Bearly People

Bearly People




Bearly People

Teddy Bears

The teddy bear first made his debut in 1902, his creator being Richard Steiff (the Daddy of Teddy Bears), nephew of Margarete Steiff creator of the great Steiff Company of Germany.  The teddy bear was originally produced for children, as up until his birth, children had no soft toy that they could hug or cuddle up to in bed at night.   Of course they had toy bears, but these bears were modelled on ‘real’ bears with looks that were quite frightening to little children, they were also made of metal or carved hard wood, they were certainly nothing at all like the warm and soft teddy bears that we know and love today.

Not long after the teddy bear’s birth he became famous across the whole of the western world and he was not only extremely popular with children, but adults too just adored him, and as well as childrens comforters the teddy bear also became a mascot for adults.

By the time of the First World War many soft toy companies in Britain started to produce their own versions of the teddy bear.  In 1913, German toy output was six times that of Great Britain but, following the outbreak of war, people would not buy German products and that, unfortunately, included teddy bears.  British soft toy companies such as Farnell and W.J. Terry seized the opportunity and started to produce some highly desirable teddy bears of their own.  These teddy bears are now highly sought after in todays collectors market.

Many soldiers who served in the First World War carried a teddy bear with them, either the teddy bear was their childhood bear or they were given a teddy bear by a close member of their family or indeed by their sweetheart.  Sadly many of the teddy bears that left the country to serve abroad with their soldiers never returned, but some did and occasionally they do come to auction, although it goes without saying that due to their provenance they fetch very high prices, although what price can you put on owning such a great piece of history?

During the 1920′s – 1930′s the teddy bear business just boomed and British soft toy companies such as the famous Chad Valley, Chiltern and Merrythought became some of the leading teddy bear makers in the world.

During the Second World War most of the great makers such as Merrythought had to stop production because both the firm’s premises and staff were needed for war work.  However, never had the teddy bear been needed so much by so many people, children especially needed to hold his warm and comforting body to help them cope with the ravages of war, but, not only children but adults alike.  Indeed, we know of numerous teddy bears that have helped both adults and children through many of the war horrors.  The teddy bear was without a shadow of a doubt their hero!  Many teddy bears from the Second World War era survive to this day, although again, prices are somewhat high, but what other antique item could offer so much history with so much love attached to it.

It is during the last few decades that collecting teddy bears has become popular.  Today teddy bears are collected by people from all over the world.  For many it is not only a pleasurable item to collect but also, as with all forms of antique collecting, a form of investment.  I would like to think that on the whole teddy bears are bought because of their beauty and character and possibly as a companion, I would also hope that one day the teddy bear would become an honorary member of the family.

Whether you fall for an old teddy bear with history or a new teddy bear who you find just breaks your heart, owning a teddy bear and taking care of him is a very important decision in your life but nevertheless a decision you will never ever regret.

To sum up then, I would just say that a teddy bear truly is Your Friend For Life!

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