A SPECIAL MEMBERS FEATURE
ON THE DECEMBER 2008 RELEASE OF
HERMANN COBURG COLLECTABLE BEARS
- Including some interesting information on the Sonneberg Museum series.
- Some insights from Director and Bear Maker Martin Hermann.
- And some recollections of Ulla Hermann from Hermanns fascinating past history that are quite enlightening about the story behind one of the new releases
- A preview on some of the new Hermann bears for late 2008 and 2009.
Due to the current economic situation around the world which is affecting teddy bears sales along with most other things, Hermann like all other bear makers is scaling down the sizes of many of their editions.
This has two points of impact for us as collectors.
Firstly, smaller editions create stronger demand and urgency with dedicated collectors, it makes the bears sell out quicker which further increases their desirability.
Secondly once the editions sell out it increases the investment potential of popular designs as competition increases with buyers wanting to obtain bears that they missed at time of release.
Often in a very short period we have seen some bears in small editions selling for many times their release prices.
The bears we have included in this feature are such editions and I believe are significant and desirable collectables with strong investment appreciation potential.
A LITTLE ABOUT THE SONNEBERG MUSEUM SERIES.
The Sonneberg Museum is one of the oldest toy museums in the world.
In the possession of the museum there are some old Teddy Bears made by Max Hermann, who gave these bears to the museum in the 1920's and 1930's.
The idea of Max Hermann was to give Teddy Bears to the museum for protection, so that they will be preserved for prosperity.
In 1994 Ulla Hermann decided to design a special bear for the Sonneberg Toy Museum every year and to give always the number 001 of each model to the museum.
This annual bear is handed over to the president of the museum every December for the previous year.
These bears are then released in a European (250) and an American (500) Editions in January of the following year.
In Australia we mostly get the European Editions but when they sell out we can often get the American ones.
The common sign of all of these Sonneberg museum bears is the embroidered representation of the "Sonneberg Little Horseman" as the symbol of the old tradition of Sonneberg Toys.
Sonneberg is a town in Thuringia , Germany , capital of the district Sonneberg .
From the 19th century on it was very well known for its toy industry.
2008 Sonneberg Museum Bear was designed to mark the Annual Kirmes Festival in Germany.
This year however due to a downturn in the US economy there will be no American edition released. Instead Hermann have issued a very special Museum Edition of only 100 bears that will sell alongside the European edition of 250 bears.
We have secured 6 bears from the Museum Edition of 100 which we believe will be of immense interest to our collectors and will have an even greater collectable value over the normal editions.
He is a 38 cm Mohair bear filled with traditional excelsior stuffing and a growler voice, we are hoping to get more from this edition but if this is not possible we will have the European edition available
The 8th December at a special function being held coincidentally at the same time as our “Tea with the Teddies” event, Hermann will release the Sonneberg 2008 Bear to the Museum and will it then be introduced to the rest of the world on the 30th December.
We were given a special pre release due to the increased number of Sonneberg collectors in Australia most who have been introduced to this fabulous series of bears by Nana’s Teddies.
A brief history of the Kirmes celebrations
As related to us by Martin Hermann.
Back in the olden days every church celebrated the day it was built once a year with a party, like a birthday.
But because there are so many churches here in Mühlhausen there were a lot of different parties at separate intervals throughout the year.
However after some time the churches decided to come together and celebrate the churches birthdays all at once with one big party. Which we still celebrate today.
Kirmes goes for one whole week annually and is celebrated with plenty of beer, food, music and partying. In fact Mühlhausen’s Kirmes is the largest in Germany.
The Cranger Kirmes is a fair in Germany , located in the city of Herne.
It is the biggest fair in the whole country of Northrhine and the second biggest fair in Germany, only behind the Oktoberfest
In 2008 there were 4.7 million visitors. At an area of only 110,000 m² it is also called the "most overcrowded fair of the world".
The exact year of the first fair is unknown. During the 15th century a horse market was established in Crange. Over the years, dancers, prestidigitators and carnies joined and gradually upstaged the horse dealers.
The fair occurs annually for a period of 10 days from the first Friday in August.
Visitor attractions include a Ferris wheel , carousels, roller coasters , ghost trains carnival games , beer gardens and raffles Both on opening and closing day a fireworks show is presented.
MR PRESIDENT - BARACK OBAMA BEAR
To honour the election of the 44th President of the United States of America
HERMANN COBURG has produced the "White House Bear - Mr. President"
This election is a Milestone in the famous history of the USA and our Barack Obama bear stands in the row of the historical Personalities Bears along side Christopher Columbus, George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt.
This very collectable edition is a 39cm Mohair bear with excelsior filling, growler and
White House edition details embroidered on the paw pad.
Limited to 365 bears world-wide which is the amount of the electoral votes, which Barack Obama has won, this is indeed a very limited edition bear.
Other US President series bears available are George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt.
THE CURRENT STATE OF THE WORLDS BEAR MARKET!
