Monday, August 20, 2012

Collectible Bears - Hermann Teddy Original, Germany

Collectible Teddy Bears (and animals) - "Hermann Teddy Original", Germany

Brief history:
Bernard Hermann/Gebruder Hermann KG was founded in 1912. “Be-Ha” trademark was used, a combination of "Bernard" and "Hermann" in Sonneberg post-WWI. The founding brothers go into military service in WWII. Production starts to transfer to their factory in Hirschaid, part of the American Zone, in 1948. The company reforms as Gebruder Hermann KG and the entire family relocates to the West between 1952 to 1953. The trademark “Hermann Teddy Original” is introduced. All production has now moved to the Western Germany Hirschaid factory. 

The first limited edition collector’s teddy bears were produced in 1984. The company was renamed Teddy-Hermann GmbH in 1991/1994 when it became a Limited Company but their "Herman Teddy Original" trademark was retained. Herman Teddy Original is still in operation in Germany today.

A rare early c1930 "Be-Ha" catalogue (authenticity confirmed by Hermann Teddy Original), showing teddy bears and other animals available with black & white photos, and text in both German and (in some cases) badly translated English.

Teddy and soft toy photos and descriptions from the catalogue.

For more info and pictures of this catalogue, please click HERE

A miniature Hermann Teddy Original white mohair bear with all ID (identification).

Fully jointed, he is just 5 1/2 inches tall.  He has his swing tag, his hang tag and his seam tag in his arm.
He was made in Western Germany, which dates him pre-1990 (date of reunification of Germany) but not before 1988 (due to colour of seam tag print).

For more info, please click HERE

How to identify Herman Original Teddy (bears)
In the 1920’s bears were 4 inches to 31 inches tall, with press voices or growlers, disk jointed, and most early bears have short mohair and a shaved mohair inset plush pointed muzzle. More modern Zotty style bears had no “bib” (Steiff Zotty bears have an apricot mohair "bib"), and almost all bear's noses were vertically stitched with two outer stitches dropped downwards. Early bears displayed large, round head and ears, with narrow limbs ending with upturned paws and three black claw stitches.

An example of a gold metal & paper swing tag used c1970's into the 1980's on a white mohair monkey.

For more pictures and info on this monkey, please click HERE

ID tag (date) identification
Sphere with toy dog and the letters “BEHA” inside the circle in the 1920’s. Circle with the words “BE HA QUALITY GERMANY” in the 1930's; circle with “Teddy” in script surrounded by the words “Marke BE HA Burgt” in the 1940’s; circle with “Teddy” in script on silver/green pendant (hang/swing tag) in the 1950’s – 1960’s. Gold metal and paper swing tag disks were also introduced in the late 1960's and carried into the 1980's. Circle with “Hermann Original” & “Teddy” in script on red plastic with white writing were introduced in the late 1970's and a form of which is still used today (small and large sizes).

An example of the more modern red plastic swing tag, on this cute mohair dark brown chimpanzee monkey.

This monkey also has his arm seam tag.  The seam tag style dates him to 1985 to 1988.

For more info and pictures, please click HERE

Herman Original Teddy seam tags are usually found in the teddy bear's (or animal's) arm seam.  Since 1988, the seam tags have red embroidered thread lettering on white cloth.  Between 1985 to 1988, the seam tags had brown embroidered thread lettering on white cloth.  Between 1945 to 1985, it was green embroidery.  

There can be many clues to identify a maker of a teddy bear or animal. Tag styles, body styles, nose stitching etc.

Happy Treasure Hunting!

Bear Hugs

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