Online, Monthly Teddy Bear Magazine
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.

Hi Brenda,
I was so excited to find your website. I have been scouring the internet looking for some shred of information that would tell me about my new friend "Pandy". I found him at a local non profit store. I was thrilled to rescue him and bring him home. He is in truly beautiful condition, is extremely heavy and very dense (perhaps stuffed with wool). Glass eyes, stands at 21", has an aluminum gold chain. He sits on a sturdy platform that is covered in velvet and has a silk teal/light blue liner and printed on the back: "MADE IN CHINA" on the and "PANDA" on the front. Any information that you can find for us: Origin, age, value, if he was created to commemorate a special event etc., would be wonderful!
Thank you, Dawnell

Hi Dawnelle,
You found a very unusual panda bear, and did a sweet rescue! Good work on the computer with your finding of the Shanghi Dolls Factory. That is indeed its origin. After WWII, China became very involved in the making of plush animals. The earliest examples from this factory on mainland China had this quality pure wool fur fabric. The fabric tag designating this was done with the same green logo on all their products. The reverse side was done in Chinese writing. Also included in their first designs was a sewn nose, then a rubber nose, and later a resin nose. Your fabric nose was an eventual progression. However, yours still has the glass eyes as opposed to plastic. The stuffing is quite hard in these bears, almost a combination of kapok and some wood fiber. They are firmly stuffed! Since there is no jointing, I think this was made for display purposes. The chain appears to be original and perhaps their paper tag rosette in gold foil was attached or not. Interestingly, my smallest unjointed panda from this company has the tag, and on the back is stamped SA281. Perhaps the SA may have been initials for Shanghi Animals, then a code for style number. Since you have a display base with this numerical notation, the tag may have never been attached to the chain. I think it dates to 1960-70s, and was perhaps introduced during the Nixon administration when we received for our real Panda! The mention of chalk on the wood base relates to some of our earlier furniture manufactures who identified their product on the back with this method. Today, as we send off our national Panda back to China, I am glad you adopted this one. Value today, with plush still experiencing a downward trend, would be $75.00.
Enjoy your almost "vintage" bear!

Brenda

Hi Brenda,
I’ve acquired yet another lovely bear of whom I’d like your opinion. I purchased him at an antiques mall in Stanfordville, New York. The owners sometimes purchase estates and this bear was in one of the estate lots they purchased. This bear is 18” tall and is 4” from shoulder to shoulder.  It looks as if his paw pads have been replaced and he has no foot pads. I wish his paw pads had not been replaced! His arms and his legs as well as his head rotate fully. I believe he may have had a working squeaker as there is a hard piece in his back that appears circular in shape. There’s also a bit of metal poking out from this area in his back.

Sincerely, Laura

Hi Laura,
You have an American bear with the seams and pads finished in the overstitched style. It seems to be a cross between a Gund and a Knickerbocker. I am tending more toward the Gund Co. because of the seams. The kapok stuffing has exploded outward, as noted in the foot pads. This is a normal consequence when kapok is exposed to any moisture. The shoulders are set somewhat low on the body and the nose is done in the typical vertical cord. Many companies in the USA were.active during the 1920-30s era. Gund was said to make bears in the early years competing with Ideal and others. I think he dates to the late 20s. Having a voice with a squeaker box in the back, this too may have been affected by the kapok. The stuffing in the pads should be gently pushed within the seam and then contained with stitching to keep the look he had in the beginning and then finished with felt replacement pads. His cinnamon mohair has worn areas, revealing his well loved life! The amber glass eyes are original. Value for your Teddy would be $100.00 as he is presented. Restoration can increase the value for your estate find!
Brenda

Hello Brenda, I am helping my friend 70 year old friend clear out her home. The bear was her mothers and she tells me that her mother bought the bear at a garage sale for one dollar and that was over 25 years ago. The size of the bear is 11.5 inches long by 9 inches high. This is the only info I have. Thanks!
Keri

