The Original Online Teddy Bear Magazine
Teddy Bear & Vintage Toy Appraisals
October 2021

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.

Meet Friday, who I love very much. I hope that he is a Fideston. He is 45cm tall,
is 5 way jointed, wool? covered body filled with wool wood. Friday has a high hump and human shaped torso, with black/clear glass eyes and a long cone shaped nose with a vertically stitched nose with a longer, upwards stitch at each end. This connects to his smiling face. He has very long arms ending in curved paws with contrasting heavy cotton? paw pads. I brought him on EBay for $150 AU.
Looking forward to hearing from you
Kris

Hi Kris,
This took awhile to research...but referred to a book published in 1990-The Complete Encyclopedia of Teddy Bears, first published in Australian Doll Digest, then a North American distributor, Hobby House Press same 1990 date. It was printed in Australia, by Jacki Brooks. The section on Australian teddy bears does not even mention Fideston Toy Factory. Sad. But, the reason is, many considered these bears German. In fact, her book actually has a B/W photo (page 14) of what we now know as Fideston listed as a beautiful German made teddy. Sue Pearson and Dottie Ayers “Teddy Bears”, 1995, on page 117 has this same bear in full color and labeled as Fideston Toy Co. Time solves many mysteries! We know that Joy Toys and Fideston were the early makers in the 1920s. I think your teddy has more English traits than Australian. The outer nose cord with the upward strokes at the end and the smiling mouth remind me of the Master Teddy mouth by Chiltern. Fideston had a vertical nose, no outer or dropped stitches. The pads on Fideston were leather, your example had original rexine pads, with the outer covering worn to the backing. Fideston also had foot pads that came to a point at the toe. The extra long arms and legs are very unusual, compared to the short body. Reminds me of the Chiltern Hugmee series...although I have no documentation on this design. Fideston was said to have a finishing seam incorporated between the legs. Most were tipped mohair, excelsior stuffed (as you stated), large head (as yours has),and cupped ears (yours are flat). At 18”, your cream Friday is a mohair blend with clear glass eyes (possible replacements), and is very huggable. He is possibly a Chiltern, dating to the late 1930s with extra long extremities. Value would be $350.00.
Brenda

Hello Brenda,
I bought this bear at our local thrift store. It was in a box labeled old stuffed animals. It was way to cute to pass up. It does appear to be old. It is jointed and the body is very firm. The joints move very smoothly. The eyes are brown and black glass. The ears are kind of small. The nose and mouth seem to be stitched? The paws are maybe felt? He is just about 13 inches in length. The bear feels like mohair like old Stief animals are made of. I have a large built+in bookshelf in my house and feel that he would look very nice sitting with some books. I am curious about age and value? Michael
Hi Michael,

Your sure made a find at the thrift store!  It is indeed a Steiff, called The Original Teddy. It is caramel mohair, dates to the 1950s, with the unshaven snout and a hand sewn vertically stitched nose and mouth extension. The Original design had several styles, and you were able to get the most likable. Originally he had a button and tag in the left ear, as well as a cardboard chest tag sewn into the body. Back in the 50s, the buttons could be removed, which presented a danger for children. This was before the glass eyes had to be safety eyes. He is stuffed with excelsior, has wool felt pads and would have had a maize ribbon around his neck. He looks like a young bear. I am sure he will be most comfortable with books and materials to keep him company. He is five way jointed too. Most had a squeaker for this size, a gently squeeze in the tummy could reveal the sound. Larger pieces had growlers.
Value would be $100.00, for your Original Ted at 13”.

Brenda


Hello Brenda,

Early 1900's teddy bear. There is no ID on the bear so it's unclear if it is a Steiff bear. Bear belonged to my husband's grandfather born in 1934. The head swivels and feels firm, different from the rest of the body. Head appears to be stuffed with excelsior (wood wool). The bear's right arm and leg is partially torn from the body and exposes round cardboard disk joints. The stuffing is visible and appears to be kapok (a fluffy, natural stuffing) there's a bit of excelsior as well.

