I have this sweet old bear who stands 9 inches tall. Can you tell me about his maker, age and value? —Anna Graber, Massillon, Ohio
Anna, you have a Japanese KAMAR teddy dating from the late 1950s and early 1960s. This little bear was one of the most popular imports from Japan at the time, selling for little more than a dollar. Today, in great condition, they bring $75 or more.
I bought this bear off eBay for a few hundred dollars from a buyer who thought it may be English. Please identify it for me and tell me if I spent too much. Thank you. —Michelle Bucceri, Lowell, Maine
Michelle, your 13-inch-tall teddy dates from 1907–1908, probably made by the BMC Bruin Teddy Bear Co. of New York. It is an American teddy worth around $1,200 or so in great condition. The eyes appear to have been replaced, but the teddy looks to be all original in excellent condition. One of my favorites!
When you visited the Chelsea [Teddy Bear Co.] factory in Michigan, I told you about my bear but did not have a photo. Here he is with pictures of my relatives who owned him in the early 1900s. What kind of bear is he? —Jackie Monk, Dexter, Mich.
Jackie, you are the proud owner of one of the original Hermann teddy bears. Johann Hermann began in 1912, and his sons and daughters continue business right up to this day. Your wonderful, expressive 20-inch teddy is worth $1,000 and up, judging from his excellent condition. Family history (provenance) is great too; see if you can find a photo with your Hermann bear in it.
“Uncle George” has been in our family since the turn of the last century. Our entire family is Slovak, except Uncle George Schulz, who was the original owner of this teddy. Please help us identify and value him; we may be looking for a new home for him soon and want to ask a fair price. —Jack Breznen, New Canaan, Conn.
Jack, what a great-looking bear with an unusual look. I would say the last time I saw a face like his, it was on a F.H. Moller German teddy that was made around 1915. Seldom seen, I think he would be worth at least $4,000 in great condition to a lucky buyer. Good luck!
I am enclosing pictures of a newly acquired old bear. Our family has always called him Timmy, and he dates back to my grandmother who traveled by covered wagon as well as by automobile. This teddy was passed to my dad in 1966, and now to me. Help me with anything you can tell me about Timmy. —Helen Hankins, Phoenix, Ariz.
Helen, your family heirloom is an original Steiff teddy bear from around 1906. The photo is great, and his 19-inch size is especially good. Although he needs excelsior stuffing and is lacking some facial and body mohair, with family provenance he still should command a price of $1,500 to $2,000. If you find him in an early photo with Grandma, it would raise his price!
Ken, this teddy was my father’s as a child sometime around 1905. People have identified him as American, but would like to know for sure where he came from. Can you help me? —Marcia Indrecc, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Marcia, your 12-inch teddy is a sweet-faced Ideal teddy bear. Dating from around 1907–1908, he has a rust-colored nose, which was used on a minority of those made by Ideal at the time. With family provenance, he is probably close to a $2,000 value. You should also search for an early picture of your dad with his beautiful bear!