What an interesting find! The bear on wheels is referred to as that and not a teddy bear. A teddy bear on wheels would have a movable head, with disc jointing. The outer covering is mohair, with excelsior stuffing. It dates, according to the Steiff underscored button, to 1912. The most important part of any bear is the face, and this area has significant the damage. It could possibly be repaired and a proper nose and mouth reconstructed as long as the fabric is not too fragile. The wheels are made by a German company as well, Marklin. It has all four wheels, and seems to be in good condition. The hump back is very realistic, showcasing the shoulder blades of a real bear. Because these toys were made with perfection, it is still preserved today. The collars sometimes had Steiff engraved on the leather, but yours seems to be plain. Notice the center seam down the front of the face! In the 5-way jointed teddy bears, this example happened every seventh bear and these center seam teddies are always more valuable. It was a conservation method for the expensive mohair. Almost an antique, the bear on wheels in his present condition would be valued at $150.00.

One that is in excellent condition would be worth up to $1,000.00!
Brenda

Hi Brenda,

The bear was a gift in 1925. It's a hump back bear. It growls when you lay it down. The bear is 38" tall.

Katherine

 

Hi Katherine,
Lovely, very large teddy from the 1920's! It is German, from the Bernhard Hermann Co. He was the oldest son of Johann and Rosalie, the founders of the Hermann toy company in Sonneberg. They had six children, all of whom had some ties to the toy factories. Bernhard established his own business in 1911 in Sonneberg, the toy capitol of the world.

He in turn had four sons who also followed in their fathers footsteps. So, your bear dates after WWI. The fabric is mohair, stuffed with excelsior and outfitted with a growler. Characteristics of this bear include the shaved muzzle, upturned hands, formed feet, a horizontal nose with a simple inverted Y for the mouth extension. Common also is the finished seam closing in the back. The red glass eyes, and somewhat large ears are also Bernhard Hermann traits. They supplied many sizes for their bears, which includes your larger example. Notice the human like long legs, later called carnival bears, that were made of silk plush.
Value for your near Antique teddy at 38" would be $600.00!
Brenda

Hi Brenda,
So glad I found you through your great website!

 

This bear was purchased by my grandmother in the late 1920’s, I believe. It is 18" in length.


Please let me know if there is anymore info or photos I can provide.

Thanks,
Barbara

Hi Barb,
Thank you for all the poses..of your grandma's treasured teddy! He is a very distinctive bear with the movable celluloid eyes. We had a similar bear in the Chelsea Toy Museum, and my husband labeled it the French Novelty and Toy Bear on our inventory record. French was underlined, and I figured that meant it was French. A few years later and some more investigation, I find that name is correct, however it was originally called the National French Fancy Novelty Co. It was a short lived American Co. and often times the bear is labeled as unidentified. They made more dolls than bears, and were in business 1925-1928. They also made a mohair dog called Toodles. Located in NY, like all the big factories, they have very little documentation. Your bear is mohair, with excelsior stuffing, a slight cord nose and fairly straight arms with wool felt pads.
His value would be $450.00, a rare one!
Brenda

Greetings Breanda,

 

My teddy is at least 70 years old. He has a center seam, flat round head, seems to have straw stuffing, and has a little tail.

 

I have never seen another like him. He is about 14" high, is "love damaged" and with nose surgery.

I appreciate any information about our teddy.

