Sunday, June 14, 2009

1908 Teddy Bear Dolls

These are two of the most unique items in my antique teddy bear and doll collection. Called Teddy Girls or Teddy Dolls, they were made around 1908, the year that the teddy bear craze swept America. Doll sales temporarily plummeted, causing manufacturers to worry about their Christmas sales figures. Their solution was the creation of this hybrid half teddy bear, half doll. It was not well received: children wanting either teddy bears or dolls rejected it as being neither, and everyone else was just generally creeped out by it. Dismal sales led to a short shelf life, and Teddy Girls are now rather scarce. I was thrilled to find two very different examples. The large doll features a German-made painted metal head with glass sleep eyes, attached to an American-made bear body. The smaller doll is of a much simpler, more common type, with a celluloid face mask inserted into a teddy bear hood.

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