The Original Online Teddy Bear Magazine
Teddy Bear & Vintage Toy Appraisals
March 2022

Introduction . . .

 

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

 

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

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

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


Beary best,
Brenda Yenke
 

How much is your beloved bear worth?


Cursor down to discover the appraisal procedure.

Hello Brenda,
I purchased this bear on line. I thought he had a lovely friendly face. He is 20" tall and has a 6mm Steiff button, the person I bought him off thought he was dated about c1908 I think he looks a bit younger. He was described as having had open heart surgery as he has a large patch added to his chest. I would think it needs to be redone professionally as do the feet pads. At the moment he is filled with kapok in his legs and body which I don't think
is right, maybe you could let me know what you think as I would like to get him restored. He has a few other small issues but has lovely thick mohair and no bald patches especially on his face. I am not keen on the nose stitching as it looks to large and black, what shape nose do you think he would have had.
Thank you very much for your help.
Many thanks
Denise

Hi Denise,
Beautiful large Steiff teddy from the 1907-08 era. He has had restoration, which should help in his future preservation. The earliest teddy was a rod bear, very heavy and excelsior stuffed. To compliment this teddy their were a few cone nose teddies with kapok, making them soft stuffed and light. Yours is not that cone nose design though, so perhaps the restorer used a kapok or polyfill. The nose is meticulously sewn, in the typical Steiff fashion. It even follows the exact early spacing of the cord above the face seam. Later noses extended downward. The patched chest appears to blend nicely too. As far as the felt pads, they look very appropriate to me. There is some wear, but he is an antique. Value for your good condition 20” Steiff teddy would be $2,500.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,
This bear was in my wife’s father’s (George) family of 13 while growing up in NJ. When his brother passed in 2000 we were able to retrieve it along with a few other items. George moved to the house around 1924 and was the second youngest son (born 1923) of his siblings. Sadly
all siblings have passed on,
I wish the bear could talk probably had some great stories :). Hope the photos help, don’t know much of anything about stuffed bears.
Thanks Fred

Hi Fred,
What a great history for your family heirloom teddy! He appears to be American, from Gund Inc. Formed in 1898,
a German immigrant named Adolf Gund, formed a manufacturing company in Norwalk CT. His inventory included novelties, and stuffed toys. By, 1906, he added teddy bears and moved to NYC. Your teddy dates to the 1930s. At this time, Adolf retired and sold his business to a devoted Russian immigrant who worked along side him, and the business prospered. Jacob Swedlin eventually had several family members join in this new adventure. After his death
in 1976, the family continued at the helm with production shifting to Korea. Your teddy is mohair, has glass eyes, wool felt pads that are pointed, a slightly shaven muzzle with a horizontal cord nose and mouth extension. Five way jointed, your 11” early American teddy would have a value of $200.00 with provenance.
Brenda

Hello Brenda,
I was hoping you could help to identify the bear I just purchased. I purchased it at an Antique Shop on Cape Cod along with some other Steiffs which do have buttons. This one does not have a button but was labeled Steiff with a date of 1920’s. It is 11 inches from heel to head. All parts swivel and the belly crunches when squeezed.
Thank you so much!
Sharon

Hi Sharon,
Your newly purchased 11” teddy has many traits of the Steiff Co., and dates to the 1950s. It is called the Original Teddy, as the normal trend in Steiff would be a horizontal nose for this smaller size. Yours has the vertical nose with septum and mouth extension. The ears are cupped and placed near the top of the head, as opposed to the side placement in earlier examples. You could gently guide the separated cord together with a small, thin needle. This teddy came in gold, brown, white and tan. I have never seen the yellow felt pads, making me think it was a special edition. The other consideration would be it was offered in the Steiff Store in Germany as a factory seconds piece. The yellow ribbon is original. He is 5 way jointed, and the hand sewn closing seam is in the front. He is all excelsior stuffed. Value would be $125.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda
I have this beautiful large bear. He measures 20 inches tall. He has evenly distributed hairloss, so no particularly bald parts. Legs, arms and head all move independently.
Jointed and sawdust filled I would assume.
His nose and mouth seems hand sewn.
Thank you!
Sue
South Africa