Veronica in Prague

Hi Veronica,
You have a quality German teddy bear circa 1920s. He has the glass eyes similar to Bing and Schuco. They are a bit larger than most.
I think they are original, along with the cord nose and claws. The cottage industry was very active in Germany, especially after WWI. Many of the factories shut down during the war. At the initial start up, these home sewers could supply inventory. The horizontal nose on the 14" and under bears was common for the top makers. His wear that you are concerned about, is the result of a moth, many years ago. On any bear, the face is top priority for condition. What happened was the sweet mohair is a moth's delight! But, his face was not attacked and that is good. I recommend you keep a cedar block or lavender scented moth packets to avoid any further feasting. The mohair in the joints will reveal the true color of the original brown. He has mellowed a bit as the sun effects wear. So, he is most likely German cottage made with the Schuco and Bing influence. His presence is wonderful, despite the bare areas.
Value today would be $700.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda, this bear has been in my family for years and I can't find anything lto help identify it. He is in pretty ratty condition. He is 10-1/2" and stuffing is very crunchy. Articulated joints with tail that moves head side to side as well as up and down. I can feel a metal rod in the tail. Eyeglasses are metal, eyes are an amber-red and appear to be faceted glass. Black trim around outer edge of ears. Nose is horizontally stitched in brown thick yarn like thread.
Head seams in a V shape. The head has some sort of metal frame inside with an opening that allows it to be moved up and down by the tail movement.
What is left of the fabric on one paw appears to be some sort of woven material similar to a coarse linen. The fur feels stiff and inside the joints it is softer. Thanks for whatever you can tell me!
Best, Robin.
Hi Robin,
You have a wonderful Schuco fox, made in the 1920's! Schuco is a notable toy firm from Germany, formed originally as Schreyer & Co.,in Nuremberg. The owner was Herman Mueller, who worked previously for Bing. Another partner was Heinrich Schreyer, a former furniture salesman. They produced the yes/no mechanism in the 1920s, making teddy bears and animals able to communicate in a nonverbal fashion. Your fox is rare, with the jewel faceted eyes. The mohair covering looks good, although the linen pads may need to be recovered. Schuco is known for their metal bodies with excelsior stuffing to achieve a sturdy, lasting toy. The older mechanism works forever, while some of the 1950s Tricky pieces may lose the ability to say yes. No seems to work fine though! As a family heirloom, you are most fortunate to have this piece of history. It even sports the metal glasses in place.
Today a value of $850.00 would be reasonable.
Enjoy! Brenda
=======================
I saw your an awesome appraiser of teddy bears and I'm trying to figure more out about my bear. I got it from a dear old friend that we farmed with many years ago. He passed away 15 years ago and I hold it dear. I know he got it when he was a child and I'm guessing 1912-1915. Maybe the bear was made around 1905-1910. Its in great shape and limbs fully move. It has been stored in a hutch for the last 30 years. When it is lightly squeezed it feels like it is stuffed with straw. It has flexible joints and very well constructed. No tears, or lose threads. Its fabric is in good shape and am amazed at the workmanship on the ears and face. Let me know what you think,
Donna
Hi Donna,
Your teddy bear gift of many years ago has a great presence. It has some discernible characteristics which help point toward the English origin. I think he is an early Dean's, from the Dean's Rag Book Co., formed in 1903. They were famous for all the rag books, then in 1908 did a Knock about Teddy. Yours dates to the 1915 era, when they first introduced teddy bears under the Kuddlemee brand name. It is thought they may have manufactured bears for other companies before this time. The triangular stitched vertical nose with the inverted Y mouth, and the shaved muzzle were their common traits. Originals had five claws. Wool felt pads, long narrow feet and the stitched front seam compared to the hand finished seam in the back also are noted similarities. His slender body has excelsior stuffing, with the slight drop of the shoulders. The shoe button eyes are also original. In 1922, they had a fabric label sewn into the foot pad, with the Dean's logo. He is a very nice teddy, is in good condition aside from the slight mohair loss in areas to the face. As an antique bear, his value would be $900.00.
Brenda

Hello Brenda!


I was given this little guy by one of my customers in 1978. I was working as a teller and became quite friendly with an elderly man. He was in his late eighties in 1978.

I was told he was given the bear by a little girl that he met on a train near San Francisco CA, in about 1950. He wanted me to have the bear for my first born.
He is 8 inches tall, his arms and legs move independently, he has a leather collar with small metal fastener, glass eyes, the stitching on his nose, mouth and paws is in excellent condition. The only damage I see is a tiny tear on the top of his right hip.

His stuffing feels "crunchy", his head turns, the pads of his paws and feet feel like velvet. One ear likes to stand up and the other likes to lay back. I hope you can tell me where he was made, how old he might be and what he might be worth.
Kind Regards,
Kathi
Hi Kathi,
You were given a very sweet teddy bear! He dates to the 1940s and was imported from Japan. You have the early version, right after the war when they really expanded their production. Several firms were involved, but the most notable is Kamar. His fur is a plush with velveteen pads and insert muzzle. Funny, we have one like yours with a leather collar as well! Ours has a darker collar with a gold rivet as well holding it in place. The cardboard inserted into the foot pads allow him to stand. This over sewing of the claws onto the pads is one of their characteristics, with four claws. The vertically stitched nose is perfectly formed and inverted Y mouth complete his charming face. The eyes are amber glass with black pupils. This was before the safety laws took effect. He is stuffed with excelsior and is five-way jointed. The size of 8" is considered doll sized. The condition is excellent, aside from needing a few stitches to the leg joint. He may have had a squeaker in his tummy area. Value today along with your provenance, would put him at $95.00.
I consider this one of their finest bears.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,

