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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.

Hello Brenda,
This bear is 4 1/2" tall and wearing the original Swiss outfit made of felt.
He has a rubber body and head and had a white shirt that has yellowed with age. I haven't seen any markings on him. Nothing on the bottom of his plastic black boots which were painted to his body and are not separate pieces. He appears to be in great shape except his head wobbles and there is a small hole on his right hand. My parents were in Switzerland in 1970 and bought this before I was born. I call him "Mr. Smiley" because his outstretched hands look like he wants to give me a big bear hug.
And looking at his funny face, squinty eyes, seeing his big smile and of course those protruding ears, always makes me laugh! For such a small teddy bear, he really makes an impact with his big charm! I now live in a very dry desert area and I'd like any recommendations on how to keep him safe! I plan on keeping him in a "glass shadow box" with a picture of my parents and a Swiss map in the background.  Thank you so much for your help!
Cheers, Nell
Hi Nell,
Sweet story of your little companion! He is actually a  hedgehog, made after the famous Mecki, a German comic character. He was originally created by Ferdinand Diehl, in the 1940s. A new decade, the 1950s, created a sensation with the TV Magazine of HORZU. There are clubs associated with Mecki fans, and a magazine called Stachelkoph, features his adventures. Steiff did a similar Mecki to yours, rubber in the early years, and later vinyl. Steiff was granted exclusive production rights in 1951. I think yours may be from the SAF factory, headquartered in Mittendorf, Austria or the Peter Mecki also made in Austria. These firms were active after WWII. He has mohair for the hair, and wool felt for the clothing, styled in a Swiss fashion. To keep him safe from the elements, a constant temperature is necessary with no extremes. He can live where you live, and possibly protected in a cabinet away from direct light. He has amazingly good character, as most of the rubber pieces show deterioration. Perhaps a cedar board under his feet would help keep the critters away from the felt. I am sure he had a tag once upon a time for ID. Value today is priceless for you with this provenance. An ordinary Mecki figure would be around $60.00 in the small size. Take a picture of you and Mr. Smiley, further adding to his heritage!
Hi Brenda,
This big bear is another auction find and he is 24" tall. He has had quite a few repairs; his left ear and he has a little plug in his right temple which was repairing a little hole. I did replace his pads because he literally had none left. I was afraid he would lose his wood shavings and loose the shape of his paws. He has glass eyes, a large cloth nose (with a tiny hole), and his original floss mouth. There are no indication that he ever had floss claws.
Thank you again.
Hi Lori,

Magnificent teddy that you won at auction! This is what is referred to as the "long torso" American bear. It seems he is firmly stuffed with a very wide neck joint, large shoulder blades (hump) on the back and another hump on his front to support his large head. The upturned hands and formed wrists are placed lower on the body. The feet are smaller but still have a defined ankle. You did a good job with covering the pads to protect the excelsior stuffing! The fabric nose is a typical American trait, to afford a simpler production. Glass amber eyes are sewn within the seam line. He dates to 1912, with a longer plush mohair. The hand finished seam for the body is located on the back. His ears are cupped to resemble the European models as well. While a definitive name cannot be used to further identify this teddy, we can discern the characteristics and draw a likely origin. His condition is good, and the value would be $700.00 for insurance purposes.

At 24", this is a large bear!  