Hi Sue,
First, Happy Trails to you on your travels! Your large bear (those at 20” and above) is from Germany, the Sonneberg area. He is a Hermann Pluschtiere, a descendant of the famous Hermann Dynasty, who had all their children working in the plush toy industry. I think he most resembles their son Max, who was the youngest of the three boys. They also had three girls. Your teddy is mohair with excelsior stuffing and a horizontally hand sewn black cord nose and mouth. Hermann had the typical trait of this horizontal nose, and three hand sewn cord claws in each paw. The eyes are red glass, dating him to the 1950s. The contrasting ears were also a trait on some models. The hands have a slight upturn at the end, and he is five way jointed. A muzzle with a set in and contrasting mohair made him appear very adorable. At the time he was born, the triangular ID tag would have been in his left upper chest. To this day, Hermann is still making bears and animals in the family tradition. The value for slightly worn teddy with such charm would be $250.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,
Acquired this bear at an estate sale.

 

The owner is in his mid 80's.

Mohair bear with glass eyes, 5-way jointed, stitched nose, 24' tall, stuffing feels crunchy.
Thanks
Dan

Hi Daniel,
That is a very large teddy, 24”! He is English, and seems to resemble the factory of Terry’s with the large flat ears, glass eyes and long curly mohair. Wm. J Terry was formed in 1890 making fur covered animals in London. Not until 1912, did they turn to making teddy bears. This company is famous for the Caesar dog, made as a tribute to King Edward VII, his small terrier. Caesar was such a devoted dog, that when the King died, little Caesar marched in the street to follow the coffin. So Terry’s expertise was appreciated for making a final tribute to this royal dog! Their bears were labeled with a Terryer Toys logo. Your bear being excelsior would be considered from the 1930s. The clear glass eyes appear to have been painted on the back at one time. The pads are a plush mohair to match his brown nose. Usually English Teddy’s had velvet pads, felt, or rexine, with sewn claws. Value for the Englishmen would be $300.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,
I do not know too much about the bear except it was my mothers. It has a growler inside of him. I thought maybe he was a Steiff.
He is 21” tall. He is missing some patches of fur under right arm pit, on his belly,
a few missing patches on his back and left foot. I do not have any photos with my mother.
Any information would be appreciated.
Thank you.
Amy

Hi Amy,
Your sweet teddy bear is American, from the famous Knickerbocker Co. of NY. He is mohair, with an inset shorter mohair muzzle and a complete original cord nose done in the typical vertical fashion of this company. At 20”, he is considered large. The pads are velveteen, another trait, with large cupped ears and the unusual plastic star gazing eyes. He dates to the late 50s. Knickerbocker began business in the late 1850s, making alphabet wooden blocks with lithographs. This was the Victorian era. In the 1920s, they made stuffed toys, including teddy bears. Known as the preferred bear of our famous Shirley Temple, she was often photographed with such a teddy. They also made a Raggedy Ann and Andy, and a Smokey Bear. Business ceased in the 1980s. Value for your heirloom bear would be $150.00 even with the slight wear spots. Enjoy…maybe take your picture with teddy for his provenance!
Brenda

Hi Brenda,
This teddy bear belonged to my uncle when he was child. He was born in 1921 so
I assuming the bear was purchased somewhere around that time. My mom took the bear after my uncle (her brother) passed away in 1987. At some point she gave it to me and he has been on my shelf for many years.
I do not know much else about him. I do not know if his bow tie is original since it is wrapped around him twice and looks like it may be an adult bow tie. I took it off for some of the pictures.
He does crinkle so I believe the stuffing is excelsior. There seems to be a “button” under the fur on his back. Not sure, but there is an area that depresses when pushed. He does not make any sound. He is 16” tall. His eyes are wooden buttons. His head turns. His fur has worn off in a few areas. I hope I have given you enough info. You may use this on your website.
I look forward to hearing your expert opinion.
Thanks,
Suzi