No matter how I search it, I cannot find a similar one to even know the proper name to research. If feels like it is filled with straw or sawdust. It is firm and a bit crunch. I am not sure if it is mohair or synthetic material. The face seems to be porcelain and not rubber. When I tap on the face it has the same high tone as a dish. There are no tags, ear button holes or chest thread. The paw pads appear to be felt. The nose stitching is horizontal. Looking forward to your opinion. Jen

Hi Jen,
You have what is called a teddy doll, made popular back in 1908, to appeal to little girls. The teddy bear was originally made for boys as witnessed in "Little Teddy's Prayer", circa 1906-07. The girls loved him too, with the manufactures making teddy muffs, teddy bear coats and Teddy dolls. Yours is done by a very talented artist, and dates to the 1980s. The fabric is plush, with a porcelain head on one side and a bears head on the corresponding side. The American bear manufactures in 1909 did a mohair muff, with a similar style, however the bears head was more on the top of the dolls head, almost like a hat! The doll's face was celluloid. Original older pieces are rather rare to find today. I am glad they used the excelsior for stuffing, as the poly fill is very lightweight and causes the doll head to almost out weigh the bear head. The shoe button eyes are similar to the original bears, as is the cord nose done in a horizontal stitch. They share the Teddy ears.. so better to hear! At 16", this is larger than most. Incidentally, the heads for the American doll/bear companies were mostly imported from Germany. Because of its uniqueness and quality, the value would be $250.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,
I would appreciate your appraisal of this bear I purchased in a store in the 1990's. It is 42" tall and has a tag on the ear and in the back. I believe it is
called Spanky
Thank you,
John

 

H John,
Your bear is a Collector's Classic by Gund usually included all the plush materials and they are washable! At 42", Spanky is a very large version, almost called studio sized.

Gund was a classic American company, incorporated in 1910 with Adolf Gund in NY. He was born in Germany and took up residence in CT, then NY City. The original firm was founded in 1898, in Norwalk under the toy and novelty business. Jacob Swedlin immigrated from Russia and found a job within the company. He eventually was given the reigns to continue when Adolf retired in 1925. His family continued this adventure, and Gund flourished. Today, they have an office in Edison NJ, England, two in China and Korea. All of the bears are imported now. Now, back to Spanky. His condition is excellent and white is rare, along with the size. The open mouth is also more intricate. To a Gund collector he should be valued $250.00 and up.
Brenda

Good evening Brenda,

I purchased this teddy bear from an auction over a year ago and has been nicely tucked away since. He's just under 11" tall, appears to be missing pads exposing what appears to be excelsior and has tears at the joints exposing the metal parts.

I believe he's from the early 1900's pre 1920's. I'm excited to have you shed some light on this lovely mysterious bear and tell me about its origins.
Thank you.
Jesus

 

 

Hi Jesus,
Your excellent teddy bear is German and most probably is from the firm of Fleiscmann & Bloedel. They were founded in 1873 with exports going to France, toward the doll industry.

When this industry experienced trouble, Joseph Berlin took reign in 1905 and they established a teddy bear line. Centered in Nuremberg, one of the toy capitals of Germany, they closely followed the Steiff example. With expert care given to the shaping and life-like bear qualities. They succeeded in being competitors of the famous Giengen company. Your mohair example has shoe button eyes, excelsior stuffing and an air of refinement with the nose and mouth stitching.
It dates to 1911, with the Michu trademark being adopted in 1914. The damaged wool felt paws could be easily restored. The most important feature to any bear is the face. The long arms are also
an indication of early production.
Value for your 11" charmer is $1,000.00   Enjoy his lineage!
Brenda

