Teddy Needs Help!

by Carole
(Louisiana)

Chest area of bear

Chest area of bear

Chest area of bear
teddy bear on back
this is the 'belly button'
side view of teddy bear

Hi, I am glad I have come across your website. I purchased this teddy bear at an antique store. I liked him, despite the tear in his chest. The sign noted on him was he needs TLC. I am curious to find out some information about him.


I love antiques and have my house furnished and decorated in antiques...most importantly is that I have provenance with most of them. I have and know nothing about this teddy bear and would like to know more.

The pictures are worth a thousand words, but I will try to get to the 400 words required to use your site. I believe he is made of mohair and has what I believe to be excelsior for stuffing. His head, arms and legs are jointed, will turn all the way-360 degrees. His nose is felt and his mouth stitching is missing so I can't describe it. His eyes are glass. His ears look at though they should be completely covered in hair, but a lot is missing on one ear. He has stitching down the front and back of his body but not the sides, under his arms. His paws are all felt and the claw stitching is hard to determine if it is replaced or how many stitches were there originally. One paw looks to have had 4, but the others only 3. One paw also looks to have had some dark brown whip stitches added into it, but unsure of what that is.

There is a hole in his chest, so you can see his stuffing. At his waistline, he has some sort of round 'button' or something--in the belly button area. It is about 1 1/2" in diameter It feels a little like wood on the top and it "accordians", I can feel only a small area of it going inside the tummy, but it feels like fabric. I can get a pic of this, but you will only see a small portion as I do not want to undo any more of his stitching. I sure hope that you are able to help me get some history on my teddy. Thank you,

Reply
Hi, Unfortunately the condition of your bear does make it almost impossible to identify. Often things like claws, the number of them, the colour of the pads and what they are made of, the stuffing, the eyes, the mouth and nose stitching are all used to identify a bear.

I have gone through my books and would say that it does appear to be a very old bear possibly from the 1920's. I say this because of his general look, the fact that he does have claws, his eyes are two tones and that from what it sounds like he may have had a bellows musical box inside of him at one time. The only bear that I can find that has a similar look and had bellows was a 1925 shaggy blond/blue bear made by Helvetic, a Swiss company. However this is only a suggestion, I cannot positively identify him.

The fact that he ahs so much damage and much of his pads and mouth stitching has gone does make it difficult. Absence of a label or button somewhere on his body, or an indicator that there was one once also makes it difficult to identify.
I'm sorry I could not be of more help.

Kate

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Oct 16, 2016
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Chad Valley
by: Anonymous

Your Bear looks like aChad Valley,my brother still has his! (He's now 60!),think it's 1950s possibly a little earlier, as it was our older brother's first. Strange thing tho..it also has a "chest wound" thanks to his dog,many years ago.

Jul 28, 2016
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Belly button disc - probably a growler
by: Anonymous

The hard disc in the belly sounds very much like a growler machine. It may not be working - but if you can unpick the hand stitching on the back of the bear - gently, you can have a rummage inside the straw to see if the remains of a growler mechanism can be found. My bear had a cardboard tube with holes punched in one end. Inside was a concrete burger shaped disc with a spiral gouged out of it, with paper glued over that and a small metal vibrator at the end of the spiral. there was a pigskin bellows bag, so when you tipped the mechanism over the weight of the concrete burger pushed down forcing air through the spiral and vibrating through the metal bit creating a growl sound. The thick cardboard tube was about and inch and half diameter and could be felt through the tummy. Very basic but very effective. I have replaced the growler in mine, as the original had stopped working - they only cost £3 - £4 to replace. http://www.bearbasics.co.uk/medium-traditional-hardboard-growlers/p1143 website has them for sale in the UK. Well worth giving your bear his voice box back.

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