Hi Brenda,
I would like to know the value and/make of my Teddy Bear. He belonged to my Mother who was a Antique Doll Collector her whole life and she occasionally picked up other toys. This little guy was in one of her cabinets, displayed with her dolls. He measures 13" tall, has embroidered nose, mouth, and toes on all four paws. Glass eyes. His arms and legs are on discs which make him able to pose. He was well loved, and his head is loose. I left the thread hanging out the back to show you.
I haven't tried to repair it yet. His head swivels and there is a mounting disc there, too. Small hump on his back. Long bent front paws. Firmly stuffed. That's about all I can tell you. I know my Mom probably brought him home because of his sweet face. Thanks for any information you can give me.
Hi Nancy,
Your mother's bear is indeed a Steiff, dating to the early years. It would have had a blank button at one point in time, dating it to 1907. It is mohair, with excelsior stuffing and shoe button eyes. I think the thread you see on the back may have been from someone adjusting the eyes many years ago. It is possible that they were repositioned at this time. This 13" size indicated a horizontal nose with black cord, complete with the outer outline and extension for the mouth. It should have had a squeaker in the tummy, but by now, most are not operating. It was made in the common gold color and has some amount of wear. Not bad for an antique!  Steiff was a cornerstone for all other companies. In fact, the other makers competed heavily with this German toy. Even though this is not the 10" doll sized teddy, it works out well with all dolls. The noticeable turn in the hands and feet are characteristics that only age can dictate. Value today for your inherited teddy would be around $700.00. The markets are a still a bit down, with only the rare and mint commanding top dollar. Pictures of your mom with her bear could add to the value with provenance.  Brenda 
Dear Brenda
This bear was sold to me as a 1930's JK Farnell bear. He measures 27 inches tall, retains 100% of his long gold mohair, has two-tone amber glass eyes, original rexine paw pads, original vertical stitched nose and five claw stitching on paws, excellent joints, poly stuffed throughout. There is no noisemaker that I can detect, and a small "Made in England" patch sewn on his left foot. Although the paw pads show wear, there are no holes, rips, or tears and appears the "crackle" look is simply surface related to the fabric. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
David Weaver
Hi David,
Wow, another great bear to add to your collection! Yes, they tagged it correctly with the description. Farnell is a notable English firm, with the most impressionable Winnie the Pooh. However, over the years they were marketing a variety of styles equally deserving. Being the early British maker they sustained for many lucrative years. Your bear is a prime example of their high quality products. This Teddy Series, circa 1930s, was meant to regain a part of the market hurt from the economics of that era. As they introduced this elite model, they also appealed to the those who wanted a less expensive model. Most often the identification on the left foot was sewn in a vertical fashion as opposed to the horizontal reading. Oilcloth or rexine pads usually always shows wear in comparison to the wool felt of the early bears. The highlight of this bear is the superb quality of mohair that seems to still glisten. This was their largest option, making it the "Star"! The webbed design on the hands was used until the 1930s. Then they went to the over stitch claws, just as yours indicates. The tagged foot was generally a blue and white printed label, with Farnell's Alpha Toys printed above the "Made in England". They were sewn onto the pad with machine stitching. It seems your Teddy has red printing, with a few hand stitches for adherence. Value is steep today, as it was over 80 years ago. He should be insured for $4,000.00. Great presence! Brenda
