How Old Is Teddy? Vintage Teddies at Tara’s Palace Museum.

There are several features that help to determine the age of a vintage teddy:

  • THE MAKER – Often, bears can be attributed to their maker simply by style or look. Premium and highly sought after bears are by makers such as Steiff, Chiltern, Joy Toys or Ideal.
  • FUR OR FABRIC – Mohair was used originally. Felt was used for the pads of the earliest bears. Later, after WW1, cotton was popular (as cotton, brushed or velveteen).
  • STUFFING – The earliest bears were stuffed with woodwool (excelsior), made from long, fine wood shavings. This gave the teddy a crunchy feel if squeezed.
  • SHAPE – The very earliest bears had a comparatively pointed snout and longer limbs. Early bears were jointed with cardboard or metal discs, attached with metal pins.
  • EYES – Originally, from 1902-1915, teddy bear eyes were wooden or leather-covered wooden boot buttons, on wire hooks or shanks. Glass eyes replaced these from WW1.
  • NOSE – Generally, noses were originally hand-stiched with black or brown thread. Many makers had their own distinctive shape.

About Tara's Palace Museum of Childhood

Marketing Manager, Tara's Palace Museum of Childhood, Powerscourt House, Enniskerry, Co.Wicklow, Ireland.
This entry was posted in Museums, Powerscourt Gardens, Powerscourt House, Tara's Palace, Teddy Bears, Wicklow and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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