Archive for the ‘Teddy Bears’ Category

Tips on Collecting Antique Teddy Bears

posted by Karen Hood
Sunday, June 7, 2009

Make sure your antique teddy bear is authentic. Don’t be confused by artist bears, which can often be heavily aged, but don’t claim to be old. Be sure to pay close attention to the teddy bear’s look and construction.

  • Teddy bear’s label: The label won’t lie. Even if most of the label on a teddy bear has worn away, you can compare what remains to pictures in books in order to identify your bear.

  • Teddy bear’s hump: Unlike most modern teddy bears, early teddy bears were designed to look like real bears, with a muscled hump between the shoulders. A bigger hump could indicate an older bear.

  • Teddy bear’s limbs: Early teddy bears can be distinguished by their long, thin curved arms. The legs usually have narrow ankles ending in big feet, and the hips are wide.

  • Teddy bear’s nose: A long nose indicates an earlier bear. The long nose was meant to mimic the look of a real bear.

  • Teddy bear’s eyes and footpads: A teddy bear with plastic eyes and synthetic footpads generally dates from the 1950s and 1960s. Early makers of bears used boot buttons or glass for eyes, and velvet or felt for the footpads.

  • Teddy bear’s joints: Most teddy bears made from about 1905 on have wooden disc joints that allow their limbs to move. The limbs of earlier teddy bears may be connected to the body with metal rods, but usually, those rods are only seen in low-quality teddy bears. An upper-end bear will have two arm joints, two leg joints, and a head joint, while other teddy bears often skip the head joint.

  • Hand-sewn seam: Traditionally, the body was the last part of a teddy bear to be stuffed, and it was usually sewn up by hand. Most often, the hand-sewn seam runs down the back of the bear, but Steiff, Bing and Farnell bears all have seams in the front. To identify hand sewing, look at the quality of the stitching. Puckers may also indicate that the seam was finished by hand.

  • Fabrics: Soft yet durable, mohair was the fabric of choice for most early bears. Made from goat hair, mohair feels like real hair. Bears made after 1930 may have silk plush fabric, while bears made in the 1950s are often made of synthetics.

  • Teddy bear’s stuffing: The earliest bears are stuffed with wood shavings, called wood wool. In the 1920s, other fibers, such as kapok and wool waste, began to be used for the body and limbs, but the heads were still made of wood wool.

  • Teddy bear’s pads: Felt pads are associated with high-quality bears. Lower-quality bears had pads made of brushed cotton.

  • Stitching: Although most bears featured straight claws, bears from Merrythought and Farnell usually have stitched “webbed” claws on the back of their paws.

Source: Ebay Teddy Bear Buying Guide

Starting A Teddy Bear Collection

posted by Karen Hood
Saturday, June 6, 2009

by Lee McRae
Source: Article Snatch

Teddy bear collecting is an enjoyable hobby. For some people it started with the first teddy bear they got a child. For others, it was love at first sight when they stumbled across a fuzzy bear in an antique shop. Whatever your reason for collecting, Teddy bear collecting can be enjoyed by everyone. Follow along as we discuss some of the things you need to consider should you want to take up this hobby in a serious way or just to collect for fun. Whatever your reason, here are some hints and tips on how to go about starting or increasing your teddy bear collection.

If you know a bit about teddy bears you can try following online auctions. Auctions are one of the best ways to find the scarcer teddy bears. Your online search will obviously be a lot easier if you learn the names or kinds of teddy bears which are most collectible. Other places to look for new teddy bears for your collection would be yard sales, garage sales, flea markets or estate sales. Flea markets can offer some interesting possibilities because quite often vendors from a large area like to attend various flea markets and you may get to see items you would never normally come across. Estate sales are another interesting avenue for the collector. Usually everything within a house is sold at an estate sale and since the goods being auctioned off cover a wide range of items you may be the only one with a good knowledge of teddy bears that attends. Visit enough auctions and estate sales and you may come up with some real discoveries in vintage teddy bears.