Hi Suzi,
What great history with your heirloom teddy! This is an American maker, most commonly called the “stick bear”, with the slender arms and legs. He dates to 1925, and resembles the Ideal type bears. The fur is mohair, a natural woven fur that comes from angora goats. They are highly prized, as are llamas for their alpaca. His eyes are shoe buttons now, but he probably had amber glass eyes on a wire shank. They were not child proof back then. His football shaped body and arms placed low in the shoulders was a common Ideal trait. His nose is original, a piece of twill cotton sewn into the head seam. His arms are shorter, placing him in the roaring 20 era. The hand closed body seam is in the back. At one time he may have had a squeaker. He is five way jointed, and was a cinnamon brown as the backing reveals. I love the repaired feet and hands with the black fur. Sort of like his gloves and socks. American felt was not as extravagant as the German models, so often the excelsior is showing on the worn pads. Teddy bears were made for boys, as displayed in a prayer dating to 1906, with a little boy kneeling by his bedside with teddies and titled “Little Teddies Prayer”. Also pictured is a photo of TR, the President, who is the namesake for this lovable toy. If you have a picture of your uncle as a youngster that would be an excellent provenance, but if not, try to locate any picture to create teddy’s background. He is nearing antique status! Value for 16” Ted would be $350.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,
This fella was in a poor condition, with broken joints, holes and very dirty when I bought him from an online auction. His poor wee body was showing signs of a well played with companion.
He has since been restored and is filled with excelsior, has a hump on his upper back, original paws and hard cardboard soles under his feet paw pads. All his limbs now work along with his growler.
He stands at 46cm 18.5" tall.
Thank you very much for any information on this wee guy. Kind Regards,
Suzanne in New Zealand

Hi Suzanne,
Your mid-sized teddy seems to be an American teddy. I cannot say it is Ideal, because they always had eyes within the head seam, not outside that seam. We can say it was one of the many early companies that tried to replicate the Ideal pattern. An interesting fact about Ideal…no matter what size, they only offered the horizontally stitched nose. Steiff, who was the model for most other companies, varied the nose as the smaller ones had horizontal stitches, while larger bears had vertical strokes! Ideal used felt for pads, but it was a lesser grade than the German models. Know for the pointed footpads, I see this as well as a cardboard inserted for standing. They had claws, with five being the first ones, then down to four. The arms are long, also an early trait. Since he has been restored, I would say the four claws would be the original number. Also, the nose stitching was done in a simple triangular method in the original ones. He has the hump on the back and low shoulders, stuffed with excelsior and five way jointed. The ears are cupped. The face on any teddy is the most important attribute. For now, he is restored from his early years, dating originally to 1910. Value would be $175.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda.
I bought this bear from an online auction in New Zealand. His large ears, pointed snout and green fur grabbed my attention. On closer inspection his fur had faded over time, his original color in his joints is a rich chocolate brown. The paw pads were in holes and have been replaced. Filled with excelsior he stands at 47cm (18 1/2") tall. Quite a chunky sturdy fellow. Thank you for any insight to his origins. Kind Regards
Suzanne in New Zealand

Hi Suzanne,
This is surely a different teddy with the mimicking ears of a koala bear! After much deliberation, I find it most represents the Lefray Ltd. company of England. Founded in the late 1940s, they were first based in St. Albans, Hertfordshire then moved to Aberbeeg, Gwent in S. Wales. The fur is wool, with an inset muzzle of a shaven snout, pointed vertically stitched nose, short arms, a tummy matching the head in size, and stubby feet. The large flat ears were a common trait. He dates to the 1950s, with the excelsior, as sub stuffing was used later. No claws was also their trait. Some of the pads were velvet, but with his replacements being linen, I am not sure of the original fabric. The eyes appear to be a red plastic. I know that Knickerbocker made a brown mohair, that when left in the sun, turned into a tarnished green like your example. His wear is minimal, with only the replaced pads. The silk yo-yo floral neck scarf is striking. Value for your English teddy would be $200.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,
This wee guy was bought at an auction, therefore I have no history. His most obvious feature is his mouth. This opens and closes by holding his tummy and squeezing it. He squeaks at the same time his mouth opens. All the mechanisms are in very good working order. He has his original glass eyes and paw pads. Stands 35cm tall and sits at 25cm.
Thank you very much. Looking forward to learning about this bear.

