I've been racking my brain trying to come up with a thematically appropriate toy to begin January's postings. After much thought and poking about in various cupboards and boxes, I found it: this small Schuco bear. But first, a few words about Janus, the Roman god who symbolized transitions, passages, beginnings and endings, and whose image, of a head with two faces looking in opposite directions, was affixed to ancient gates and doorways. Here he is, in a statue currently held by the Vatican.
Our month of January is named after him, as is this little bear, the Schuco Janus bear.
The Schuco Janus bear is highly sought by collectors, and deemed "freaking creepy" by pretty much everyone else.