A while back, I posted an entry about an antique teddy bear that I had tentatively identified as American, from the early 1920s. Well, was I ever wrong! But I wouldn't have known without a recent teddy bear purchase and a tip from its helpful eBay seller.
Here are the two bears in question, side by side. The gold bear is the first one, which we guessed was American based on the inset cloth nose and happy expression. But it remained a puzzling bruin, with a very odd body structure, and I remained rather uncertain about it. A couple of weeks ago, I found the second bear, the white one on the right, and after studying it, realized they're both by the same maker. The wear present on the first bear makes them not as obviously identical as one might hope, but the type of eyes, size and placement of ears (which contain tiny squeakers!), inset cloth nose, crooked grins, tubby body shape, and the unusual limbs all match.
What really clinched the ID was the claw stitching, some of the most unusual I've ever seen. The feet feature odd, linked up stitches, while the paws have very long, thick claws.
The seller of the white bear suggested the British maker, Peacock, as the source, with a date of 1914, and using that information I finally found a reference to this bear in a guide book. Turns out it's a pretty rare bear, so I feel doubly lucky to now have two!