Thursday, February 18, 2010

Antique American Teddy Bear

Found this guy at a toy show last weekend: an early American teddy bear made around 1908. He's in need of a good cleaning and a little restoration (proper ear reattachment, paw pad patching) but his enchanting expression makes him worth it!

People have a tendency to classify all "cute" early American teddies as made by Ideal, and that's exactly how the seller labelled this one, but this bear has 2 very distinctive traits that help identify it: a wooly coat, as opposed to mohair, and chopped cork stuffing as opposed to wood shavings, straw, or excelsior. These features are seen in only two manufacturers that I'm aware of: Hahn & Amberg and the Miller Manufacturing Company, who made what they referred to as a "Hygienic Bear".  They are both much rarer than Ideals, so it's good to be aware when you're "on the hunt." At first, I thought this one was a Hahn, which was the firm primarily known for the use of cork stuffing,  but after comparing him to my other, confirmed Hahn & Amberg and finding a bit more info. on Miller, I'm reclassifying him as the latter.


  1. He's adorable! What a good find...

    1. Hello, Tracy. Very early, Ideal bears also had this, Wooly Coat and Chopped Cork Stuffing. Please see this wonderful example of a very early Ideal bear at Dublin, Ca. Teddy's bear.