This sweet-faced humpbacked Steiff ted no longer retains his earbutton, but dates to c.1908. His features are original, except for an old replaced paw pad, while his others are repaired with patches.
Herbie is 30 cms (12″) tall, and stuffed mostly with woodwool, though much of his torso has been topped up in the past with kapok. Consequently, his left side seam is re-stitched. He has little shoebutton eyes, and a black-embroidered nose. You have to imagine him smiling as he’s now missing his mouth.
All Herbie’s claws are intact on three limbs, and his joints are in good working order. There’s some settlement of stuffing in his legs, otherwise he’s a lovely firm bear, and holds his head high.
Although Herbie’s faded gold mohair shows patchy loss, especially at the back, he still has a reasonable amount remaining. He’s a really cute character, dressed in his old knitted dungarees and neck ribbon.
I’m named after a car that featured in several Walt Disney comedy films, starting with The Love Bug in 1963. Herbie was anthropomorphic, which means he had a mind of his own, and caused mayhem!
The car was a VW Beetle, like the toy one I’m playing with. This was German-made and introduced in 1934 as the ‘People’s Car’. It was mass-produced and affordable, and became hugely popular worldwide, until the last Beetles rolled off the assembly line in 2003.