Hi Brenda, I would love any information you could share about this adorable bear. His head is jointed and moves right to left but his arms and legs are not. My brother bought it years ago from an antique dealer but I do not know who that was. He was told it is a Steiff bear. He is 16" tall when standing, one leg seems to be stretched out a little but is still attached and not torn. He only has 3 claws on his feet and none on his arms.
His arms seem a little long and he has an open mouth with a red felt tongue and a little stain. His mouth and ears have a dark outline around them in mocha color while one ear that the stitching is coming undone. Other than the few things mentioned he seems to be in good condition. I believe his eyes are plastic and his nose stitched with black thread. He is not real soft and cuddly, more hard and stiff, not overly stuffed. His pads on his feet are hard, almost as if there is a piece of cardboard under the felt, tops of feet are padded. There are no tags. I can feel the wire in his arms if I squish them, not so much in his legs, they seem to be a little more stuffed. His hair is long except around his muzzle, ears, feet and pads on his arms. Hope I gave you enough information to figure out where this little guy came from.
Kind Regards,
Hi Kari,
Your treasured bear comes from Germany, like the Steiff Co., but it has other origins and an interesting heritage! He is from the Anker Plush Factory Gmb.H, located in Munich originally. They have roots from the famous Johann Hermann successors. Ernst Baumler bought the remaining stock of plush, machines and patterns from this firm in 1954. At that time the trademark was a teddy bear with an anchor. Two years later, it changed to a lion and an anchor, done in a blue and white cardboard, and hung from the ribbon around his neck. This particular teddy is wire jointed (moveable without joints), has cardboard under the fabric for standing, is stuffed with excelsior, and has the open mouth and tongue. The name given to this teddy is Puck, the dancing bear. His claws on the feet are air brushed, sewn cord nose and plastic eyes. Dating to the 1960s, the longer mohair and the air brushed ear outline are in perfect condition! This vintage bear may have had a plastic collar around the neck, ribbon or a chain from the nose to resemble the European real bears early in his life. The longer arms, bent in the downward position also signified a playful, gentle style after the war. In 1970, the distribution changed to Nuremberg, through the Schuco firm. Final phases came in 1976, with closure. Value for your Series 9 Teddy from Anker is $250.00.
Greetings Brenda, I rescued this bears from our local transfer station (dump) and thought it was not going to go in the trash dumpster. It is 18" long, can be posed, short hair. Not sure if the eyes are glass or plastic. When you look at the face front on it looks like he took a knock-out punch to his left side of his snout and also hard to see in photo, but the left lip line is at a 45 degree angle down. This is about all the information I know about him.
Thank You ever so much, Bradford
Hi Bradford,
Thanks for saving a piece of the past by your rescue! This wool teddy bear is from mainland China, and dates to the 1970s. He is almost vintage at the coming age of 50! Shanghai Dolls Factory or "SDF" as exhibited by their cardboard tags hung from the center seam of the chest; originally had glass eyes, stitched or rubber noses and claws. Yours, dating to the safety eye law, are plastic for child play. Forming after WWII, they were one of the first factories from Asia. What is admirable about these bears is the natural fabric of wool. A recent study credited the wool factor to increase endorphins and as a result had a calming effect. No wonder sheep are so happy! His mishap with the torn jaw must have been a tout from an interested puppy. This could be easily repaired and sewn back together. The nose threading could be gently coaxed to cover the parts that seem to be exposed with a small needle. He is a "natural", and mint aside from the jaw area. Value for your rescue is priceless I know, but in the market place he would be valued around $70.00. Brenda