Kind Regards
Suzanne in New Zealand

Hi Suzanne,
What a talkative teddy! He is a mechanical toy as well with the squeaker voice and movable mouth. I think he originally comes from an English maker, with the short arms, linen pads and mohair. He dates to the 1940s with a sparse mohair body that holds the speaking mechanism. The arms and legs are jointed. Pedigree is the most probable maker, which started in London as the Lines Brothers. They offered Pedigree Pets and Dolls, then bought Joy Toys from Australia and merged eventually into Pedigree of Ireland, but also had a New Zealand factory. I think the lining for the mouth has been recovered in the hot pink…most all the open mouth bears from various makers, had red as the common trait. The fact the squeaker still works is a great attribute. Steiff had teddy baby and Zotty, with the open mouth, Fechter and Schwika- Austrian made teddies, Gund, Hermann, Grisly, Dutch Van Gelden, Tara Toys, Ireland,and Schuco. He may have had a molded plastic nose or simply stitched vertically sewn cord nose. No claws were a definite trait. Value for your 14” Pedigree Ted would be $125.00.
Brenda

Hello,
I have recently purchased a teddy from a private collector in Germany and would like to know more about him, so hope you can help.
The shaved caramel mohair teddy is approx. 34 cm, has glas eyes painted on the back. He is jointed. The paw pads are cotton or linen (original). Nose is probably black silk thread.
Kind regards
Julia

Hi Julia,
Your near 14” teddy with the short plush mohair and horizontally stitched cord nose is German, and resembles the the Sonneberg factory of H.J. Leven, formed in 1912. A doll factory was also purchased from Johannes Franz in 1913, making plush animals, dolls and teddy bears. Fritz Engel took over the company in 1931, after becoming a partner in 1923. At the young age of 18, he managed the production dept. Your teddy dates to the 1920s, with glass eyes, ears sewn on the toward the side and long arms and feet. He is quite stoic. His shoulders are an extension of the arms. Having a wonderfully sweet face, he has traits along the Steiff and Ideal brands. The linen pads may have been meticulously hand sewn, keeping the excelsior stuffing in check. Usually felt was the choice for pads, but short supplies may have been a factor. There are four claws on each appendage. You did not mention a voice, but several examples had squeak voices and the press growler. Usually at their point, they are inoperable from air getting into the devise. His condition is good, and the value would be $350.00.
Brenda

Hello Brenda,
This bear my mom always said was one of the first teddy bears in Peoria IL and belonged to my great aunt. Not sure about metal cage on head. He is 21” tall, arms 11”, legs 9”, head is 5” from body to top. Felt pads on feet are 4”. No tags or buttons in ear. Hole in hand maybe for something?
That’s about all I know.
Thanks
Ferdinand

Hi Ferdinand,
Thanks for the additional pictures! This is a very unusual Bruin and from what I could research, it may well be a German Strunz bear, made very similar to the Steiff rod bear. Your example dates to the 1909 era, but there is a bit of quandary on my part with the interior stuffing. It should all be excelsior from documented sources..and that bit of kapok or poly stuffed into the arm pad may have been an additive to keep the excelsior strands from leaking. I am going with this original theory. The “cage” is the wire muzzle. They made several grisly bear examples with this device. The shoe button eyes seem a bit bulbous and may be replacements. Original shoe buttons were more deeply imbedded. He is five way jointed. The earliest ones had metal rods crudely placed, even to appear on the outside. The nose varied from gutta percha (sealing wax) to the velveteen sewn patch with the red contour septum and mouth. The felt pads are original. I will send some photos from an excellent source for your files..Teddy Bear Encyclopedia by Jurgen and Marianne Cieslik, German, retails for about $80.00. This is the best on Strunz and gives many great photos. Because Strunz was a competitor of Steiff, and founded in 1902 in Nuremberg and Allersberg many law suits followed their trade as they were taken to court. Steiff was founded in 1877. Your bear is in excellent shape for a century old birth. Love the provenance, and any pictures of your G. Aunt or your Mom would add to this as well. Value would be $7,000.and up for this rare bear. Amazing!
Brenda

Hello Brenda,


This bear is 7” tall and has pin in his ear but hard to read!


