How old is my bear?

by Jodie

Just trying to get a little more information about this bear. I picked it up in an antique shop in Dartmouth and he just stood out to me. The owner of the shop didn’t know much about him, just that he was old but couldn’t say how old.

He does have a hole under his arm and I can see that the stuffing is really hard, especially in his head and legs.

Almost all his fur has come off apart from the little bits in his ears and near the seams.

His eyes look as if they’re a hard wool that had been stitched on (or really thick string that had just gotten hard with age).
His arms are stitched on and but his legs are part of the same material as the tummy area.

The material does change when it gets to his paws, they are a lighter colour and can clearly see it’s a different material.
There is a seam going straight down the middle and a seam in the shape of a V at the back of his head.

I’d say he’s made out of canvas? But to be honest that’s only because he feels that way, I could be completely wrong.
His face is a little unshaped, his nose when you look at it slants to the left.

His nose is also stitched on using a thicker string or wool.
Some of where the fur would be, looks as if it’s been wet and has caused the material to change colours.

He doesn’t have a tag or label.

I would just like to know roughly how old he is and what type of bear he is. He was the only one that looked like this in the shop, the others had different types of joins, maybe that’s why he stood out to me.

I have included pictures so please take a look, any information would be so helpful, I’m quite interested in how old he actually is and if anyone has any like him.

Sorry there isn’t a lot of information to go on on him, I don’t know much about antique bears as this is my first one.

Comments for How old is my bear?

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Likely velveteen, not canvas
by: Bear Doctor

Velveteen (a short pile of cotton fibers affixed to a woven cotton substrate) is relatively common among teddy bears from 1914 onward, as a less expensive material for making bears than using mohair (most preferred), sheepskin (acceptable), and other preferred (silk, rayon, acrylic...) plush variants. Velveteen is soft, but not very plush, and it can either have a nap from the start or develop one under pressure (as in crushed velvet). It can also be rubbed away over time, though mohair plush is likewise vulnerable to disappearing with over-use. Anyway, your bear is not likely to be made of canvas; what looks like canvas is likely to be the bare cotton exposed where the velvet pile has worn away. Your bear could be as old as the 1920s, and the quality of the stuffing material may give you a clue, if someone were to open it up. Kapok and excelsior (wood shavings) were the primary stuffing materials up to about 1939. After 1939, kapok was in short supply, so the waste material of textile mills was used as a substitute (wool, aka flock).

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