Hello Brenda,
This mohair bear measures 19” from top of head to toe He is in a colour I can best describe as light blonde or champagne -- the pictures show him a
little darker than in real life. I have attached a picture of my
previously evaluated light caramel brown bear for color comparison. He has glass eyes and is filled with wood excelsior with a prominent hump on his back. His head droops forward slightly when sitting. He is jointed at neck, arms and legs.

There is a front seam down his belly and down the arms and legs at the back side. There are two seams forming a “V” on the back of the head. He has a fairly prominent muzzle with black wool sewn nose and mouth. There are no claws sewn on
hands or feet and there are no identifying tags or markings.

The condition of this bear is excellent – other than a repair needed to a small tear on the left shoulder -- and he is very clean.

Hi Penny,
Enjoyed your pictures and thank you for the background of acquiring this teddy bear. It appears to be done in the style of the older bears, but I think it is an artist's reproduction. The mohair is mint, and glistens in the photos. At 19", this is considered a large bear. From the design, it must have been a unique original pattern created by the artist. This speaks for the no claws, long narrow feet, large hump on the back, long arms as the early bears, and the unique hand stitched nose and mouth. The head is also large, and with the excelsior stuffing, makes it hearvy and it sags. Artists are so talented today! The eyes are red glass, and the felt pads are wool. From the age, it could be one of the early creations dating to the 1980s. Appraising through pictures is feasible, but the best are always a "hand's on" approach. The bears aroma, stitching observed, and general countenance help with history. Stuffing these bears is a job in itself. Many an artist suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome, with this extensive effort. Completed in the style of the older bears, the history of yours can be further enhanced with your care and documentation. Value today for well accomplished teddy would be $250.00. Brenda
Hi Brenda,
I bought this bear at a garage sale, thinking he looked fairly old and interesting. He is 13” tall, I suspect he is made out of mohair. He has a partial fabric tag on his bottom that says LE. He is very firmly stuffed, with velvet paws in very good condition. It has a muzzle, and thick cord for stitching on the nose and mouth. I think the eyes are glass, they seem flatter than today’s toy eyes. His paws are quite pointy, the foot pads fairly round. There is a small amount of loss of fur on the tummy, and at the seams of the ears. His head is quite round. There is no stitching for claws and he has no tail. There seems to be an object palpable in the body, perhaps it used to make a noise? Thank you for your help!
Hi Elizabeth,
You found an interesting bear at the garage sale! We really have become dependent on tags, buttons and signatures to help us identify the teddies of yesteryear. Your partial tag counts, and supplies some heritage to this dear fellow. The original manufacturer is Lefray Ltd., a company formed in 1948, after WWII. They were based near London for almost 12 years. Later the factory moved to Hertfordhsire, which had all the newest equipment and was larger. However, they later moved to Wales and added another soft toy industry--Real Soft Toys. They received the license to produce Rupert Bear in 1990. So their legacy continues. Yours dates from the 1950s, is mohair with cotton stuffing. The eyes are glass, with hand stitched cord nose and mouth, and no claws. The hygienic toys, meant they used all new materials for construction. The red/white/blue lettering appeared as alphabet blocks, and Made in England completed the tag. He is five way jointed, and had a squeaker. The contrasting pads were common. Today, with his mint condition and part of his ID, his value would be $150.00. Enjoy,
Hi Brenda

I was hoping you can solve the mystery of two of my favorite buddies. I won them both from  auctions. I have no past history on either of them.

Thank you so much,

I really thought the mohair cat was a Steiff cat when I placed my bids.   When I got him home, I spent hours trying to research him.  I found nothing.  There were many similar to him but none had the same glass eyes.  I was hoping you could identify him for me.
He is fairly large, 7" standing to the tips of his ears, 12" long, stretched out laying on his tummy (not including his tail). He has most of his mohair with a few worn spots.  The worst of this is on his tail.  The excelsior in the tail has broke down in a number of places.  The poor thing looks like he got his tail caught in a door a couple of times in his lifetime.

My handsome bear is 15 1/2" tall.  He must of been much loved.  He has lots of wear evenly throughout.  He has a floss nose and floss claws.  I am not sure they are original to him.  His shoe button eyes were glued on him when I originally received him.  This bothered me, so I did very carefully picked them lose and sewed them back on and anchored them back on to the back of the head.  I did get most of the glue off of the eyes and used the same eyes because I thought they might be his originals. He has a large hump on his back.  His arms and legs are still attached firmly.  His head is a little lose.

