Teddy Bear From Across The Pond

by Shawn Butler
(Sandusky, Ohio USA)

Old teddy bear

Old teddy bear


I recently purchase this little guy from across the big pond in Wisbech, England, United Kingdom, from antiques dealer. I am the Founder and Leading Curator for a small toy museum in Ohio. I specialize in the preservation, and exhibition of vintage toys.

Unfortunately, teddy bears are not my forte!

I sent an inquiry to another toy museum to see if they could help with identifying the bear, but they were unsuccessful.

The teddy bear is to be one of our key peices for our Antiques & Vintage Christmas Toy Exhibit in December, and i want to do a wonderful and extensive write up on the bear, for it will be the oldest peice on display.

The reason i fell in love with this teddy bear was because of its condition, and its age. The antique dearler had teddy dated 1910 to 1915. So i know this bear has seen a lot!

If teddy could talk, i wonder what kind of story he would tell. A story full of sorrow, or a story full of love and laughter, or maybe both.

The only additional information about teddy was that he has metal shoe button eyes, fully metal jointed, stuffed, and with mohair.
I asked the antiques dealer if they could share any additional information about the bear. Where did it come from, how did they obtain it, and most important who was the manufacturer.

They have not replyed!

I am unable to find any information or pics to compair the bear too. I have spent countless hours surfing the web, and calling local historians to see if they may be able to help.

Can you help me further identify my bear with the manufacturer and acurate date.

Shawn Butler

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Dec 29, 2022
Same bear
by: Jeff

I have the same bear,I bought him in a jumble sale in Hampshire (Uk) in the late 1970's for 5p when I was very small. My granny re-stuffed his legs and reattached one arm. But his name has always been one arm. I'd love to know who made him and where...

Jan 22, 2019
Same Bear?
by: Paula

I have a bear just like him I rescued from going into the dustbin. He has little fat cheeks that I've not seen on other bears and he has metal button eyes. I've tried to research but the nearest I can find in similarity are the Arthur van Gelden bears but haven't found an identical one until I saw your pictures. Looks like yours has little cheeks too.

Jan 21, 2019
New Adventures of Teddy Bear From Across The Pond
by: Shawn

Hello Cathy,

I recently wrote and presented a documentary called Christmas Memories "Popular Christmas Toys from 1920 to Present."

The project took an entire year to complete, including finding all of the correct popular toys from each year.

The long hours i spent on this project paid off!

I went as far back as the 1910s begining with the teddy, because everyone can pretty much say they have owned a teddy bear once in their life.

But most did not know how or when or where the name "teddy bear" originated.

So i exhibited my teddy bear from accross the big pond as the #1 Christmas Toy on my Popular Christmas toy list.

With the information that was given to me by the previous owner, i wrote up a story as if he was telling it called" My life and story from across the big pond", and placed it next to him in the display case.

The reaction and comments i received on teddy was amazing!

Patrons came from all over to see my Popular Christmas toy exhibit.

They loved seeing the toys they once played with, and shared wonderful stories with everyone as well.

But when they read the story about teddy, it pulled on their heart strings, and some were even crying!

So to answer your question should you sell your teddy bear?

If the teddy holds a special meaning in your heart, then my answer is NO.

The only reason the previous owner sold teddy to me was because there was no one to pass it on to.

I would like to think that I came along at the right time, and kept teddy from being placed in the wrong hands.

I am a toy enthusiast!

Star Wars is my main passion!

I have over twenty thousand pieces in my collection alone.

All together, my partner and i own forty thousand toys ranging from 1900s to present.

But this bear holds a special place in my heart. It is my most cherished piece, and will continue to be for many more happy years.


Jan 21, 2019
Teddy bear from across the pound
by: Cathy king

Hi , I have a teddy just like him , I brought him at a auction house in Andovet England , I have been trying to find out about the teddy also but no luck, I have had him a few years and I payed 35 pounds approx for it. I am selling alot of my things and I have my teddy on eBay at the moment , when I showed it to my friend she said I should take it off , I just want to know are they very rare and should I hold on to him . , Thank you Cathy

Oct 23, 2018
Van Gelden
by: Deb

Hi, your bear looks a lot like Dutch teddy bears made by the Arthur van Gelden company?

Jun 18, 2018
Teddy Bear From Across The Pond
by: Shawn

Hello all, I have great news! I recently found out some interesting information about my teddy bear. The Antique Dealer informed me that this teddy bear belong to a woman who has since long past, was from Germany! It belong to the woman since 1922 and she had it in her possession till she past away near her home in Newton, UK. As a child her and her family left Hamburg, Germany and moved to the united Kingdom to start a new life. The teddy bear indeed has seen a lot of trials and tribulations. Its seen the tail end of World War I and survived World War II. I am so happy that the Antique Dealer from Wisbech,UK was able to supply me with this information.

Thank you all for reading my story!
Shawn Butler Yesteryear Funland

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