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Teddies Reviewed: August 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ken Yenke   
Friday, 01 August 2008 00:00

Teddy bear made no later than 1908This bear belonged to an 87-year-old. It is 16 inches long and we date it from 1909 to 1921. Could you shed some light on who might have made the bear and its value today? The eyes are black shoe buttons if that helps you. —Lois and Bob Kathan, Onalaska, Wis.

Great teddy bear! I cannot detect any possible odor, mohair wear, etc., from your photograph, but the style is very early; I would guess no later than 1908. If your teddy looks nearly as good in person as he does in the photo, I would say he is worth in the $3,000 range.

Bear dating to around the 1940sI have this wonderful ride-on bear, but I can’t find out much about him. He is 19 inches long and 14 inches high, and I think I saw him in Peter Ford’s teddy bear book. Can you help me learn more about him? —Diana Lind, Hillsboro, N.H.

Diana, you have a very nice bear. The steering mechanism does go back to the 1920s, as shown in Peter Ford’s book, but the bear you have dates to around the 1940s. The sewn-in muzzle is one of the differences in the later version bear. Its value in good condition would be in the $750 range.

Mutzli cub from Switzerland dating from the 1940sI purchased this bear for $40 from an antiques dealer who said the original owner brought it from Germany to Canada many years ago. It is a small bear, 6 inches long and 6 inches tall, made of pure wool, it seems. Your articles in Teddy Bear Review are the first I look at when my magazine arrives! —Janice Mikel, Consecon, Ontario, Canada

Janice, thanks for the kind words and the photo of your little bear. He appears to be a Mutzli cub from Switzerland, made of curly wool. Dating from the 1940s, he is probably valued in the $150 range.

Steiff “Tabby” dating from the late 1960sEnclosed is a picture of a Steiff cat that I think belonged to my father as a child. He was born in 1918 and is now deceased. Do you have any idea of the age or value of this cat? —Carol Rinhart, Chesterland, Ohio

Carol, your cat is a Steiff “Tabby” that dates from the late 1960s. I can tell by your photo that the eyes are plastic, not glass, so the dating is easy. In great condition, it is worth upwards of $125.

21-inch Knickerbocker brown bearLight gold bear Ideal teddy bear from as early as 1909I have two old bears that I would love to know more about. One is brown and 21 inches tall; the other is light gold and stands 14 inches tall. I really enjoy your column and hope you can tell me about my two teddy bears. —Michelle Hawes, Lowell, Maine

Michelle, you have two great teddy bears. The 21-inch brown bear (far left) is a Knickerbocker, with Plastilene eyes. The bear was made from 1940 to 1950 and is valued at around $300 today. The light gold bear with the ribbon (near left) is an Ideal teddy from as early as 1909. He is a real winner. I would place him in the $1,500 and up category.

1980s Steiff “Margarete Strong” bearMy bear is in excellent condition and stands 20 inches tall. He growls and has shoe-button eyes. Can you give me any more information on him? —Hazel Thoma, Stafford, Kan.

Hazel, you have a 1980s Steiff “Margarete Strong” bear. This style was introduced in the early 1980s, with some proceeds going to the Strong Museum in New York. It is a very popular style, worth in the $400 range today.