Your cat is somewhat wild today, compared to the domestic breed it was meant to be. Yes, it is a Steiff, called "Kitty". The eyes have been replaced from the green glass originals, and this is what changes his appearance. He is more of a lynx or leopard with the bulbous yellow eyes and felt shaped ovals for their backing. Although Steiff did have yellow eyes for the two cats I mentioned, they were not backed by felt. The air brushed black striping is quite vivid on the back, with the ears left plain. He dates to the 1930s, with this same design going into the 50s. The red claws and apricot cord nose were used appropriately on various sizes of this style cat. He is stuffed with excelsior, and usually they had a voice box in the underbelly. Mint, he would have had his button and tag, cardboard chest tag, and original eyes. The tail could be repaired with stuffing to maintain his look, even though his tail tip has been made furless. The value is affected by these missing elements, but with proper eyes he would be valued at $150.00. Your teddy bear is an antique teddy, dating to around 1910. You did a great job by removing the glue that held the shoe button eyes in place. I think these are a bit too flat and large for this size bear. Sewn outside the head seam, they simulate the Imported German bears. I think he is an unidentified American bear with the over stitched seams and pads. The extra seam in the middle is a first for me. Almost like four squares, and not exactly matched seam wise. Notice the seam down the center of the left leg, it too is a bit off. The large hump on the back is exaggerated by the loss of excelsior in the front neck area. That is why his heads droops. We should be so lucky to look this good at over a hundred years of age! The claws have a particular trait, most attributed to English makers like Merrythought and early Farnell. However, I think these have been reworked as well as the nose stitching. Someone used artistic license to give teddy a fresh look. The pads and mohair are in good condition, giving him a noticeable presence. He is also hand closed from the back, another American characteristic. Value for your Teddy would be $250.00. Brenda
Hi Brenda,
I hope you can give me some information on my teddy bear. I know he is very old because he was my grandmother’s. She had him for many years, and then gave him to me about 40 years ago. I know he is mohair, has metal in his arms, and is 23" tall. His eyes are black pupil and bronze or brown around the outside. His paws have 3 distinctive toes, not just solid round paws. I THINK the family history goes back further than the 1950’s, I could be wrong, but I think it does. He is in perfect condition. Thanking you in advance for your help.
Hi Sandy,
It seems your dearly beloved teddy bear has a great provenance with your family!
He is unjointed, a method used to help simplify production and make him huggable. I think he belongs to the 1970s era, with a similar piece done by Applause (a Division of Knickerbocker) in the popular Snoopy stuffed dog. The Pom-Pom nose, and floppy arms and legs are common characteristics. Since Applause got their start in 1983 with Wallace Berrie, your Ted could be from Aux Nations Co., France. They started in 1964-65, and had Ricardo Chiavetta as a designer. Later ties reveal that Wallace Berrie obtained their marketing rights in 1982, and called the line Avanti. You mentioned it is mohair, but I think he looks to be a plush with plastic eyes. The real-look paws, with three sections, are also plush. He is what we call a collectible. Any pictures you have of grandma and teddy or other family members holding teddy, creates his story which adds value and fulfills the provenance. A continuation of his keeping will add further chapters to his book. The original stuffed toys are quite desirable because of their appeal and a bears' popularity. Value today for your large teddy is priceless, but on the market it would bring $50-$75.00
Hi Brenda,
I found this old guy at a rummage store and knew he had to be old. I think maybe early 1900's. He's around 13" tall when standing and has articulated joints. He seems to be filled with wood shavings as is noticed on his top paws where it's poking through the felt pads in a couple of small openings. His feet pads are intact with no wear. He has some minor fur bald spots but is overall in really good shape.  There are no markings on him, no tags, no metal button in his ear etc. His eyes feel like glass and his nose stitching well worn. He does seem to have a metal box in his body which I'm assuming is a growler because when I tap on his chest it sounds like springs vibrating. His fur is definitely light brown/tan. I was wondering if you could help me identify.
Thanks so much, Steve

Hi Steve,
You found an original Steiff from the 1950s, with the excelsior stuffing they used for many years before and after this period. The only discerning feature pointing away from this German company are the reddish glass eyes. I am thinking this was just a photographic misread. The arms are longer and simulate the teddy made from the 1920s. However, at this time they used a horizontal nose on bears under 14". The squeaker was common, with an enclosed mechanism that often is not working due to the air seal breakage. He is quality but the collectors today like their 50s pieces to be mint with button, tag, and chest tag. He was greatly loved due to the mohair loss and nose cord loss. With any teddy bear, the face holds a great deal of the value. Notice his stature, well defined feet and wool felt pads. They could be easily plugged to contain the stuffing. Value for your "vintage teddy", would be $85.00. Markets are down, aside from the rare and mint. Hopefully, we will have some bounce in time. Keep on the look out for teddy adoptions!


Hello Brenda,

My Mother has 2 teddy bears that she would like more information on. The first, Cinnamon (brown), was a gift from her father 68 years ago. The bear is about 17 inches tall and from 1949?