Seems to have golden mohair fur and felt pads on paws. Eyes are missing. Might possibly have an internal metal skeleton. Measures 18 inches tall.
Thank you so much for your help!
Michelle

Hi Michelle,
Thank you for the great photos and poses of teddy! He is an American bear, from the Knickerbocker Toy Co. Originally established in 1850 in NY, to make lithograph alphabet blocks for children’s learning, they went on to make teddy bears in the 1920s. In the late 1960s, they moved to NJ. Your heirloom teddy dates to around 1935, with gold mohair, velveteen pads, a somewhat well loved muzzle with the vertically stitched nose. His jowl line is very full despite the loss of mohair. I see he has parts of his joints showing, which could be gently closed for protection. He was very well made, which is why he is still together. The glass eyes have disappeared-they were on wired shanks, with the wire exposed. The glass probably just broke off. The large cupped ears grace his head, and at 18”, he is a larger sized bear. With new eyes, and some repair, his kapok and excelsior body can function again. If you pictures of your husbands grandfather with teddy, that would contribute to his history. As he is now, the value would be $125.00.
Brenda

Brenda,
This bear is 14" tall, has auburn and black glass eyes and a vertical nose stitching. I’m not sure if what remains of his nose includes his mouth. He is completely made from mohair including his shaved paw pads and muzzle. The mohair used for his ears, body and head is the same length, however the inside of the ears matches the lighter colour of his muzzle and pads. He’s kind of sweet, it makes him look babyish. His excelsior stuffing is good, no sagging, all joints move nicely and his tummy squeak box works but is faint.
I think he’s in good shape and shows the normal wear of an older, well-loved bear. I look forward to hearing from you. Peggy

Hi Peggy,
Your sweet teddy is Austrian, from Fechter Bears dating to the 1950s. Berta Fechter was originally working in Neustadt as a cottage industry maker in the 1930s.
In the late 40s, they started a teddy bear industry in Graz, Austria. Fechter bears were quality toys, made from mohair and many had open mouths as well as closed muzzles. The contrasting mohair was a common trait. Successful for a few decades, with Berta’s death in 1973, the business ceased in 1978. He is stuffed with excelsior, is 5 way jointed, has some loss of mohair on the feet, slight loss of nose cord with loss of the mouth extension, but all in all still adorable. His linen ID tag was most likely on his right ear. The voice, still being able to make noise, is unusual. Most have air that gets into the device, then they are silent. Glad yours still speaks. Value as is for your 14”teddy would be $125.00.
Brenda

Hi Breanda,
This bear was purchased from an estate sale in the Chicagoland area. His fur is
in pretty good condition, though worn in some places. He is jointed, stuffe hard but not crunchy. The eyes seem to be painted wooden buttons. He has a little red felt tongue that can be moved up and down; I’m guessing
it is supposed to emulate a friendly lick. The handkerchief around his neck is red with white polka dots, and he has no tag. His paw pads are a sort of velveteen material, which is largely worn. I’m most interested to know about his history. I would love to know what time period he is from, perhaps a manufacturer, or place of origin. I just love him.