Miss Brenda,
My wife and I would like some info on this bear. We named him Mr. Tatters; for obvious reasons. We picked him up in a bin, at a shop in town. This little guy is 7" tall and he appears to be Mohair.
He is stuffed with a soft but firm. His eyes are a wooden kind of button with what appears to be felt circles behind them. The stitching is quite primitive which originally led me to believe he was hand made. But after some research I no longer hold that opinion.
His ears appear to be attached by stitch as does his head. He is not jointed. I know he is in rough shape and for me, that's part of his appeal! I am SUPER excited to get some information on this little guy.
Best Regards,
Kelli
Hi Kelli,
Congratulations on the great hunting trip to the local store! You did well. Your small teddy bear is from the American company called Character Novelty Co. They were established in 1945 in Norwalk, CT. After WW II, the production of teddy bears was increased and sold to all the major department stores which included Bloomingdales!
They also had a showroom in NY, to help with advertising. Your little guy is unjointed, a common trend, as these were called crib toys because they were soft enough to lay on without the hard cardboard discs poking a child. The visible over stitched seams became trademarks for a few firms such as Character and Gund. Character had felt circles under the black button eyes, with an inverted T shaped mouth under the black cord nose. Most often, the mouth included a red felt tongue, which seems to be missing in your example. No pads or claws, shortened production time so more could be made. Your bear became quite famous in 1957, when Elvis Presley recorded, "Let me be your Teddy Bear!" It so happens, a Character bear appeared on the record jacket as Elvis held his teddy bear. The company continued until 1983 and closed with the final partner's death. It is worn and that means it was well loved. Value today for your Teddy would be around $60.00. Brenda
Hi Brenda,
I got this bear when my mother passed and I'm not sure what the value was on this bear. I do know he is hard to find. What ever you may be able to tell me on this guy I would appreciate. He is Captain Smokey by Terry and Doris Michaud. The larger bear is 18” tall and the small bear is 9” tall.
They are both 5-way jointed and both have a tag on the foot.
This bear was one of a series. There are no tags identifying the material used, but I would consider them plush. The arms are seamed on the large bear for a bend so it can hold the smaller one.
The jacket and hat are a felt-type material. The pads on the bears are a fuzzy felt and the bodies are a slight more plush. The material feels different than that of a Steiff bear. There is a slight hump at the top of the back. Eyes are glass. I wished I could find the picture of the series.
Thanks, Sharon
Hi Sharon,
The hand made bears by Doris and Terry Michaud are adorable. They were some of the first designers for the artist teddy bear world, and made a quality product. I believe you are correct to say the material used was plush fur and felt. Captain Smoky O'Bearn was one of the limited edition series they made in their Chesaning MI home workshop known as Carousel Bears. For those who collect artist pieces, prices have fluctuated over the last decade. Mohair always commands a higher return as opposed to plush. This pair would have a particular appeal for firefighters or Smokey Bear collectors. Handmade in America, they are firmly stuffed with polyfill, have glass eyes and unique. Depending on supply and demand, today's market value would be around $150.00.
Brenda

Dear Brenda,

This is what I can tell you about the dog- he appears to be made of genuine fur and genuine leather. He has a small 1" place where his seam is separated beneath him, and examining underneath it, it sure does appear to be the genuine hide of an animal that is sewn together to make him. I have photographed the material that he is stuffed with for your review. The ears are also leather and genuine fir. I am guessing shearling. He is is magnificent condition for an older stuffed animal, but you can tell he is aging and the leather or material he is made out of is drying. His head spins, not all the way around but almost, in each direction. Both eyes and his nose are intact. The nostril appears to have a bit of red paint or coloration. The eyes appear to be some form of glass or plastic or Bakelite with black metal discs over them. I can find no button in his ear indicating Steiff. He is approximately 22" in length. I'm so, so, so grateful for any help that you can give me with identifying the age, possible maker, and approximate real value of this item. So excited to receive your input.
Sincerely,
John