Ferdinand

 

Hi Ferdinand,
This 7” mohair teddy with five way jointing is also a Steiff. It is referred to as the smaller version of your 16” bear, also an Original teddy design. Steiff usually finished the smaller bears, 14” and under with a horizontal nose, but not in this particular model. The nose is vertical as though he were a larger example. The eyes are painted glass backs. He has no pads on the hands, just the mohair covering. It may have been a factory second bear, with that particular button. Usually, these were sold without buttons. He should have 4 claws on the feet, with wool felt pads. I think he might have had some adjustments as it seems the back seam was the closing finishing seam. The yellow silk ribbon is original. He dates about the same time as the larger one, possibly late 1950s. Value would be $150.00.
Brenda

Brenda,

Here is another bear.

This bear I remember in our toy closet. He is 16” tall, arms 7”, legs 6.5”, head is 4.5”.

Ferdinand

Hi Ferdinand,
This teddy at 16” is from the German company of Steiff, and dates to the 1950s. It too is mohair, and the pattern is called the Original Teddy. They made this style from 1950-1966. He is five way jointed, and probably had a tilt growler in the tummy. The eyes are painted glass. He has four claws on each appendage. The paw pads are wool felt, with a slight discoloration on the left foot. He is in good condition with some wear on the back torso. The button in the ear was the ID mark, but at this stage, it could be easily removed through the rivets. Later bears had a machine milled installation. Value would be $250.00. With a chest tag, original ribbon, and button the value would be increased. Still a great teddy, and now considered vintage!
Brenda

Greetings Brenda,
The bear is my mother's and
I don't know when she got it. The music box was with the bear and I assumed it was in the bear since the back was torn open, but there doesn't seem to be enough room in the bear with the stuffing that is currently in it. The music box is marked with and plays Rock A Bye Baby.
The bear is 10.5" long from ear tips to bottom of feet and 9" wide paw to paw.
Drew

Hi Drew,
Your Mom’s crib bear was intended for a child. The unjointed nature was meant to be a cuddle factor and safe. He is an American example, possibly from Gund, or Character. There are no pads on the hands or feet, meaning it was a simple construction. It dates to the 1940s, before the child safety laws as exhibited by his missing eyes. The felt backing just happened to be a trait with Character, with black shoe buttons used in the original examples. Their tags were generally sewn into the left ear seam. The Thorens music box was an imported Swiss product that was packaged in NY. As the teddy bear capital, New York had many established companies. The John Plain Catalog along with FAO Schwartz, Butler Brothers wholesale catalog and Playthings Magazine were all advertising tools. The material of the teddy appears to be wool with a woven backing. He has been gently rubbed over the years, causing fur loss. The nose and mouth appear to be original, along with the kapok stuffing. It would seem opposite to put a hard object such as the music box into a crib teddy, but this often happened! Do you have any pictures of your mom with teddy? That increases value and is know as provenance. As teddy appears, his value would be $45.00.
Brenda

Hi. I purchased this bear a few years ago at an estate sale. He is 17 inches long and his mohair is very sparse in some areas. He does have a nonworking squeaker.
I believe he was originally cinnamon in color. Do you have any ideas on his maker and value?
Linda

Hi Linda,
Your great estate find is American, from the Aetna Toy Co. Founded in 1906, they were originally called the Keystone Bear. George Borgfeldt & Co. were the wholesalers. I think his original color is the gold or tan, because cinnamon bears had the dark backing as well. It may just be a stain on the left arm, picked up from usage. At 17” he is considered medium sized. They were very well made with wool felt pads, mohair backing, and ears to the side of the head, with this early age. He dates to 1907, long arms and round tummy. Yours has shoe button eyes, some had glass. The finishing hand sewn seam is in the back. Usually their noses had a woven appearance with a drop stitch and inverted Y mouth. In the later years they were known as Aetna Doll and Toy Co. In 1919, Horsemann bought the firm. He does have wear, so the value would be $375.00.
Brenda

Hi. I recently acquired this little bear at an estate sale. His right arm was open at the shoulder and I had it professionally repaired. He is 12 inches in length and has a silver Steiff button in the left ear. The lady who repaired him said he is made of artificial silk. Can you please tell me what his value might be.
Thanks,
Linda

