A laughing, open-mouthed novelty bear, possibly American c.1950s/60s, Beatrice is 28 cms (11″) tall and stuffed mostly with woodwool. When her tummy is squeezed, Beatrice’s mouth opens – hoping to be fed no doubt!
Made with a stationery head, Beatrice’s limbs are jointed, though quite stiff, and she has an original black moulded nose and rexine pads. Her clear glass eyes are replacements, and also the red felt lining of her mouth.
Only a few tufts of her gold synthetic plush remain, and there’s a few darned repairs, including the top of her head and left cheek. Also, there’s some wear to both ‘toes’ and her paw pads have holes.
Beatrice is nevertheless an amusing, happy-looking character, wearing her old knitted dress.
The most famous, earliest teddy with a mechanical mouth like mine, was the ‘Laughing Roosevelt’ bear made by Columbia Teddy Bear Manufacturers around 1907. This bear had a wooden open mouth with milk glass teeth.
The Commonwealth Toy and Novelty Co.Inc. also introduced ‘Feed Me Bears’ in the 1930s. When a ring located on the top of the head was pulled, the bear’s mouth opened and dry food and candy could be swallowed!
This food could then be removed by opening a zipper at the back of the bear, where there was a metal compartment to safely store the food. How clever is that!