Hi John,
     Your real fur dog is a large one!  At one time, we bought a fire place dog, covered in real fur with a papier mâché base. Little did we know that it was a tribute to a real life dog...preserved forever..by a master who missed his companion!  So, your toy is made from a curly haired animal..possibly a sheep. Australia is known for their real fur teddies, namely for the koala. Thank goodness this practice today is replaced by real fiber, not fur!  It looks to be English, with the composition nose and red glassine eyes. The red accent on the nostrils, is more life like. These animals were common in the 1930-40s. Rabbit fur was widely used, along with all the mink accessories. Japan also adopted this fur fabric in the 1950s. The problem with the leather backing is the drying, as you mentioned. When the base is wood or paper mâché, glue can be used to hold it together. Sewing into fur is impossible. You may try a drop of glue to see if this helps. Keep away from direct light. Value for your woolie dog is $225.00.  Brenda

Dear Brenda,

We found these 2 old bears at a local estate sale and needed a good home,

Bear 1: The red bear is about 17" tall, hard straw filled, glass eyes, and smells old. He is in good condition save for his leg is semi hanging on. Hump back, long arms and legs, so cute!
Bear 2: is about 20" overall in very good condition, a dark honey color with a hump back, glass eyes, may have a growler that does not work, straw filled too. He too is a keeper. Smells old too.
The sale we purchased them from, the woman was hoarder and had oodles of old, antique toys, with several dapple gray horses, to toys cap guns.. the was packed to the hilt, took 4 sales to complete.
We are looking forward to knowing about our new family members.
Rob and Dee

Hi Rob and Dee,
Glad you rescued them from their cramped environment. They are what we call reproductions, made to resemble older teddies. Their place of birth most likely was European, during to the 1980s and 90s. During this era, antique and even vintage teddies were at record high prices. So, talented artists decided they could replicate this look with newly created works at a modest cost. We all collected these pieces at one time. They used older silk plush fabric, excelsior for the stuffing, glass eyes or shoe buttons, and made some of the joints loose to contribute to the age effect. The muzzle was sometimes shaven or the fur was plucked for age spots. The cording for the nose was also aged in the larger bear, while the red bear sports a completed muzzle. Most all have a resin type pad as opposed to the original felt ones. They both have an interesting presence!  The red bear would be valued at $75.00, while the 20" gold bruin would have a $200.00 value. Try airing them outside in the sun during a warm day, to remove the musty odor. It may take a few outings! 
Brenda
Hi Brenda,
I recently acquired this bear. I have been an Antique doll dealer for years, but know very little about old bears. I bought him from an elderly lady who was selling her antique dolls and bears in one lot. He looks special to me. I hope you can tell me who he is. He is 13" tall, is mohair and the pictures make him look silver, but is actually more of light gold color. He is jointed at the arms, legs and neck. 5 claws on each pad, both paws and feet. His nose is stitched horizontally with brown thread. He has glass eyes, a hump and a growler that still works, sort of. His pads are felt. His left ear has a small area where it is unstitched from the head. He feels slightly "crunchy" when squeezed.
Elaine
Hi Elaine,
Your bear is wonderful and an early one! He is American, most probably Ideal with the horizontally stitched nose. There is another company called Hecla, that also made early quality teddies, but those noses were vertical. The brown cord was interchangeable with a black cord. The five claws were those early years and then they went to four. Also, the glass eyes were used after shoe buttons. These possibly could have been replaced, from the visible attachment in the back of the head. The mention of early, refers to 1907 the boom year of Teddy bears. He is in excellent condition with slight thinning of the mohair in a few areas. Ideal started their factory in 1907 and it continued for decades.
At 13", he is considered a medium sized bear. This size, along with the 10" doll size make great companions to dolls. Five way jointed and excelsior stuffed, his growler allows a voice to be heard! Value for your Ideal bear would be $2,500.00 today.
Brenda

Greetings Brenda,

Here is a photo of Mr. Pike who is 16" tall.  He was given to a caregiver after his death, she has passed away and her husband wanted him to go to a good family. The gentlemen received the bear when he was a child.  He served on a navy ship in 1922. He was a Seaman 2nd class. He has 4 yarns on each paw pad. A small felt piece under his stitched nose.  No squeak box. Feels like he has double cardboard discs in his arms but not legs. Cuffed ears.
Mary

