Teddies Reviewed: Spreading Joy for More Than a Century
(This article first appeared in the February 2013 issue of Teddy Bear & Friends magazine)
Good Bears of the World’s life-size mascot bear (occupied by Jeff Ruhnke) with the author. This was taken at one of Valerie Rogers’ Brightstar Shows.
As we begin another Teddy Bear year, it is an excellent idea to stop and think about how wonderful the teddy bear has been for mankind. For more than 100 years, teddy bears have brought countless joy and companionship to countless recipients. Good Bears of the World (GBW) has been Brenda’s and my favorite teddy bear organization for more than three decades now, and our favorite Bearo is Terrie Stong.
I thought it appropriate to share a candid photo of the Good Bears of the World’s life-size mascot bear (occupied by Jeff Ruhnke). This was taken at one of Valerie Rogers’ Brightstar Shows. If you haven’t already, reach out to GBW, based in Toledo, Ohio.
A limited-edition “Bully Bear” by House of Nisbet and a hard-to-find book, “Bully Bear Goes to Harrod’s.”
I purchased this teddy bear and book at a local flea market for just a few dollars. Can you tell me what I bought? I love the bear.
— Candy Cannavino,
Candy, you have a signed limited-edition “Bully Bear” by House of Nisbet and a hard-to-find book, “Bully Bear Goes to Harrod’s.” Collectors who followed Peter Bull would love to have your set and I would put a value of around $300 on it.
A 13-inch Steiff is from the early 1950s and a little 8-inch dressed Schuco, which also dates from the early ’50s.
I have had these bears since my childhood and wondered what they might be worth today. One is a Schuco and the other is a Steiff, I believe.
— Ingrid Purk,
Ingrid, what a sweet pair of teddy bears—and they look to be in perfect condition! The 13-inch Steiff is from the early 1950s and valued in the $350 range. The little 8-inch dressed Schuco, which also dates from the early ’50s, is harder to find and has a value of $400 and up.
The author and Barb Hernandez, owner of a 16-inch Bing long cinnamon mohair teddy from 1912.
Enclosed is a photo of you and me from the teddy bear show last year. I thought you might enjoy it, and share it with your readers.
— Barb Hernandez,
Barb, thank you for the photo to share! As we both know, the star in the picture is the 16-inch Bing long cinnamon mohair teddy from 1912, valued at $4,000.
Earl Haug and his Knickerbocker from the 1940s in perfect condition.
Enclosed is a photo of my childhood bear, who I named Teddy. I had two bears; Teddy was my favorite, so I displayed him. I usually carried and played with another bear, who became completely threadbare. Can you tell me who made Teddy and his value today?
— Earl Haug,
Olmsted Falls, Ohio
Earl, what a special bear Teddy is! At 20 inches tall and creamy blond mohair, he is one of the rarer colors. In perfect condition your Knickerbocker from the 1940s is worth $750 and up. Provenance is important—try to find other pictures of you with Teddy when you were a child; that would increase the value even more.
Two white Steiffs bears dating from 1907.
These bears have been in the family for over a century. Although there is some wear on the bears, they are very strong and intact. Notice the two little caps that they have worn for over 100 years! What is their value today?
— D. Murphy,
Your two white Steiffs are great, dating from 1907. There is significant mohair loss, but they are together with their special caps! The caps are original teddy bear hats from Kahn and Mossbacher, worth $500 for the pair. The teddy bears, as found, are worth up to $2,000 for the pair.
An early 1907-1910 teddy bear made from worsted wool.
I found this old bear many years ago and thought he looked very different from the usual teddy bear. Can you tell me his age, maker and value?
— Kim Welbert,
Kim, you have an early 1907-1910 teddy bear made from worsted wool, which was the preferred fabric before mohair. Made in Sonnenberg, Germany, and evolving into the Petz-style bear (slice in ears), your bear has some wear, but a lot of character. He is certainly worth $300 and up today.
An 8-inch teddy with his Steiff button from about 1910 and a Steiff monkey, who dates to about 1920.
I acquired this old bear and monkey a few years ago. The teddy has a button in the ear, but the monkey has no identification. Could you tell me more about them, as to age and value?
— Linda Miller,
Linda, what a cute set of plush animals! The 8-inch teddy with his Steiff button dates to about 1910. His wear keeps his value lower, which is about $300. The monkey, which is also Steiff, dates to about 1920. I would place his value with some wear in the $150-$200 range.
Ken Yenke is a teddy bear historian and the curator of the Chelsea Teddy Bear Factory and Museum.
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