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ajchambers8 Posts: 32

Hello there, I am wondering what info there is out there about Zotty bears, I have a little hermann one and have just bought one from ebay, 11" which seems to have a red insert in his mouth rathr than the peach colour, does and one know who made the red mouthed Zotty bears, apparently it has no tag or label
Many thanks

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,041

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

This may not help at all, but I think Steiff had a Zotty sometime in the 80s that had a smaller red insert within the peach colored mouth.  Maybe to resemble a tongue?  The whole mouth insert in the bear you got is red?

ajchambers8 Posts: 32

hi i actually have come to believe its a fetcher bear, who made their zotty bears post ww2 in austria, which is great! I know this has hard stuffing, ounds like wood wool which would be to old to have been made in the 1980's, thankyou though!

I also have two other zotty bears i cant seen to trace a maker for, one is about 14" and pretty sparse of fur, the other is about 20" and has the sshaved muzzle, both have completely red inserts in their mouths, and guidence there would be appreciated!

dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 6,021
Website

By "Zotty bear," do you mean a bear with open mouth and turned-down paws? Or just an open mouth?

The red mouth insert definitely sounds like a Fechter feature. Between Steiff and Hermann Zotty bears, a distinguishing characteristic is the yellow or peach "bib" that forms the top part of the Steiff bear's body. Both brands were made with an inset muzzle rather than a shaved muzzle.

Was this any help at all?

Becky

ajchambers8 Posts: 32

Ah, I thoght a zotty bear is a bear with open mouth, though i was confused to read the term zotty derived from a german term for shaggy! the bear i think to be a fetcher bear has the open mouth and turned paws...
the two bears i have with completely red inserts have their pads to the inner side...the 14" bear that is balding originally had darker brown fur, the large bear has uite orangey fur and is rather tubby, both are stuffed with wood wool....im wondering if i can put a pic up!.....here is the zotty i believe to be a fetcherzotty2.jpgzotty1.jpg

ajchambers8 Posts: 32

Here are the two red mouthed bears, the smaller one as you see is ready for a little restoration, the larger one looks very jolly!

fred.jpg
fritz.jpg

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,041

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

The bear you believe to be a Fechter, probably is.  They were in business from 1946 to 1968.  The way the nose is embroidered (with the longer stitch in the middle) is quite similar to Fechters, as is the red "tongue" within the inset mouth.  The dark lining around the mouth is also a trait of the Fechter.  Nice addition to your hug.

ajchambers8 Posts: 32

Hi there Sue, thank you, I didnt know how long they were in production I thought they closed their factory in 1979, but it was just an artical I read somewhere online, from what you say they shut the year before I was born!

dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 6,021
Website

zotty.jpgLovely bears! And you taught me the meaning of "zotty" today.

Old Fred is certainly in need of much love. Fritz looks more "familiar" to me. His shape and muzzle and wide-set eyes remind me of Hermann bears, and the cotton plush fur (or is it "art silk"?) probably dates him to circa 1945-1955.

Maybe we'll get some other guesses about Fred and Fritz:)

Becky

P.S. Here's my little Steiff Zotty - just cuz he's so darned cute!

ajchambers8 Posts: 32

Hi Becky,
Thank you, I am quite ignorant when it comes to makers, it was pure chance I came across the fetcher make! and I was able to find out about the zotty hermann I already had because he was missing the stieff bib!... I think for someone like me, who has a lot of very old bears with no makers name, it can be hard to get much info!

I like bears that look like they've had a real 'life' not just sat unplayed with! so most of mine come to me in what some would call 'poor' condition... is there anywhere on here I can post photos of my other closed mouth bears and see if anyone knows anything?

I'm very much in appreciation of your assistance  bear_cool
Angie

ajchambers8 Posts: 32

Oooh the pic of your Zotty didnt show up before! he's very nice  bear_grin

dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 6,021
Website

Angie, I think many TT-ers would love to look at your old bears! I'm no expert, but I do have a few bear reference books. Perhaps if you post some photos in this General category, the old-bear lovers can put their heads together and offer guesses about the makers?