Sayre

Hi Sayre,
Your fairly large teddy bear at 17 1/2” looks to be an American teddy, most probably made by Character Novelty Company in Norwalk, Connecticut . They were formed in 1932, with the aid of two New York businessmen. They had a showroom in NY, which was the capital to many industries. His characteristic red tongue, was one trait that almost all Characters portrayed. The five way jointing you mentioned, was achieved with the cardboard discs and cotter pins. It is a more involved process to achieve this articulation, but the best bears also had this attribute. His stuffing is most likely kapok, creating the heavy, full feeling within teddy. The fur seems to be a cotton plush, with the white pads also having this covering. The ears are simply sewn and are rather flat. His finishing hand seam is in the back, common for most American teddies. The shoe button eyes were very common, some had felt circles behind each eye. The nose is a simple vertical cord, with a drop stitch to the mouth. He is very sweet! Elvis Presley was pictured on the 45 vinyl record jacket with a Character bear for the record..”Teddy Bear”! Around 1983, Character ceased operations with the death of both owners. He dates to the 1940s and would be valued at $125.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,
The photos are of my mother’s extremely well-loved bear. Based on your website, it looks like a Chiltern bear?
Mom was born in the late 1920’s. The bear has one glass eye and it looks like someone tried to do an appendectomy on it. Even so, this 13" tall bear looks like a pretty contented little guy. Mom had him in her room until she died just over a year ago.
Thanks,
Susan
Hi Susan,
First, my sympathies to you in the loss of your Mom.
She took very good care of her teddy and still cherished him. He is German, from a very good manufacturer called Cuno and Otto Dressel. They were located in Sonneberg with an original date of 1789. In 1873, family members (Johann’s sons), took over the reigns. They were a major exporter of toys, mostly dolls. In 1908, catalogs show various animals and teddy bears. A well defined head, horizontal nose and inverted Y mouth extension, glass eyes, and some with smaller ears. They did many cats, including Puss n Boots styled ones. Known for quality they too had a following like Steiff. He has 3 claws, toes that come to a point, a solid round tummy, slight hump, and a slight upward turn on the hands. The felt has wear exposing the excelsior. If you have pictures of your Mom and her mohair teddy, that would increase the value and contribute to his provenance. As he stands at 13” now, the value would be $125.00. He might be able to see better with an added eye. Actually, the loss of nose stitching gives him a hint of a Kitty type nose-cute!
Brenda
Hi Brenda,
I got this little guy from a 74 year old friend who inherited it from his mom. She had it for many years but I don't know how old it is. He measures only 8" tall and made of a woolly mohair like material. He is jointed in arms and legs but his neck is one piece. His arms and legs are stitched on and there appears to be little discs inside. He has tiny glass eyes and stitched nose. He is stuffed with Excelsior I believe as he crunches when squeezed.
Very good condition. He is a light golden color the camera makes him look too light and too dark in different pics.
I have not seen another like him. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks, Tammie
Hi Tammie,
Your small woolly teddy appears to be an artist designed and sewn bear, with jointed arms and legs. The neck is rigid, very similar to other companies, as this was a time saving event. He is very well patterned, with the long snout and cupped ears. Artists had a start in the early 1980s, making their creations either one at a time or limited editions. It seems they loved the distinct muzzle area and concentrated on this point for a German look alike. Most of the artists designed their own patterns, making them truly original. However, back in the early years of teddy bears, Playthings magazine advertised patterns for homemakers to create their own teddies. He has a nice natural wool fabric, a hand sewn nose and mouth, and glass eyes. There are no paw pads, just the woolly material is extended for this area. Most likely the artist is an American. He is much better made than the wire jointed bears, and the material is more plush. At 8”, he is considered small. Ten inch teddies were referred to as doll sized. That means they could be a dolls companion for the ultimate setting. Value for your 1990 artist bear would be $65.00.
Brenda

Hello Brenda,
The bear was given to me 75 years ago when I was born in New York City. It was placed in my crib and carefully wrapped and tucked away when I was several months older. It has been kept in mint condition since so that makes it 75 years old. From the top of his head to the end of his paws measures 11" and it's also 11" from the top of his head to the bottom of his rump.
Cheers, David

