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teddy bear - Hugmee

Hugmee

  • Object:

    teddy bear

  • Place of origin:

    England (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1950s (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Chiltern Toys (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stuffed and stitched mohair plush bear with Rexine pads and glass eyes on a wire stem

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Gillian Munrow in memory of her husband David Munrow

  • Museum number:

    B.535-2016

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This golden coloured mohair plush teddy bear is a Hugmee bear made by the English company Chiltern Toys in the 1950s. The bear is one of three belonging to David Munrow when he was a child and is part of a group of objects relating to the imaginary world that David created around his beloved bears. David wrote four plays for ‘Humph’, ‘Ginge’ and ‘Eddy’, casting the bears as some of the principle ‘actors’ in his plays; he also wrote a series of affectionate, newsy letters to them, whilst on holiday with his family in Cornwall. Of the three named bears it isn't known which bear is which, though it is clear that David was extremely attached to all his bears and soft toys.

The three teddy bears along with the plays and letters, provide a wonderful insight into the early interests and imagination of a child who went on to become a well-known musician and broadcaster.

Physical description

Golden mohair plush, jointed teddy bear. The head is stuffed with wood wool, the limbs with kapok and the body with a mix of kapok and wood wool. There is a defunct squeaker in the stomach. Amber and black glass eyes attached by wires and secured by thread stitch at the back of the head; the proper right eye is protruding slightly from the face. A shield-shaped nose and mouth are embroidered out of black thread. The feet and paw pads are made of brown Rexine which is worn away in places on all four pads. The mohair plush is patchy in areas and the stitching is coming undone on the seams at the back of the head and on the upper part of the proper left arm.

Place of Origin

England (manufactured)

Date

1950s (manufactured)

Artist/maker

Chiltern Toys (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Stuffed and stitched mohair plush bear with Rexine pads and glass eyes on a wire stem

Dimensions

Length: 29 cm, Width: 17 cm

Object history note

Chiltern Toys first started making teddy bears in 1915, beginning production with the Master Teddy. The Hugmee range of bears featured jointed arms and legs, glass eyes and embroidered noses and were introduced in 1923. They were made in a variety of patterns until the 1960s, with some designs influenced by post-war fabric shortages. The original toy factory was based in Chesham, at the base of the Chiltern Hills, from where the company got its name.

David Munrow, the owner of this bear, was born in Birmingham on 12th August 1942, the only child of academic parents. He attended King Edward's School in Edgbaston, where he excelled both academically and musically. After attending Cambridge University, then studying for a Masters at the University of Birmingham, David became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company's wind band, providing incidental music at their performances between 1966 and 1968. David founded the Early Music Consort of London during this time, an ensemble with which he would be associated for the rest of his life. He also taught at the University of Leicester and the Royal College of Music. Beginning in 1971 David Munrow presented the BBC Radio 3 series Pied Piper, Tales and Music for Younger Listeners. Through the show David introduced children to a wide variety of musical genres, and during his five years broadcasting the series he attracted large audiences of child and adult listeners. In addition to his broadcasting and academic careers, David performed on more than fifty recordings of early music.

Descriptive line

Hugmee teddy bear with golden mohair plush, made in England by Chiltern Toys, 1950s

Materials

Mohair; Cotton; Cotton; Rexine; Glass eye; Wood wool; Kapok; Wire

Techniques

Hand sewn; Stuffed

Categories

Children & Childhood; Soft toys

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Museum of Childhood

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