Teddy Bear That Was A White Elephant Surprise

by Christine
(Plover, WI, USA)

Full body

Full body

I got this teddy bear as a kid at a grade school carnival in 1977 for $1.00 wrapped in newspaper at a white elephant booth. I lived out west then (don't know if this matters or not. Are there teddy bear manufacturers that only sold out west?) I have been intrigued ever since on his "ancestry". I'm hoping with the help of the internet I might get farther.

He is 18 inches long, his arms and legs are jointed including his head which can turn all the way around. He is well loved so the fur is partially rubbed off. It is a Golden colored, short mohair. I believe he is filled with straw or kopak. When I squeeze him, he is lumpy and the filling is not soft and a little compacted. I don't feel a noise box. He has a metal formed nose, perhaps tin as a magnet is not attracted. It appears there might have been color on the nose, dark brown? His mouth is black yarn. The mouth was one piece of yarn, not embroidered but obviously pulled up into a triangle shape by the stitch under his nose. It appears his muzzle was shaved. It was not made from a separate piece of clothe, but shaped from the head into a triangle. His eyes are amber with black centers. I think they are plastic but not sure. He is humpbacked. His torso is long and narrowish The hands and feet are velvet covered and long oval shaped.The arms are long, thin, and slightly curved. They are placed low on very sloped shoulders or you could say he has a long neck. His legs are long, thin, straight and the feet are shaped into like a boot shape. The ears are large and round, they are shaped to have a curve. They are created from seperate pieces of cloth and attached to the head. I cannot find a hole in his ear which seems to rule out him being a Steiff. I have inspected all the seams and cannot find any evidence of a label or tag. From my research I would say he is from 1920 thru the '30s.
I hope you all can help me. Like I said was well-loved in his Youth and appears to be very well made.

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Apr 12, 2018
Thank you Karen Louise
by: Christine Keck

Thank you Karen Louise for identifying my bear! It has been a couple of years since this initial post. I was disappointed that no one seemed to know him. It was a delightful surprise to get the message this morning. Also, thank you for telling me how I can repair his mouth. Again, thank you for taking the time to help me. It is very kind of you.

Apr 11, 2018
Have You Identified Your Bear Yet?
by: Karen Louise


I am not certain when your post was made... it could have been years ago and you may well have identified your Bear by now. But if you have not, I hope you find the following information helpful.

Knickerbocker Toy Company, started by Leo Weiss in NYC during the 1880s, made children’s toys such as alphabet blocks, etc. They began manufacturing teddy bears in 1925.

You’ve done a wonderful job identifying the materials and signature aspects to help determine the manufacturer of your 87 year old bear!

That said, your precious find, was probably manufactured in New York in/around 1930 - 1931. It is my understanding Knickerbocker produced the "Metal Nose" bears for one year only.

The early 1930 "Metal Nose" teddy bears have felt paw pads. Knickerbocker did stop producing bears with the wood-felt paw-pads in the very, very early 30s. Whereas your teddy has velveteen paw pads, my best guesstimate is that he was made in 1931.

18" teddy bears are a great display size. I am so happy to see you’ve held onto this special Bear and have done a fantastic job keeping him in such good condition since 1977.

What an amazing deal you got for $1.00!!!! He is worth significantly more than that today!

About Me:
You can find me on eBay, user ID: thekissablemuzzle
My love of Knickerbocker Teddy Bears has turned them into my number one selling brand.

If you have further questions, try me on Face Book. Of the many Karen Louises...I believe I show up as @karen.louise.9421

Fixing that little sweetie’s mouth would go a long way towards showcasing that precious face of his. It’s quite easy to do! A quick search on "stitching teddy bear noses and mouths" should give you access to some great tutorials.

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