Early 1900s humpbacked bear

by Sharon Fong
(San Jose,CA)

teddy bear lying down

teddy bear lying down

This stuffed teddy bear is likely well over a hundred years old. The bear first belonged to my grandmother who was born in 1896, then passed to my mother, then to me. She lived in the California Bay Area west of San Francisco. I assumed she had it as a child, and it is possible it was obtained in San Francisco. I don't know anything else about it's origin and could not find a similar photo of a teddy bear anywhere on the internet, having checked auction sites such as Ebay and a few other sites. It has stuffing that is solidly packed. It appears to have glass eyes that are black in the center and brown around the edges. It has brown stitching for the mouth and nose. The eyes are a half inch in diameter, and are two inches apart, the nose stitching is almost two inches across. The stitching goes down below the nose for about a half an inch, then the stitching angles down on each side for another two inches on both sides to form the mouth. It is about twenty six inches long from head to the bottom of the feet. It has no tags and I can see nowhere on the bear’s body that a tag might have been attached and then removed. The arms, legs and head all swivel. It is a light tan color, with a slightly different darker color for the paw pads and inner ears. The foot pads are 3 inches long with the contrasting color. It has a small, but distinct hump at the very top of its back. It may be stuffed with straw, none is protruding out of any of the seems to verify if this is so and the material may be mohair, just from what I could find about other bears from the same period. It's arms are about eleven inches long, its legs about nine inches. It is twenty one inches around at it's middle and about four inches across from ear to ear across the top of it’s head. It can sit up and stay in the sitting position. I have had it in a dress and hat I made for it many years ago just to have a covering for it and to protect it from dust. It had been stored in a trunk for many years before I had it and is still in good shape.

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