Hi David,
Great background on your childhood teddy with his time line and safe keeping! He has some unique facial attributes with the plasticine sparkle eyes, plastic nose, and a center seam forehead. The real advertising feature is the cloth baseball mitt, fitting for America’s favorite pastime. I could not find an identical match, but from the 1926 Playthings magazine I was able to find companies in NYC, that could have produced this acrylic non jointed teddy around 1946. After the war, many businesses had to adapt to a lack of supplies. That fact, produced the synthetic fur, plastic parts as opposed to metal, and an easier to assemble teddy bear. His wide felt eyelashes give him a definite alertness. So, he was used as an advertising piece. My thinking is he is related to the NY Stuffed Toy Co., 45 East 17th St.. in NYC. They had rather simple toys, that spanned over several decades. They could have advertised in the John Plain Catalog as well. His stitching is unique in the mitt, with an over stitch like a few other companies used in finishing. Most teddy bears came with identification tags, but yours could have been clipped off as a safety feature. We know that even Steiff teddies had their ID removed by careful Moms! New York is famous for their Yankees, so no wonder, a bear ready for game time would be produced! He is adorable, and in very mint condition. At 10-11” he is considered small. Time to take a picture with you and Ted, as provenance. Value with the story and picture would be $75.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,
I have bought another bear from eBay. I really like his 20" tall, long curly hair and cute face. I love to have my bears appraised by you so that I know exactly what I have in my collection. He came from Pennsylvania and I am in the UK. The lady said he was burgundy and had faded to apricot and that the seams were stitched with burgundy thread which were original.
I have included a photograph of the stitching. He needs a bit of extra stuffing in his arms and legs and his nose and mouth need repairing. Anything you could tell my would be much appreciated.
Many thanks
Denise

Hi Denise,
Your beautiful cinnamon 20” classic Steiff teddy is such a prize! This was the most desired size, and is considered large, but not too large. His color is striking as well, kept away from direct light, we can estimate his age as a 1908-10 teddy who would have had a blank button in his left ear. The stuffing is what needs to be added.. it was a combination of kapok and excelsior. I would definitely get this repair done as soon as possible, because the wear on the extremities tends to weaken the mohair fabric. His nose can be restitched in the historical fashion to further restore the value. His claws seem to be all original. I am hoping you have some history from your PA seller, that too enhances value. At a Bertoia auction in 2017, a similar 20” bear was sold for $9,000! Although it had a button, and was in excellent shape, it also had a restitched nose. All pads were original, as yours. I would say with the proper restoration your bear would be valued at $5,000 and up.
Brenda

Hi Brenda, This 16 1/2" tall teddy bear was my grandmothers. She was born in 1902 and she enjoyed life for 101 1/2 years! The bear has felt paws with three stitched claws. I believe the foot pads are covered with thin-wale corduroy, not felt.
Bear is not jointed. Soft stuffed not crunchy. Nose looks like three rows of vertical black thread stitches.
Ears are kind of like an oblong cut in half. A doll appraiser I know said she thought his fur is mohair.
The mohair is thin around the stitching. Eyes are glass.
A wind-up music box plays Rock-a-bye Baby and it is in excellent condition. Faded pink ribbon is original (at least in my 60 plus years of memory)
Kathy

Hi Kathy,
Your grandmothers bear is English and most likely from Chad Valley. They developed the Magna Bear in 1920-1930s, with an uncharacteristic horizontal nose. The other styles of Chad Valley all had vertically stitched noses, most with in a predominantly heavy stitched style. The arm pads are quite unusual.. with the half moon type style, and three prominent claws. In 1938 they win the title Toymakers of the Queen. Teddy is stuffed with kapok, and is very light. He is not jointed, making him totally baby safe. Another reason he is not jointed in consideration of young folk. His limbs are floppy, making teddy a good companion for a young child.
His original color is white, and the fur is mohair. The Brahms Lullaby, Rock a bye baby is meant for babies, and has an English origin. A gentle cleaning could reveal his true color white. It just so happens white mohair is very desirable yet rather rare. Sixteen inches, is considered medium to large. Your grandmother was blessed with many good years!
And we can tell she took care of Ted! Value with provenance for your 16” unjointed Chad Valley teddy would be $400.00.
Brenda

Hello there,
Here is my big bear for your evaluation. He is 21" (53cm) tall, is fully jointed with wool wood stuffing covered with artificial silk. He has red glass eyes, backed with black plastic. His nose has a downward stitch at each end and his mouth is open, though his tongue has disappeared. He has vinyl paws.
Thanks, Kris