The second bear (silvery grey) was "found" around 50 years ago. Fuzzy-wuzzy is 13 - 13 1/2 inches tall. Both bears were acquired in Chicago.
T hank you.
Hi Heather,
Perhaps this bear was purchased at the FAO Schwartz store in Chicago! Provenance adds to value, and if there are any pictures of your mom and teddy as a child, this creates the story. At 17", he is a larger bear than most. He too is American, and resembles the toys created by Knickerbocker. The inset muzzle, done in a different shorter mohair, brings emphasis to his snout. The vertically stitched black nose and glass eyes were also their traits. Notice how the eyes are placed fairly wide apart. This very long brown mohair was a popular choice for many of the bears, and carries a realistic fur. The jointed limbs encourage play as well as hugs. The pads are wool felt. He dates to the 1940s, well before the safety glass eyes were the law. He is in very pristine condition and is quite a charmer. Value today would be $350.00. If you can add to this provenance, the value would increase!
Hi Heather,
Darling little bear who has no sight, smelling or tasting opportunities! He is most fuzzy, with the longer mohair done in almost black mohair. The over stitched pads along with no noticeable hump on the back point towards the American side. I think his eyes would have been a red glass with wire shanks that we merely pushed into the safety laws back then! The nose would have a simple horizontal stitch, perhaps done in a salmon color to contrast with the silver grey mohair. It mostly points to an early Gund, with the shaved muzzle and ears still perfectly intact. Gund is still operational today, after being established in 1898. Adolf Gund came to America, formed his toy factory and started making teddy bears in 1906. He hired a Russian immigrant, Jacob Swedlin, who moved from basic caretaker, to designer and eventually owner, after Mr. Gund retired in 1925. A descendant of the Swedlin family still is involved in the business, however the teddy bears are now imported. He dates to the early years, around 1930. Black bears were first introduced in 1912, to mourn the loss of the Titanic. Every shop displayed them in their windows, as a uniting force. However, they scared children, so this color was phased out of the toy world's ads. Today, the black bears are somewhat rare. With sight restored and a slight nose and mouth added, he would be much happier! The mohair is in great condition, and the value as is today would be $200.00.
Hi Brenda,

I found this bear in a local thrift store. I know he is a Steiff as for the ear button. He measures is 11" in height, lost an eye but I do have a replacement one for him! He has a voice box but it is not working. I would love to know more about him and his value.

Thank you,

Hi Paulette,
Lucky you for such a good eye and knowledge to adopt this teddy bear! He is from the Steiff early years, 1907-09, with the underscored trailing ff button. Amazingly, the condition of the mohair is very good and probably only needs a slightly damp terry cloth to restore the luster of years past. The shoe button eyes were the first ones used, and later the brown painted glass eyes were staples. Glad you can replace the eye and have it sewn into the socket for this great looking teddy. The wool pads could use some plugs, using a the same color to blend and make the excelsior again under wraps. At 11", this teddy was just a tad bit larger than the doll-size 10" model. He had a short play life, as evidenced from the general inspection which means it was mostly stored. Good for you to find him and now he can enjoy another hundred years unscathed. He is an antique! Values on the market have been somewhat down but we are hoping for an upward trend soon. Today, your Teddy would be valued at $2,500. Any provenance would increase this value, so start today by taking your picture with teddy for the future!