Janelle Forsythe is our very dedicated and enthusiastic Hermann representative in Australia, she asked Martin Hermann about how the worlds bear economy was going.
Here a few of his comments that I found to be quite enlightening, very interesting and a little surprising.
- The US bear market currently in severe decline due to their domestic economic issues.
- Bear sales to retailers in China is greater at present than they are to England.
- Hermann are seeing increased growth in the collectable bear market in Russia with sales now through major retailers like Roter Platz.
- So far sales of the new Barack Obama Mr President Bear are stronger in Germany than they are in the USA.
- Australian sales are still strong and Nana’s Teddies & Toys are still the
#1 Australasian retailer of Hermann Coburg Bears.
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
Little Red Riding Hood is limited to only 555 bears world wide
500 to USA and the balance of 55 bears for rest of the world.
This 35cm bear is made of mohair with firm cotton filling and wearing her traditional red riding hood and cape.
There is no available translation for this name but at Nanas we call her a little angel.
Only 50 bears are in this world wide edition and we have only been able to get a secured guarantee of 2 pieces, we will know in a week or so if we can obtain more so if you are interested get your name on one now.
She is 27cm and made of mohair with firm cotton filling, her angel wings are made of soft toy felt.
ROMANTIC ROSE BEAR
The second design in the Hermann Romance Series launched last year.
Again a very small edition of only 50 bears and we have 2 available of this 35cm mohair, excelsior filled bear with a growler.
Die Heimarbeiterin - the "Homeworker Woman"
A very significant bear in the Hermann Companies history created and based on the memories of Ulla Hermann.
She is a limited edition of 88 bears world-wide, made of mohair with excelsior filling and a growler voice.
I have not edited this recollection as to do so would I feel lose some of its quaintness and importance as a tribute to some of Hermann’s hard working bear makers that have helped to forge this great companies pedigree.
Memories of Ulla Hermann
I remember well - from all points of the compass they came - each Friday - the woman with their neatly tied round aprons.
On their back they carried heavy baskets, which were packed with finished homework - stuffed arms, legs and heads for our Teddy Bears. I was three, perhaps four years old, in every case these pictures belong to my first memories, which I have of the production of our Teddy Bears.
Even some names attend me until today - they were women like the old Mrs. Rebhahn, who stand head and shoulders above her husband, the chubby Mrs. Schellhammer, who used always a sharp knife instead of a pair of scissors to cut the threads, this would allow to save working time, she told steadily, or the jolly Mrs. Bornhardt, who was called kindly "Aunt Ella" by everybody.
They were women like the loyal Fränzi Büchner, who belonged to our staff until the 1990s, the dark-haired Mrs. Bauer, who asked me whether I want to strew flowers at the wedding of her daughter, or the unconventional Freia Koch, who was firmly convinced to reincarnate one day as a little bird. Still for a long time - I remember - our old workers told always: "Our Freia is looking to us", when a little bird flew to one of our window boards.
Whenever some of our old Teddy Bears are offered today on auctions, then these are no day flies, but little heavyweights, coined by the day work exactly of all these women, of whom every single one has left her mark in our company.
All this cross my mind, while I roam around our company attic.
There I have already discovered some hidden treasure.
But what I found this time exceeded all my expectations.
At the farthest end, in one of the darker corners where you can't stand tall any more, there stood an old cardboard.
Already from outside you could see, that the ravages of time had nibbled at it.
Once upon a time it had been put down there and then it had passed out of mind. When I opened it, I didn't believe my eyes. A vast number of our old "Drolly Bear" heads lay carefully packed there, which even I myself knew until now only by illustrations in our old catalogue from 1956.
Never before I had hold such a "Dolly" head in my hands and now they were lying there - these masterpieces, which had been fabricated more than half a century ago of hard rubber mass and hand-painted by the finest brushstrokes. Every single one was made in such an unbelievable finishing touch and quality, which would be unpayable today. Excitedly I took one of these old heads and climbed down again the old chicken ladder, which leads to our company attic. Half the night I lay awake in my bed.
If they should be 88 heads, then I would create out of these old "Dolly" heads for our 88-year company anniversary an extraordinary anniversary edition - no replica in the common sense, but a "Drolly Bear", which would embed my own design ideas - a one-off, which will never come back - somewhat, which recalls our first years in Coburg without to be frozen motionlessly in the past - somewhat very new, but deep-rooted in the fruitful ground of an old traditional company - yes, this I would do - then I fall asleep blissfully.
As collectors I hope that you have found this presentation of interest and informative.
I try hard to keep it interesting whilst still portraying the passion and traditions that go into the creation of all these wonderful bears.
At our teddies events we are able to convey a lot more information a to our members who can attend, I wish more members could get to these nights and share the enjoyment of learning about bear collecting but time and distance prevent this.
So I will continue to try my best to find time to so special features so more members can enjoy and learn more about our exciting and full filling hobby of bear collecting.
Regards and best wishes for the festive season,