Chiltern Teddy Bears

teddy bears

British Teddy Bears have always had a certain kind of appeal and they have been loved by hundreds of children and collected by teddy bear lovers all around the world.  There seems to be a special ingredient attaching itself to a British born Teddy Bear.  Maybe it's the Teddy Bear's more ‘rounded' looks that make him so appealing, a look that many collectors love.

There have been many famous British Teddy Bear makers since the Teddy's birth, and one of these makers is the wonderful Chiltern Company.

Way back in 1908, Joseph Eisenmann opened the Chiltern Toy Works at Chesham in Buckinghamshire.  The factory first started out producing dolls but in 1915 Chiltern produced their first Teddy Bear, he was known as ‘Master Teddy'.  Master Teddy certainly was a most distinguished looking teddy bear.  He came in five sizes.  He was a dressed Teddy Bear, his clothes being made of cotton, with only certain parts of him therefore, being made of mohair.  He wore a pink and white striped shirt which had a white collar.   He wore a red jacket and blue trousers.  Master Teddy had a very rounded head and unlike many other Teddy Bears of his time, he had a very flat muzzle, but what made him look so different was his googly eyes.  He had a large black nose and mouth but he also had a red tongue.  He only had felt paw pads on his feet.  For his time he was a surprisingly different Teddy Bear.

Joseph Eisenmann died in 1919 and he left his toy factory to his son-in-law, Leon Rees.  Rees moved the factory to new premises in Waterside, Chesham, just one year later, he also went into partnership with Harry Stone and formed the company, H.G. Stone & Co. Limited.  A second factory was opened in Tottenham, London in 1921.


During the year 1923, the famous Chiltern Hugmee Teddy Bears were born.  The name Chiltern Toys was registered in 1924.

At the onset of World War 2 production stopped at Chiltern's Chesham factory.  Afterwards, Chiltern's soft toy manufacture moved to Amersham in Buckinghamshire.

In 1967, Chiltern was taken over by another great British soft toy company and teddy bear makers, the marvellous Chad Valley Company.  For a time the Teddy Bears produced carried the label Chad Valley/Chiltern (such as the very beautiful and popular Honey Pot Bear).

Chiltern Teddy Bears have always been and still is very popular with collectors all around the world.  Chiltern Teddy Bears were indeed, always made to the very highest quality and hence, this means that many Old Chiltern Teddy Bears survive to this day and you can often find them in very good condition to.

The Hugmee Teddy Bears came in many designs and patterns which meant, they built up a lively and exciting collection of Teddy Bears.

Chiltern also made a selection of activity Teddy Bears, including a much sought after Skater Bear.  This Teddy Bear was created in artificial silk plush in the 1930's.  There was also a very popular "Bear-on-a-Trike".  This Teddy Bear was created by Chiltern around 1958/1959 and was designed by one of Chiltern's most important designers, Pam Howells.  This Teddy Bear was attached to his trike by only a few stitches, so it is rather amazing that he hardly ever fell off!

Chiltern also produced their ‘Tingaling' Bears from around 1953.  The Tingaling Teddy Bear is probably the most popular Teddy made by Chiltern after the Second World War.  The Tingaling Teddy Bear made a tinkling sound whenever he was moved.  He had shaved feet, rather similar to those designed earlier by Steiff for their famous Teddy Babies range.  The Tingaling Teddy Bear is certainly most different in appearance to their earlier and famous Hugmee Range.

From 1960 onwards many Chiltern Teddy Bears had black moulded noses.  These noses were supposedly modelled on the nose of a dog, rather than a nose of a bear.  Whether you like this design or not, Teddy Bears with these noses were and are still very very popular.

We would end this article in saying that whether you already have a Chiltern Teddy Bear in your collection of old teddy bears or not, they certainly are most worthy of collection, making a wonderful array of teddy bears with a wonderful and very full history.




Gino Bear loves anything Italian, especially fast italian cars.  Gino heads an Old Teddy Bear site which is full of adorable old teddy bears and their friends, and some amazing Old Toys including Tinplate Toys from long ago.

Please visit his website at

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