Hi Brenda,
I found this bear a few weeks ago at a three-generation farm house. I have scoured the Internet looking for something similar and have not been able to. I am usually pretty good. The bear is 14" tall. His arms and legs move his head does not. His eyes are shoe button eyes. He appears to have a tag that was taken off the back or it was repaired there as the stitching looks different. I look forward to finding out how old he is.
Thank you
Hi Shannon,
Your sweet little rescue teddy is American, and more modern than expected. The tag on his back would have revealed, Barely There, Inc. designed by the famous teddy bear maker, Linda Speigel-Lohre. She began her "cottage industry" of making teddy bears in 1976. She really was on the ground floor of this flourishing business. Her bears were sold at craft shows, teddy bear shows/shoppes and in gift shops. This unique design was one that launched her back into the market, after somewhat of a down spell. The hump back, full tummy, downward arms and bent legs were the new trademarks. She did the classic ones as well, but these had a human like quality that appealed to many. One of her bears in this design, "Spanky", made the cover of a noted teddy bear magazine. It is a plush material, with polyfill stuffing and shoe button eyes. Some of the other names in this category are "Gus," "Homer," and "Don't Shoot." These were made in 1980-90, and are collectible bears. Some had outfits, and in the early 90s were valued in the hundreds of dollars despite their $100.00 original price. Today, the markets are full of many collectibles, and not too kind with values. But, their charm and wit brings a smile and love conquers all! Your unique Bearly There creation would be valued under $100.00.

Greetings for the UK Brenda,

I came across this extremely ugly teddy bear who belonged to a German
lady, who has since passed away. He is 14" in length, and unfortunately has lost his growl. He has small glass eyes and a pig like nose showing two nostrils. His mouth which is the ugliest part of the bear is a red felt line, which I presume is meant to be his tongue. Both his arms and legs both rotate up and down and his head rocks backwards and forwards. His fur is somewhat warn, being light tan in colour. The ears are securely fixed.
Kind regards,

Hi Marion,
Your bear does come from Germany, most likely the Ernst Lieberman Co. of Neustadt,near Coburg. The story of their factory began with dolls and plush toys in 1894. They were very successful and hired more factory workers, as well as home workers (cottage industry). However, the onset of WWI forced Ernst to become a soldier, with his wife running the business. More tragedy struck with WWII, as American planes struck the area, and the elder LIebermann, his wife and 11 people lost their lives. Frank Lieberman was the new generation operating the reformed factory. Your bear dates from the late 50s to early 60s. They had several open mouth versions. The plastic nose and glass eyes mean it was made before the child safety laws took effect. The ears are stuffed and the three claws a classic trend for Germany. I think his body shot is like with the pink open mouth. Even more distracting are the ones with a solid red mouth. The mohair is in good condition, as are the wool felt pads. So your baby bear has quite a provenance.
Value would be $150.00.

Brenda I need your help to identify this lovely 18 inch high Teddy.

Bear feels like it has straw stuffing, he weights 3 LB:14 oz, has no tail. His most distinguished feature is a leader level in his back with a message saying: "TO BE TREAUSURED". No button on either ear. Light golden mohair, glass eyes, black stitched nose and mouth, no claws, swivel head. Jointed elongated limbs and arms. He has felt pads and clearly marked hump, some general thinning and a few bald spots.

Thank you,

Hi Alex,
Your "treasure" bear is an artist teddy bear, made similar to the cottage industry standards that existed in Germany. This happened here in America, as our artists were inspired and created their own designs and patterns. It has gorgeous large eyes, most likely glass, that are sewn into place. The mohair is long and dense, top quality. A cord nose is meticulously sewn, and the arms and legs have joints as well as the head. It is stuffed with excelsior, which gives the head and body great definition. Usually, artists do sign their pieces, just like paintings, for future benefit. Yours has a message, similar to Paddington's message of "Please look after this bear"! It probably dates to the 1990s, and is a collectible. The design is reminiscent of the Steiff bear "Happy Anniversary".
Your 18" Teddy would be valued at $175.00.

Hi Brenda,

My 1905, is a 24" Teddy with blonde mohair with vertical large nose with side lower stitching at both sides of the nostrils, nose, mouth, and claws are hand-stitched with black thread, a long muzzle ; large feet ; original felt pads, long thick curved arms, four claws on each paw and feet that are sewn two to each side of the center seam, metal disc joints, jointed five ways, cupped ears, shoe button eyes, a seam under his chin, no voice box, stuffed with woodwool (excelsior), and he/she has a hump back. I was told is a Early American Ideal Teddy from 1905?

