History of Old Bears

If Old Bears Could Talk

The interesting thing about collecting old bears is that they have a past, a history and this gives them an air of mystery and intrigue that you cannot get in a modern bear.

Many manufacturers and bear artists try to replicate old bears and while they might manage to achieve a realistic look of an old bear, the history and heart of a true old bear can't be reproduced. Some of these vintage bears have survived two world wars and lived with several families during their lives and received the love of a child.

The most common question we get asked is do we know the history attached to a bear and while there are a few that have some provenance most old bears have no record of their past.

So this is where you can help. If you have a bear that you have had for some years start now and write down the history of you and the bear. Start by recording where and when you and the bear first met and go on to record where you both lived and any interesting things that you did together including holidays and special events. This should be updated as time passes and then the history of the bear can be passed to the next guardian of the bear. To make the history complete is a good idea to take photos as well.

Even if you have just purchased your old bear and don't have any of the history, remember that his history with you starts the day you buy him so start recording events.

It seems so tragic that when we pass our old bears on to the next generation that they don't know anything about him except for hear say and the fact that this was Mum or Dads bear.

As teddy can't speak (well not to anyone except you) we need to speak for him. Not only is in interesting and enjoyable but it will also help increase the value of your bear if he ever has to be sold as bears with provenance seem to generate higher prices at auction.

'Old Ted'

One bear we have at the moment is an old teddy bear called 'Old Ted' and his family came to visit our antique bear showroom as the lady wanted us to find a new home for her childhood bear. Old Ted was a birth gift to his owner in 1924 when she was born in Hitchin Herts. This gift was from her Great Aunt and Uncle who were Greengrocers in Doncaster. When the lady was nine years old her family moved to Harrow and she attended the Harrow county school. During World War Two Old Ted lived in Harrow and survived a bombing raid which hit the railway line nearby. His owner wanted to join up and serve for her country but her parents would not give their consent as she was under 21 and so she decided to help with the cadets.

When the owner of Old Ted got married and moved away he stayed in Harrow and lived with her Father until he died in 1985. Since then he had lived with his original owner in Tring Herts. until he came to live with us.

'Topsy Boo Bear'

This special little old bear comes from the Sunshine state of Florida USA and she is a 1910 era white Steiff bear that was owned by a lady who was a professional Cellist for the Palm Beach symphony Orchestra and other world wide orchestras and Topsy Boo Bear accompanied her on tour all over the world as she spent her entire career travelling.

When Topsy Boo Bear was bad she was called Boo Boo Bad Bear and when she was very good she was called Best Boo Bear.

Topsy comes with a letter and pictures of her original owner and her own story to tell and is also looking for a home.

'Mathias Putney'

One old bear we recently found a home for was called Mathias Putney and he got his name from a department store in Putney called Mathias and he belonged to an actor who was at stage school with David Frost, Johnny Briggs and Millicent Martin.

This little 1930's Chiltern bear travelled all over the country with his actor owner who stared in the Flaxman Boys and appeared on stage with Joan Collins.

We have now found Mathias a new home and I am sure that it will not be long before Old Ted and Topsy Boo Bear featured above find a new home also.

As you can see it so very interesting knowing about the history of our little furry friends. So please can we urge all you lucky people who still have their old bear to help keep their history for future generations and start writing today!