We regularly get this question through our e-mail. Whether we have information on the old teddy bear and how much it’s worth, mostly out of curiosity by the owner. However, there is seldom a quick answer, the value depends on a lot of factors.
The condition of the teddy bear is very important. Old teddy bears were often played with, because they were toys. Therefore they show signs of general wear. Most problems, like worn soles and missing eyes, are fixed easily. General wear and tears in mohair, need a complete different approach. A very worn teddy bear will be worth 75% less than a teddy bear in perfect condition.
The manufacturer of the teddy bear plays an important role. German Steiff teddy bears are often sold at auctions, as these bears are among the most collected. Also teddy bears of the English Farnell are very collectable. There are more important and saleable manufacturers: Bing, Chad Valley, Chiltern and Merrythought. A well-known manufacturer increases the value of the teddy bear.
Labels, buttons and tags
Forms of identification on old teddy bears were often removed by caring parents. These are not only important for identification of a teddy bear, but the more complete the teddy bear is, the more he is worth. A good example is the Steiff button in ear. If this button is no longer present, this immediate lowers the value with 25%. Apart from labels, buttons, swing tags and certificates, the bear must still have its original box. An original box in good condition, increasing the value.
Some collectors choose miniature teddy bears from Schuco or Farnell, but in general, big teddy bears are more expensive.
In general, the older a teddy bear, the more it is worth. Teddy bears from before the First World War are particularly valuable. However, teddy bears from the 1950s and 1960s, are also popular.
A teddy bear with limited edition, will have a higher value because of its rarity.
Most teddy bears were made of light brown, blonde or gold mohair. Therefore, there is more demand for bears with a different color such as cinnamon and black. Like a limited edition, they also have a higher value.
Only rarely, a teddy bear is bought from its original owner. But things that confirm ownership, will increase the value of the teddy bear. These include things like the original invoice, old catalogues and photographs of the owner with the teddy bear.
The most subjective part is the appeal of a teddy bear, which is very personal but perhaps the most important. A teddy bear with an attractive appearance will be sold more quickly.
If you want to know the value of your teddy bear, show it to an expert at an auction or a teddy bear fair. We don’t value teddy bears, because it’s almost impossible to value a bear without actually seeing and feeling it.