Hi Linda,
This teddy is mohair, just a bit shaven in areas and he is purported to be a Steiff with a blank button. This era of Steiff would be very early…1904-05. At that time, the ears were low on the head, not near the top. Steiff always had cupped ears as well. I think he is German though, most like the Kohler & Rosenwald examples with brown cord noses on gold mohair. The company was founded in 1909, in Nuremberg. They made various toys in addition to teddy bears. He dates to 1925, with long arms, and a defined muzzle. The eyes are painted glass with a slight upturn to his head pattern. Someone must have placed the button in the ear. In 1927, the company was taken over by O. Schreyer & Co. as Nuremberg factory of toys. By 1936, Carl Harmus of Sonneberg was the new owner. The linen pads were over stitched, and the cord nose done in the style of Steiff. This small teddy has presence with some wear, and a look to the stars. Value would be in line with $300-375.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,
This bear was in need of rescue, as his online auction description stated that he was destined for the dumpster if no one bought him.
“Mr. Morey” seller claimed that the bear was purchased in Germany for her husband, then 4 years old, in 1932; and that it was a Steiff

 

He is 22” tall, fur is bristle mohair. Stuffing is excelsior, firmly packed. Wool felt paw pads with three claws each Eyes appear to be Bakelite

The eyes had been glued into the sockets. Inoperative growler. German or American? Mr. Morey and I are wondering.
Thanks!
Mary

Hi Mary,
You did a wonderful job cleaning Mr. Morey to restore his glistening gold mohair! He is German, from the famous Petz Co., located in Neustadt and founded originally in 1859 as a toy factory by Alwin Kiesewetter. They produced teddy bears from 1921 and on. Heirs ran the company, Anton and his wife Ernestine, and their children. Your teddy dates to the 1940’s and would have had sewn in eyes placed into the socket with yarn and then glued to keep them solid. The teardrop shaped eyes are replacements, but quite effective for adults. The horizontal nose and inverted Y mouth were common, while the pointed foot pads and sturdy football shaped body gave him presence. It just so happens that the right arm seems higher than the lower placed left arm..could have been from production or use issue. He has three claws on each appendage- common trait! What is really common is the sliced in ears, a cost saving production method to save on sewing. These were glued in as well. Stuffing was excelsior and bears over 14” had growlers. It is common for air to get into the device and then it stops working. In the 1950s, a circular milk glass button with PETZ, was sewn into the chest area. The company ceased operating in 1967, as plastics for stuffing became common. They did an array of animals, developed a school with miniature teddies and wooden desks, and even had a circus exhibit. Value for Mr. Morey would be $750.00.
Brenda

Hello Brenda,
Shorthand for this teddy bear is “PQ” – “perky and quirky”, that is: “perky” for his straight up ears, and “quirky” due to his lopsided nose and grin, no doubt repositioned from much love over his lifetime. Made of soft golden blond mohair, he is 16” tall. Eyes are shoe button; nose is horizontally stitched in black thread and angled to meet his crooked mouth. Body is softly stuffed with settled excelsior. Long arms curved at the paws are set slightly low on the body. Legs taper upward to oval-shaped feet. Wool felt pads show signs of wear; four claws are present on paws and feet.

Foot pads come to a point at the top of each, although stitching seems crude with uneven stitching line noticeable at apex of left foot pad. Nicely shaped snout. Non-working squeaker.

Despite his bald patches and wear, he is in pretty good shape considering his age-related fragility.

Thank you.
Mary

Hi Mary,
Your P&Q teddy is German and follows the lineage of H.J. Leven of Sonneberg. Originally started as a doll factory in 1912. By the 1920s, they produced teddy bears and animals. From the catalog, it looks like the shoe button eyes were original to this firm for most of their bears. Yours dates to the late 1920s. He has a slight turned up hand with the 4 claws and felt pads. The feet are formed, with wear to the pads..oh my gosh, almost like he walks! The arms are placed lower on the body, giving him a definite shoulder. The squeakers and growlers were important to this company, giving teddy his voice. The ears appear to be sliced in and sewn. I think the horizontal simple nose and mouth extension are original, as are the claws. He is excelsior stuffed and quite solid. In 1931, Fritz Engel, an heir, took over the company. His daughters continued this business until the 1950s.
With slight wear, his value at 16” would be $500.
Brenda
Hello Brenda, Here is the first of two teddy bears. I believe it may be a Steiff. It was my childhood bear, and I was born in 1953, so I assume it dates to mid century or earlier. It may even have been my mother's before that (she was born in 1926), but I'm not sure. The bear measures about 16" head to toe. It has mohair-type fur and a crunchy sound when squeezed. It has black and amber glass eyes, nose and mouth stitched on with black thread, felt paws, and nails stitched on with black thread.
All the limbs rotate easily and none are broken. There's a slight hump on the back but not pronounced. The fur is worn in some spots, especially on the back and nose, but overall the fur coverage is pretty good, I think. There is no ear button, and I have no paperwork or packaging. Thank you,
Cathy

