeldt & Co. distributors. The nose is somewhat heart shaped, usually it is a woven blended cord, with either shoe button or glass eyes. The ears are cupped and a stamped AETNA ID would have been placed on the right foot pad. They are seldom found with this still visible. Eventually , the factory became the Aetna Doll and Toy Co., still located in NY, then sold to Horsman in 1919. Your antique teddy with some wear would be valued under $2,000.00. The missing shoe button could be easily replaced, so he can see better! Brenda

Hi Brenda,

I seem to be developing a knack for finding the odd balls, which is proving to be more fun than one can imagine. I'm trying desperately to learn what I can to be able to identify these old souls but find myself stumped once again with 'Bruce'. I found Bruce at a vintage discount store.His eyes are glass with painted backs and the paint is chipping off in a couple spots.

He is fully jointed His mouth is stitched and his nose is a very hard plastic. He is a large boy at 22 inches. Firmly stuffed. To date, according to my web searches he is either British, German, French, Dutch or American... and anywhere from the 1920's to the 1950's. Once again, I bow to your knowledge. With my thanks,
Eileen

Hi Eileen,
Wow, what a great teddy! He is very unusual, but has some similar traits to keep us tuned into the British manufactures. Most notably are the ears, flat and sewn into the head gusset. Founded in 1903, was the Dean’s Rag Book Co., making a children’s indestructible cloth book. From this venture, they continued on their printed cloth venture and also made teddy bears in 1908. Your example is most probably from the 1930s with the synthetic silk plush used in the fur, yet still having glass eyes and excelsior stuffing. In the 1950s they did a very rare Tru-to-Life teddy, with black acrylic fur and a rubber nose. It is possible your nose is composition or a glazed hard rubber. The 1930s era was their best for productivity, and today very few remain. Their logo was either stamped on the feet or a tag was sewn unto the right footpad. With Farnell producing such a famous bear in 1920, “Pooh”, maybe this inspired Deans in the 30s era. No problem with the silent growler, many are non operable today. The longer arms, formed head and three claws were traits of this period. Today, the value of “Bruce Deans” would be $500.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda!
My bear is a Gund, about 14 inches tall from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. He has all 4 working movable joints and his head is jointed and moves as well. I believe he has glass eyes and there is a ribbon around his neck which I dont know is original or not. He has stitched on felt pads on his hands and feet. I think his nose may have been restricted on but not for sure. I got him at an estate sale this summer and thought he was so neat and vintage looking I couldn't pass him up! Thank you for any help!
Deborah

Hi Deborah,
Your classic Gund teddy dates from 1940-56 with the significant ID tag of NY and the J Swedlin Inc. notation. Adolf Gund founded his company in 1898, in Norwalk CT producing novelties and stuffed toys. In the early 1900s, he moves the business to NY city, making teddy bears in 1906. Being a German immigrant, he felt good hiring Jacob Swedlin in 1909, a Russian immigrant. He does menial jobs at first, then advances to pattern making. He is a worker, and a personal assistant to Adolf Gund. In 1925, Gund retires, and Jacob Swedlin buys the business, bringing his family to NY as workers too. He lived until 1976, and today Gund is still operational, but the factory is overseas. Now back to your example! The bear is a curly plush, and in very good condition. The googly eyes are plastic, a bit clouded over the years. They were clamped in, before safety standards were law. The nose is also in excellent shape. Thank goodness for the ID, that sets it above the ordinary. The top stitching of the seams and pads are characteristics of this firm. Value for your tagged estate find is $125.00.
Brenda

Brenda,
I found the most beautiful bear at a thrift store. There must have been a collector that donated a bunch of items. I know very little about this bear, but I am in love with his face and his beautiful smile. He is light in color and fully jointed. He has felt pads and a stitched nose. There is a tag on his ear that says Walt Disney company, a number 342, Mickey Mouse face, a barcode, and a price of $225. His head is hard like it is stuffed very full. The body is softer with stuffing at the top and maybe pellets at the bottom.

He has a bum tag that reads HOLLYBEARYS Mt. Blanchard, OH All new materials OH Reg. #14228. On one foot there is a ribbon stitched on that says HOLLYBEARYS and a handwritten number 22/37. He is about 15" in length.
Thank you so much for any information you can give me.
Crystal

Hi Crystal,
Your vanilla mohair teddy bear is an artist creation, meaning it was handmade by the artist and offered through the Hollybearys collection. In the state of OH, all artists who make teddy bears should be registered within the state and have a tag attached to their bodies, stating such. This is especially important to meet safety guidelines, as in the sale of children’s toys. However, some are edited for collectors only and not intended to be used by children, which is also stated on the tag. This seems to be the case with your little bear, who is a limited edition of #22. from an inventory of 37 made. The pellet stuffing is another guide for collecting only, as these can be a choking hazard with an opened seam. It just does not seem that the Disney Co. would offer this bear as an item for sale..with the possibility of it not being child safe. Perhaps the tag was on another item and transferred along the way. It is a well made and very happy bear, with felt pads, articulated joints, and hand sewn cord nose and mouth. Back in the 90s, these artists creations were selling for $125.00 and up. But, today on the secondary market their value is half that-$75.00 on a good day. The great thing is it local to OH, is in excellent condition, and was found at the thrift store!
Brenda

Here is another bear Brenda.

It is about 16" long and the body is around 5" wide. Jointed limbs which move tightly within their own radius. Padded material on feet and hands. Glassy eyes. Prevalent center stitch front and back torso.

All four bears were inherited from my grandfather who was back & forth from Germany since the 40's. He bought and sold many items from around the world, but they're most likely to have come from Germany or the states to my knowledge.

Thanks so much!
Austin

Hi Austin,
This large sized teddy is pristine, with a silk plush fur and white mohair contrasting on the muzzle, pads and ear linings. He is German, from the Hermann family dynasty. They started in 1896, with the original family of Johann and Roselie Hermann. Eventually the wood toys found company with plush animals, with an enlarged factory in 1913. All the children worked in the business, with Max and Bernard having separate factories. Your 5 way jointed teddy with red glass eyes dates to the 1940s and is made by Hermann Pluschtiere, located in Sonneberg. Max Hermann enlisted his son, Rolf Gerhard to be a toy designer. After the death of Max, the company continued under Rolf, and today, generations later..it is still in family hands. Hermann district traits were three claws on the hands and feet, a horizontally stitched nose, and an inset muzzle.
With his crisp appearance, he could be valued at $275.00.
Brenda

How much is your beloved bear worth?

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