Hi Laura,
     You do have an ideal bear...small letter i, although not the American Co.  Love your decorations around teddy and all his friends!  He is quite different, and my feeling is he is German, possibly from the Heinrich Schmuckler factory in Liegnitz.  The nose stitching is very unusual, and this is the only answer for that trait.  They were originally a doll factory founded in 1862. Teddy bears were advertised in 1911, with a catalog in 1920.  The trademark was Hesli. Back in the furor of 1906, and the demand for bears, many cottage industries (home sewers) were established to help fulfill the desire. This was mainly in Europe, as the German market had an established toy arena.  The excelsior stuffing (wood wool) was common for the dolls as well. He dates to the 1912 era, longer arms, formed feet, slight shoulder drop and humps both in front and back. His ears are quite large, and slightly cupped. Four claws were common on their products, along with the shoe button eyes sewn within the seam. At 24", he is a large bear with some wear. Value for your stoic bear would be $375.00. Brenda
Dear Brenda,
Theodore belonged to my uncle who was born in 1903. I’m not sure when he was purchased. He is 10” tall. His fur is quite thin and a very light honey color. He has no ear tag. His shoe button eyes appear to be original. His nose has horizontal stitching and although it appears to be original, I’m not sure it is because it is in such good condition. Paw pads are felt and in good condition; no claws. Head and legs all turn 360 degrees and I feel a thin disc in his body at each leg joint. I can also feel a circular object is his tummy but he doesn’t growl.
I would appreciate your information and appraisal.  Thanks, Nancy
Hi Nancy,
You sweet doll sized teddy bear has American traits, possibly Ideal Novelty and Toy Co. He is in good condition with wool covered pads, done in the pointed pattern design.
The ears are placed toward the the side of the head, indicating an early bear, along with the longer arms. His nose may have had a touch up through the years, although it does look to be original. The only wear seems to be on the back, meaning he spent some time laying in this position. The front seems to be in very good condition. He dates to the 1909 era, with the perky little muzzle. If you had a picture of your uncle with teddy that would raise his value and be called provenance. It was probably a squeaker in his tummy, but over time air gets into the mechanism and it stops working. Adorable little guy with a value of $250.00.

Today our markets remain at a lower rate, due to supply and demand. It seems only the vary rare items are holding their value. Hoping for an up trend!

Hello Brenda,

I would appreciate any information you can give me regarding this large teddy bear I recently rescued. I honestly don't know anything about teddy bears, but here is what I can tell you. It measures approximately 30" and has a plastic nose with an open mouth. There arms and legs are not jointed and the head does not move. It has a plastic collar, but unknown if original to the bear. The eyes are buttons with an orange plastic and black "googley eyes". Some lose stitching has allowed me to see it is stuffed with shredded fabric or cotton (different colors) but the back feels crunchy like it may also have straw or something similar.

Thank you for your time,

Hi Beth,
Your large sized teddy is in really good condition and appears to be associated with the American company, Gund. The plastic muzzle and plastic google eyes were part of their designs during the 1950s. They have quite a heritage with their original owner, Adolf Gund, who came here from Germany. He established the company in CT at first, in 1898 for novelties. Then, he moved to NY during the early 1900s. One of his dedicated workers, Jacob Swedlin, eventually took over the company in 1925, when Mr. Gund retired. Teddy bears were added in 1906 to their line and today are still produced, although they are imported. Members of the Swedlin family still operate the business! They are most know for their Cubbigund cuddle bear, very similar to your Teddy. Unjointed, vinyl muzzle, google eyes, plush fabric, and contrasting colored pads and ears are typical characteristics. The plastic collar is original and perhaps this was one of the "carnival bears" offered as a top prize at the fair! The stuffing may be foam rubber, mixed with "sub" for this large bear.
Value today would be $95.00, and he is vintage!

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.

How much is your beloved bear worth?

Ask Brenda Yenke


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