Hi Cathy,
Yes you are correct, this is your childhood Steiff teddy dating to the 1950s. He is called the Original Teddy Bear. They were made of mohair in gold, caramel, white and brown in various sizes. His eyes are glass with painted glass on the backs, vertically stitched cord noses in the larger sizes and a Fox type muzzle. His arms are straight with wool felt pads and the feet are long as well. The closing hand stitched seam is in the tummy. His ears are higher on the head and he would have had a button in the left ear. Also, under that button would have been a cloth tag with printed info that could have been easily read. The buttons were just riveted into place, so they could be removed, along with the tag. He had a chest cardboard tag, and a silk ribbon around his neck. Those would be mint examples with all ID. He is five way jointed and stuffed with excelsior. His nose could be gently filled in with a few cords, and any claws (4 each limb) could be anchored as well. To measure a teddy you go from the back heal to the top of the head. He is either 14 or 16”. Your caramel teddy would be valued at $175.00.
Brenda

Greetings Brenda, This little 12-inch monkey belonged to my late godmother as an infant, so I know it's at least 90 years old. I could not find another one like it on the Internet. The long golden hair body is soft and flexible and the tail flops from side to side. I think the eyes are glass buttons. For its age it appears to be in pretty good condition and was well cared for and stored over the years. I hope you can tell me who it was made by, how old it actually is, and its potential value. Thank you.
Carol

Hi Carol,
Your sweet monkey appears to be American, from Gund Inc. of NY. His long mohair is brilliant gold, with non jointed legs as some teddy bears were made. This particular style was more oriented toward a crib like toy. The feet are also mohair, another trait of this company also resembling the bruin characteristics. Wool felt used for the hands, face, and ears frame his amber glass eyes. They were not child proof, dating to the 1930s, when no safety laws existed. He is in very good condition, so he was probably used for looking, not touching. Gund was established by Adolf Gund in 1898, a German immigrant to America. It was first established in CT, then moved to NYC. He hired a Russian immigrant in 1909, Jacob Swedlin. They worked side by side and by 1925, Adolf retired and sold his business to Swedlin. Jacob in turn, had his family come and work within the factory. The firm remained in the Swedlin family, with production in Korea in the 1990s. Value for your Godmothers plush monkey would be $125.00.
Pictures of her with the toy would be provenance.
Brenda

Hello again, This bear, handed down in my husband's family, may be slightly older. We think it was my husband's mother's childhood bear, and she was born in 1918. It measures about 12" head to toe. It has mohair fur, a nose stitched on with black thread, and felt paws. The eyes are solid black and appear to be wood. There is an obvious hump on the back. This bear isn't in very good condition. The fur is dirty (I haven't tried to clean it) and worn away in places, especially on the nose and hump. One arm is loose, and the felt has come off one of the paws.
Given the condition, I kind of doubt it's saleable, but you might know better. The bear is dressed in antique clothing - overalls and a pinafore-type dress. Like the other bear, it has no ear button or paperwork.
Thank you.
Cathy

Hi Cathy,
Your heirloom teddy is American, most resembling the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co. of NY. Founders Morris Michtom and his wife Rose, immigrated from Russia, and settled in NY with a stationery store. There are stories of the handmade bears they made after seeing the 1902 Clifford Berryman cartoon in the Washington Post depicting Theodore Roosevelt refusing to shoot a black bear in MS during a boundary dispute and hunting trip. He drew the line, and said he would not shoot an old tired bear that had been tied up for the photo opt. There were only a few handmade bears in their storefront window, but they sold. At an earlier time. Steiff in Germany had been making plush toys since the 1880s, mostly pincushions. The jointed bear design got underway from 1902-05. Ideal advertised in Playthings magazine that they were the exact reproductions of the imported bears. First known Ideal would date to 1906-07. Your example dates to 1914, with the pointed felt foot pad and long arms.
The low shoulder attachment of the arms was characteristic of Ideal, and the hump. Most American bears have a hand closed finishing seam in the back. Triangular shaped heads, always a horizontal cord nose (possible twill later), and a mouth extension. Earliest examples had ears on the side of the head, while your bear has them toward the top of the head. The clothes are part of his provenance, and the overalls would have been the clothing of choice. They actually made such items specifically for teddy! His nose is mostly gone, he needs some TLC, but he is original! Value at this point would be $200.00 but with restoration- he would be preserved by adding $100. +. Any pictures of the original owner and teddy adds value also. A great piece from the past!
Brenda