Hi Mary,
What a remarkable story of treasured Mr. Pike and his legacy. He comes with his own great gene poll, from Germany as a 1907 Steiff. He sports the center seam, which was given to the 7th bear in the production line. This was done to conserve the mohair and make use of each inch and it makes the bear more valuable as well. They say this look of the center seam, gives it a wider facial expression. His eyes are shoe buttons and the nose was built up for the final cord stitching with a piece of wool felt. This technique was done on many of their bears. The stuffing is excelsior and some has settled causing the fabric to fold in spots. His pads were wool felt with the four claw cord that was also used for his nose and mouth. You are right, the joints are cardboard. Since Teddy bears were made for boys originally it was a perfect toy for Mr. Pike's owner! Record all the information about the owners you were given and keep as provenance. The tummy did encase the squeaker but with time air gets into the device and it cannot produce sound. He would have had a button is his ear and tag at birth. Love the fact his owner had time as a seaman in the Navy during the time Teddy Roosevelt was Secy. of the Navy. All in all, a great antique bear and over 100 years old and that is still standing! Value today would $750.00. He needs some TLC, with added stuffing and a careful cleaning. Years from now, his life continues!
Enjoy your treasure, Brenda

Hello,
These three small mohair animals; I know very little about the maker, having purchased the animal new, in a set of six (Cat, Cow, Donkey, Leopard, Rhino and Monkey) in the late 1970's.
They were purchased at that time for my son, who enjoyed them very much, which is why today only the Rhino, Leopard and Donkey remain.
With Warm Regards,
Rose

Hi Rose,
     You certainly purchased very good quality toys for your son! The Suzy Quality tags with the panda bear trademark were imported to this country for the International Toy Co. out of NY. They were from Suzy-Spielwaren GmbH & Co., located in Germany. They relocated in 1998 to Nuremberg, after the Berlin Wall came down. The materials used were consistent with all the great stuffed animals, similar to Steiff. The fabric is mohair, the stuffing is labeled wood wool, which is also called excelsior. I believe the eyes are plastic, conforming to the safety standards. Their condition is excellent, a plus for the almost vintage category of toys. I can imagine the delight these little animals brought to your son! I would value the leopard and rhino at $50.00, and the donkey at $65.00. They make a great presentation and are adorable!  Brenda

Hi Brenda,

These two bears belonged to my mother who passed away at the age of 89 last year. She said these were from the person she knew as her grandfather, but honestly I don't know much about them.  The largest bear is 27 inches long, The baby bear is 17" long. They are in fairly rough condition and have a musty odor to them. I've never tried to clean them.

Thank you for your help identifying them,

Raeanne

Hi Raeanne,
You have a nice bit of Americana from the 1940s, with this large Gund bear! It was called the four circle model, made in cotton plush and stuffed with kapok (cotton). The name refers to the contrasting pads, and yours also has the ears (front and back) with colors to match the backgrounds. The sewn muzzle with top stitching, matches the technique used on all the seams. The googly eyes are missing, a common predicament. They were merely attached to metal rivets, which were forced into the socket. These came before the child safety laws! Overall, the condition is good. He would have had a tag sewn into the side seam, made of cloth. Before the 1940s, most of the Gund Bears were not tagged. It has a hand sewn cord nose which distinguishes him from the later plastic noses. To air out the Teddy, try direct sunlight for a few hours. Zorbx, is a spray used for removing odors (instead of masking them). This could also be successful for you to try. Keep outside in the fresh air and sun for drying. This is a vintage piece, not antique. Value for the 27" bear would be $85.00.

The smaller, 17" Teddy bear seems to be a companion to the larger one! Maybe, it could be referred to as the baby, even though it is a good size for a bear. Unjointed, this was referred to as a huggable. Gund Manufacturing Co. had a factory in NY City during this production. They were made here In the USA. It dates to the 1940s, as exemplified by the sewn nose and mouth. All seams were done in the overstitch method. It also has the sewn in muzzle, of contrasting fabric. Referred to as the four circle bears, these were distributed to local stores. The eyes were googly, made of a plastic with tin attachments that were inserted into the bear. These were not child safe. Today, this bear would carry a value of $65.00. If you find any pictures of Mom with these teddies, or other relative, this would qualify for provenance and increase the value!
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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