The world’s rarest vintage teddy bears

Think the teddy bear originated with our “Rough Riding” President Teddy Roosevelt? Think again. In 1888, McLoughlin Brothers published “The Three Bears.” There are three different-colored prints that show a small stuffed teddy bear: one in the kitchen while Goldilocks is getting porridge, one in Baby Bear’s bed and one in a small wagon during a walk with the three bears. The prints were made 15 years before Steiff created the first documented teddy bear. This suggests there were “homemade” teddy bears in existence as early as the late 1800s. Read More +

Legacy of the Russian Icons: Authentic Russian lacquer boxes follow artistic tradition

Russian lacquered boxes, miniature painted works of art that developed from icon painting in the 18th century, abound in depictions of folklore, fairy tales, costumes and traditions. There are four distinct styles, represented by four schools of Russian lacquer art, which are named for the villages of their creation, Fedoskino, Palekh, Mystera, and Kholui. Read More +

Speaking of Dolls: Simon & Halbig left legacy of variety and unfailing quality

Carl Halbig and Wilhelm Simon in 1869 founded a porcelain factory for the production of toys and dolls in the Waltershausen (Grafenhain) area of Thuringia, Germany. The production of dolls could be found in many areas of Germany but the Waltershausen area had a reputation for quality doll production. Here could be found the raw materials necessary for doll production such as Kaolin for porcelain, abundant forests with wood for the kilns and for doll parts and, most important, much inexpensive labor both skilled and unskilled.
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Vintage Santa dolls a sweet memory to baby boomers

A “golden age of toy Santas” came when millions of Baby Boomer children (born 1946-1964) created an immense market for huggable, sturdy Santa toy dolls. About 100 toy companies in the United States and 12 in Canada were busy making them. Thanks to the boon times at the close of World War II, nations world wide capitalized on the soothing innocence of Santa’s image. Read More +