Hi Kris,
Your large panda bear has the Australian Lindee connotation at the top of your photos, and he is indeed of that origin. This later maker of teddy bears in this area of the world won “Toy of the Year” in 1969. They were established in 1944, with a Lindee Toys trademark that featured a seated deer fawn. They were based in Sydney, North South Wales, but ceased operations in 1976. Your synthetic plush panda exhibits the pointed foot pads, some of which were vinyl. The black patch over his eyes are also vinyl. The downward outer stitches at the end of the nostrils was also an attribute. He is stuffed with excelsior, which helps hold his shape. The open mouth was used on the studio sized animals. Your example dates to 1969, as seen in the large panoramic picture that I shall enclose for you. Value today for your bear would be $150.00, as is with some wear. Brenda

Hi Brenda,
I have a teddy bear that acquired from a friend who lives in Missouri. The bear is about 15" long. I was told the bear is from the 1920s. The man I acquired it from said it was his uncle's and had been passed down through the family over the years. The clothes that are on the bear, I'm not sure if they are original or not. Also I was told he is a Winnie the Pooh teddy bear? I hoping that you tell me about the bear and what it might be worth.
Thank you,
Wendy

Hi Wendy,
Thank you for all the photos, great job! Your heirloom teddy is German, from the Anton Kiesewetter toy factory known as Petz. They were located in Neustadt near Coburg. He does date to the 1920-30 era, made with a gold mohair fabric and felt paw pads. The claws are the same cord used for the horizontal nose. He may have had the mouth area restitched as the inverted Y nose to mouth extension is missing. Five way jointing with excelsior stuffing keeps his shape in top form. He has wear to the pads though. The eyes were amber glass, one missing, the other intact. Characteristics for this
company include the sliced in ear, a time saving technique that did not require hand stitching. The paws have a slight upward turn, the body is long and well rounded. His closing stitching seam is in the front, common on German models. The top of the foot pad has a point, another Petz trait. The adorable leather shoes have the shoe button closures, and add vintage style to his uniform. The striped overalls and old undershirt may have belonged to the original owner, which would add to his provenance. At 15”, Mr. Petz teddy would
be valued at $300.00.
Brenda

Hi Brenda,
I have inherited this 18" fully jointed vintage teddy bear from my 83 year old father. My father was born in 1938 but I do not know if he had gotten new as a child or if it was handed down to him. If you feel his back and try to squeeze him I do believe he is a growler. As you will see in the Picture he has a brownish greenish hue to his fur. He has glass eyes and a plastic or tin nose. He has no tags or buttons of any sort. He is completely intact with just a few wear spots on him. I first thought he might be a Steiff but the missing ear button( although I have read that they didn’t use those during well) as well as the non stitched nose has thrown me for a loop. Thanks for any and all help.

Cheers,
Christopher

Hi Christopher,
Your Dad’s teddy bear was probably his toy…dating to the 1930s with the metal nose. It is American, from the Knickerbocker Co. You know teddy bears were originally made for boys, since girls had dolls. Little Teddy’s prayer says it all, with an adorable picture of a little boy kneeling by his bed for prayers. I shall send a picture of this from my late husbands first Teddy Bear Treasury. The prayer dates to 1907, with a copyright of 1906. Back to Knickerbocker. Originally formed during Victorian times, the company made lithograph, alphabet wooden blocks for children in Albany NY. Teddy bears were made in the 1920s. They became very famous when Shirley Temple had a cherished Knickerbocker teddy in the movie, Now and Forever dating to 1934. He was known as “Grumpy”. Similar brown mohair to your Dad’s, but with a stitched nose and measured 20”. This brown often turns into a brassy tone when exposed to direct sunlight. They used metal for a short period of time…more realistic. The pads are wool felt, the eyes amber glass, and he is
5 way jointed. He speaks through the growler, although this happens to be silent when air gets into the devise. A squeaker was used on smaller bears. At 18” he is a large sized teddy and in good condition. Any pictures of your Dad and teddy would increase the value and add to the provenance. His value would be $350.00.
Brenda

Hi there, I saw someone selling this bear through Facebook and I just HAD to have him! I'd love to know his history and/or who made him. I would also like to know what he is worth, even though I'm not selling him! He is hard and filled with wood shavings. Crackles when squished. He is 29" tall.
5-way jointed with discs.
I can't work out what his eyes are made of but they are definitely painted, maybe metal? He has no front or back seam on his body but a side seam near his arm joint. I'm am unsure of his fabric. Thank you,
Jodie