Becky

ajchambers8 Posts: 32

Hi there , thank you here are a couple more of my bears !
037.JPG
041.JPG
Hans had to have an arm made for him, he only had one when I rescued him...043.JPGhis joints are different, they were on rods and hooked through the one arm he had when I got him, my friend made a disc and I made the arm

They are all special to me and I dont know much about any of them all the ones shown apart from piggerlett bear, have wood wool stuffing
any info would be great!

ajchambers8 Posts: 32

I just took some more pictures of my other bears there is one especially that I would love to know about , I call him 'Gruff' he is a blue/grey colour, has larger eyes and has just come out of moth balls a few weeks ago, I bought him at a second hand market in camden london, when i was 14, 1985. Gruff is about 17" tall and growls deeply....the last lot of picsi put up look huge, i hope you can see these better.....
gruff_2.JPG
gruff3.JPG
Bailey has been with me all my life he belonged to my brother who had him in the 1950's, I dont know if he was new then!...he is unusual in that he has blue glass eyes he is about 12" tall and has a humped back & wood wool stuffing
bailey_2.JPG

Little titch was rescued at a car boot sale about 2 years ago, he has grey glass eyes, though they dont show up very well here! he's only about 9" and stuffed with wood wool also has humped back.
titch.JPG

This is Monty he has been with me about 4 weeks, I am waiting for suitable fabric to make him ears, he is a massive 24" tall and heavey as he's stuffed with wood wool, he has a humped back, he's fully jointed & squeaks when tipped backwards...its a funny squeak as he looks like he should have a far deeper growl, like gruff!
monty.JPG

I would be glad of any information anyone can provide as to maker or age...and NONE of them are for sale!!!

Here is my Hermann Zotty, Alfie, in playful pose, he's 11" tall and was bought from the same seller on ebay that I got Hans and Fred from, I love that I have been able to keep their little family together, even if I had to rename them, even though I got Alfie about 9 months after!
alfie_big.JPG

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,041

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

ajchambers8 wrote:

Hi there Sue, thank you, I didnt know how long they were in production I thought they closed their factory in 1979, but it was just an artical I read somewhere online, from what you say they shut the year before I was born!

OOPSIE!  I see I made a typo in my post up there.  They were in business until 1978, not 68.  Sorry for the confusion . . . sometimes my fingers don't behave well when typing.  :redface:  :redface:  :doh:
Wonderful bears you have in your collection and I'm sure someone will be able to indentify at least some of them.

ajchambers8 Posts: 32

Not to worry at all! as you can see I have updated with lots of pics! greatful for any intel at all really! I will have to take a nice group pic of them all, Freds away with my partner at the moment and will return on Thursday!

I hope the pics have come out alright, I'm looking at a lot of pages online trying to see if I can sort any info for myself!

Thankyou and Becky for all your interesting info and thoughts!

dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 6,021
Website

What a wonderful collection of well-loved bears! I might need to come back from time to time and concentrate on one or two.

First off, Monty is fabulous with that big round head! I know you'll give him the ears he deserves. The other thing to note up front is that with the wear, some of the identifying features of your bears might be gone - original paw pads, nose and claw stitching, even ear shape.

That being said, Piggerlet could be an early Merrythought. The nose stitching has been replaced, right? But if they copied the original, Merrythought used the down-turned stitches on the outside. They also made some bears with wide, flat ears sewn across the seams like Piggerlet's.

Your Gruff bear also has the look of an English bear to me - with his short arms and flattish head. But he looks like he was "high-end merchandise" with his long pile mohair and shapely muzzle. Maybe Farnell or Chad Valley?

Little Titch and Bailey must also be English. Both are adorable! My only other thought, really, is that someone made a very valiant effort when they replaced JJ's muzzle. He was worth saving obviously:)

Best regards,
Becky

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

Well, I learned something! I use "Zotty" mohair by Schulte.... it's a gray-silver color that has a frosted look.... this is the same mohair Steiff used for their "Zotty" bears which is why the mohair is called "Zotty". What I didn't realize was that the bear has to have an open mouth to be a Zotty and that other manufacturers were able to call their bears by this name also. It's a style of bear... not the name of a Steiff bear. Do I have that right?

ajchambers8 Posts: 32

Hi becky, thanks so much for the help ...JJ is very hard to photograph, I dont think his nose has been replaced, I am just taking osme extra pics to show you! He's my 2nd biggest bear at 21 inches tall...his snout is a velvety darker brown than the rest of him, his fur is very coarse,,he has a growler that works....when he feels ike it!...he has always had two odd eyes since i had him!
jj3.jpg
jj2.jpg
jj6.jpg

I was begining to wonder if Monty was polish!...his feet pads are the reverse of his fur i believe, as are bailey's and little titch's....
Piggerlett bear, is stuffed with lots of very odd reminants and off cuts, I know this because when I got him , he had a non functioning growler which seemed to be ready to poke through his tummy, so I opened a side seam and took it out, I replaced the gap with some more stuffing, I didnt replace any of his stuffing, just replaced where the box came out... his head is wood wool packed... I dont know if he has had his nose redone, it looks like its always been that way though it is hard to tell !....he's very squidgey!