Hi, You appraised an old Ideal Bear for me a few years ago.
I have now acquired another stuffed animal which I think may be a Steiff, and would like to know if it is and what it might be worth. It is a velveteen dachshund on metal wheels. I purchased it from the estate of a collector of antiques dolls, toys and stuffed animals. It is about 8" long from the rump to the nose, not counting the tail. With tail it is about 10". It is 5 1/2" tall at the head. He has black bead eyes. There is no Steiff button. He seems to be straw stuffed. He does have wear and fading. There is a mended area on his back near the head which I have pictured. I have sent several pictures showing his condition. I do hope you can give me some information on him, as I plan to sell him and have no idea of a value.
Thanks so much!
Elaine
Hi Elaine,
Your velvet dachshund on cast iron wheels has traits of the German manufacturing companies. He is not a Steiff, as their connection to the wheels was always a metal attachment, keeping the legs whole and adhering the clip to the wheels. Since the dachshund is a German dog, we can predict his heritage along these lines. Most resembling the Leonhardt Tauber exporter from Nuremberg, they were founded around 1838, producing teddy bears and animal plush toys. An early catalog page from 1926, depicts their factory products. Wheeled animals were on wood and cast iron wheels, with the smaller dogs, cats and even donkeys, rabbits and elephants on all cast iron implements. Your example at 10” is considered a small toy. The nose and mouth are hand stitched cord while excelsior is his stuffing. The black wood shoe button eyes were common. He was considered a pull toy. The silk ribbon around his neck appears to be original. He is highlighted with air brushing on the velvet. The value would be $300.00 for this original German toy.
Brenda
Hi Brenda,
I am so excited to hear what you may tell me about this little bear. 25 cm tall
Mohair or wool plush, probably white or off white
Straw stuffed and perhaps excelsior, kind of crunchy
5 way jointed, hump on the back, large flat feet stands really well. 4 claws per foot, felt pads. Glass eyes that may have been painted on the back at one time, kind of an orangish brown. Squeaker in tummy but no longer works
Historic home repairs to foot pads (nicely done) but original material still there
No evidence of any buttons or tags or where they may have been.
Snout construction seems to have two seams running from the temples to the nose. The bear’s feet do appear to have a heavy cardboard in them, flat and he stands so well. Even though the feet have had repairs on the edges the cardboard seems original. Also mouth, nose and claw stitching seem original. I had thought this was a teddy baby but told by a Steiff expert it is not. He is super well made and very sweet, I love him no matter what but would love to know his origins. I acquired him on eBay where the seller claimed he was Steiff and had a RSB button from the 50’s that “fell out” I knew that wasn’t accurate, but fell in love with him. Thanks!
Julie

Hi Julie,
Your recently acquired teddy is German, from the Willy Weiersmuller factory in Nuremberg. He dates to the 1930s, and is a wool plush with a shaven muzzle, hand stitched horizontal nose and inverted Y mouth. The eyes are glass and were painted. In the original state, he would have had a chest pendant handing from a red cord,with two W’s, one on top of the other, and centered in the front seam, right below the neck. There were three owners in the 1920s, with business continuing until 1945 as far as records reveal. They patented the DRGM 1432513 in 1938. Before that time, they were referred to as Willy Weiersmullet, GmbH. His quality is very similar to Schuco, and other good German makers. He is stuffed with excelsior, is 5 way jointed, has cardboard inserts in his foot for being a stander, and the arms fall below the hip with felt paws on all extremities. There are four claws in the feet, as should be for the arms as well. The 10” size is known as the “doll” size. He is quite communicative and seems very happy now! His value is $300.00.
Brenda

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