If you don’t know much about about old teddy bears, you can certainly buy a book or reference guide to help you. There are plenty of books available which will provide you with the necessary information about the most popular and collectible bears. you can check your local library or local bookstores for collectors books for price lists on collectible teddy bears. you should also investigate clubs geared toward teddy bear collectors. There are a number of them around the country and indeed around the world. Check out Capers’n Teddies International Club, The Bialosky Treasury Collectors Club, the B.E.A.R. Collector’s Club, Good Bears of the World or the Inland Empire Teddy Bear Club. Many of them will even have newsletters that can provide you with some valuable information.

Keep in mind that there are many varieties and many manufacturers of teddy bears around the world. Some of the more famous ones are Chad Valley, Chiltern, Farnell, Merrythought, Terry’s, Pedigree, Schuco, Wendy Boston and Steiff bears. Most people of heard of those, among others, and many of the bears that they have manufactured have become very valuable over the years. If you all are attracted to collecting antique or vintage teddy bears, make sure that you have a good working knowledge about the exact bears that you’re looking for. It may be best to only concentrate on a few manufacturers, especially at the beginning, since you can take your time to educate yourself on just two or three and not try to spread your effort out over 20 or 30 different manufactures. That way, when you spot a new teddy bear you want to add you to your collection, you will have the knowledge to truly evaluate the condition and monetary value of the object of your desire.

Why have Teddy Bears if you can’t display them? These stands work well to display your bears with pride. Some people are quite inventive in showing off their bear collection to best advantage – baskets, dolls prams, dolls chairs etc can all be utilised in making a nice bear ‘scene’. Old animals will also add variety, Steiff in particular have always produced realistic high quality animals which complement bears very well. When it comes to anti-or vintage teddy bears a glass dome or display case is ideal for showing off and protecting your teddy bears from dust which is one of their biggest enemies. Apart from the dust itself not being ideal, it clogs attracting moths and other pests into the fabric

Collecting teddy bears can bring you a great deal of joy. No matter what the bear they collect is worth, many people want to collect them just because they love them. They become almost like children. But also keep in mind that you more you know the better off you will be when collecting vintage or antique teddy bears. Knowledge can save you a lot of money and if you ever decide to sell your collection he can bring you monetary joy as well!

Collecting Antique Teddy Bears – The History

posted by Karen Hood
Friday, June 5, 2009

by Jo Whyte
Source: Ezine

Who Invented The Teddy Bear?

Collecting teddy bears is a world-wide phenomenon! For more than a hundred years teddies have been loved and confided in as childhood companions, and since the 1970s have risen in popularity as a collectible for adults. Whether because they bring back those warm childhood memories of a best friend, or through their endearing faces, teddies just seem to draw themselves to us!

Unlike many other collectibles, teddy bears have character and appeal that endears them in a way far beyond merely being investments.

History Of The Teddy

During the late 19th century, bears were a popular theme in the toy industry, especially in Germany. The “Black Forest Bears” of Germany and Switzerland were carved in wood, with the first soft toy bears being produced in the late 1890s. These bears were realistic, on all fours, and often on wheels. Automatons were also produced, in which a key-wound mechanism allowed the bear to “perform” actions. Books, such as Goldilocks And The Three bears, and postcards were also popular.

The First Teddy Bear

Having begun making soft toys in Germany in 1886, Margerete Steiff’s firm first made their ” Bar 55PB” in 1902. Late the same year, President Teddy Roosevelt inspired a cartoon by Clifford K Berryman in the Washington Post, humorously illustrating an incident on a bear hunt in which the President refused to shoot a bear cub tied to a tree. The cub, through subsequent cartoons in 1903, became known as Teddy. That year, Hermann Berg, a US toy buyer, bought 3000 of Steiff’s jonted teddies at the Leipzig Toy Fair. Also in 1903, Morris Michtom, a US store owner in Brooklyn, was inspired by the cartoon of Roosevelt to produce his “Teddy” bear, which founded the US teddy making industry.

Within five years, by 1908, the Steiff teddy bear had risen dramatically in popularity to sales of over 975,000! The teddy was German-born, then named in the US!