I'm really impressed with what you have told me, you do know your bears!

heres also ann updated hans pic too... I think his shape very distinctive!
hans_1.jpg
hans_2.jpg
hans_3.jpg

maybe you can tell more from these? ...he is 19" tall, more than I thought!...doesnt he melt your heart looking in to the camera like that!
I have to say I still havent come across much that would seem to match fritz and fred with their bright red mouths!

I realy appreciate you taking the time to be so helpful!
Angela

ajchambers8 Posts: 32
Daphne wrote:

Well, I learned something! I use "Zotty" mohair by Schulte.... it's a gray-silver color that has a frosted look.... this is the same mohair Steiff used for their "Zotty" bears which is why the mohair is called "Zotty". What I didn't realize was that the bear has to have an open mouth to be a Zotty and that other manufacturers were able to call their bears by this name also. It's a style of bear... not the name of a Steiff bear. Do I have that right?

I've learned so much today too! It would seem to be the 'style' of bear, I'm glad people have been kind enough to clear some things up! ...  I have learned something from you as well regarding the Zotty mohair !

After a lot of reading there were bears with open mouths called 'feed me' bears....any info on these anyone?... I am going to look into these they may have something to do with Fred and Fritz!
  bear_flower

dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 6,021
Website

Daphne, as I understand it, both Steiff and Hermann marketed a bear named "Zotty" the zottelbar ("shaggy bear," right?). (Hermann's line was often in lock step with what Steiff was offering.) I don't know of any other makers who used the name, but the bears were so popular that the term seems to have taken on the meaning, "furry bear with open mouth and turned down paws."  (Maybe someone knows whether Fechter also called their bear a Zotty? Angie's Fechter bear certainly looks similar to the other brands.)

Angie, now I can see your JJ better. I'm afraid I still don't know about makers. There were so many small companies in countries all over the world -- your Monty may very well be from Poland. I can see that you appreciate the "alternative" plushes -- the wool and cotton and artificial silk. All of the bears have loads of character, that much is certain!

Thanks for sharing pictures of your hug!

Becky

ajchambers8 Posts: 32

Hi everyone, nice to meet you Daphne, I found out quite a bit about Fetcher bears & their history on this site,
I think most of their bears were of the open mouth variety! as it is the closed mouth bears of theirs that are rare.
http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:S8 … en&ct=clnk

Thank you again for your info Becky, old Monty does seem consistant with some of the other polish bears I have come across online, I have posted my little friends on another forum too, hopefully the more their out there, the more chance there is that someone will recognise something about them!

I currently am awaiting the new little one I initially posted here about, he has been sent out today!

I also bought two more bears from ebay yesterday, more pot luck than anything and I won them for 99p!
One is a white un joinnted Pedigree labeled 'made in England' the other is a bit of a mystery, but sounded like he needs a bit of attention,
ped_bears.jpg

Terrible picture I know...the listing reads
Two old teddies for sale.

Labelled PEDIGREE England cream plush fur teddy, 1950s. He has a soft filled upright unjointed body, blue plastic eyes and black stitched nose. 31cm tall and in  very good condition.
Chocolate coloured plush fur teddy,1940s ? Sweet face with black metal button eyes and stiched nose. Jointed body but some of the jointed are stitched up ? He is filled with straw or wood wool and as a squeaker in his chest but this isn't working. No manufacturers labels. Height 33cm and has been abit more cuddled !

...I dont always believe all I read, the cream bear may go up for resale as he looks a bit modern to me and not really my thing, though I will reserve judgment on him!....it was the brown bear with metal eyes that caught my attention, he sure sounds interesting & unusual with his blue looking paws! I'll take some pics of them when they arrive!

I look forward to hearing any other thoughts on my bears!

dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 6,021
Website

According to Pauline Cockrill's "Teddy Bear Encyclopedia," all of Pedigree's production was moved to Belfast in 1955, so if the tag says England rather than Ireland, the bear was made in 1955 or earlier. (This is fun!)

Becky

ajchambers8 Posts: 32

Hehe!... BUT after 1966 they started to label their bears 'made in england' again as they shifted to cantonbury in kent!....lol how am i doing!... I spent a long night doing lots of online reading!

dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 6,021
Website

You HAVE been doing a lot of reading! (I'll have to add a note about Pedigree to the Cockrill book.)

Becky

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