Hi Jodie,
Your very large teddy comes from NW Europe, most likely from the Arthur van Gelden company. He is stuffed with excelsior, the common wood shavings that retain their shape. Most notable about these bears are their size, shorter arms and long legs. The material is a gold cotton plush with a vertically stitched nose and mouth extension, and metal googly type painted eyes. He is five way jointed, has an inset muzzle and large round ears. His paw pads seem to be the same curly cotton plush in a cream color. They were said to only produce bears before WWII. Materials were scarce during the war, as was income. Many times during carnival celebrations, a similar type bear was offered for a top prize. They all have roots from Germany. He dates from the late 1930s-early 40s. Value for this 29” teddy would be $350.00.
Brenda

Hello Brenda,
We acquired Ernest at a estate sale in Grand Junction, CO. I think he is made out of Mohair, he is 18" and fully jointed. I think his eyes are made of glass. He does have a hart shaped nose. Ernest is missing some of his Mohair but he still has a wonderful appeal to people. this is the note that came with him.
"Ernest is a 1907-10 Aetna. At 18" tall he is still full and chubby, stuffed with cork and excelsior. He has a good cover of mohair which has been clean to a beautiful blond.
Nose stitching over fabric. Card-lined feet revealed through the felt. 5 claws/paw and pad. made by the American company c1907+ Aetna bears have a charm all of their own and the best faces. Earnest has a kind expression with his amber glass eyes. Very handsome bear in good condition.
James

Hi James,
Although your teddy has the correct paperwork for American workmanship, he is a Hecla Teddy Bear from the E.I. Horsman Co., of NY Ciy. They advertised this particular bear in the Playthings Magazine from 1907. He was offered in white and tan/gold imported mohair, with voices, and able to stand with the cardboard inserts. Particular to this bear is the rust colored cord used on the nose and claws. My late husband discovered a Hecla mine in MI, and would you believe they mined for copper! How is that for similarity with color tone? He dates to the early years, 1906-07 with the five claws. In the Teddy Bear Treasury Book I (green), from 2000 -pg. 25, we have a small white Hecla with that heart shaped nose. Not all had that shape, but they did have the salmon colored cord. Aetna bears were early too and had cardboard backed feet, with a woven fabric black nose.
I have never seen a white mohair Aetna. Also on that same page of the TB Treasury I, next to the Hecla is an Aetna standing in the center. I can send a picture of this to you as well. Getting back to your somewhat large teddy, at 18”, Hecla were compared to be equal to the imported bears. They have round tummies, ears cupped placed toward the side, shoe button eyes, and formed feet. In the factory, they were assembled by workers who had experience in the German industry. Most likely the stuffing is excelsior, like the German counterparts.
Value for your 18" Hecla with some wear would be $750.00. Brenda

Greetings Brenda,

I would Say this bear is in perfect showcase condition.

No flaws not tattering of any fabric ribbons still have sine to them and the foot pads are nice and pliable.
There isn’t anything notable different about the bear besides the Extra Tag stating it is to be in the showcase! 18 inches 3.59 lbs
This bear contains a voice box that grunts with motion as well.
Jason

Hi Jason,
Your Beverly White special edition lion, called Lyin made in 1996 is considered a collectible. His fur is mohair, with wool felt pads, articulated 5 ways, and sleepy type eyes to further enhance his sweet appeal. I believe that this one was used as the sample for the completed set of 20. Bev White is a very skilled artisan, making her our patterns and using skills to bring out the best of each creation. She is known for her appearances and contributions to the Disney World Convention, Good Bears of the World and bringing her Happy Tymes Collectibles to The Teddy Bear Museum of South Korea. Today, the artist bears, along with manufactured teddies, depict a similar drop in value. Antique teddies have also experienced this trend. The law of supply and demand is the economic driver. Your lion still grunts, another tribute to quality materials. At 18”, he would carry a value of $200.00.
Brenda

How much is your
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