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Blackie

  • Object:

    Teddy bear

  • Place of origin:

    England (probably, manufactured)

  • Date:

    1910 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stuffed and sewn mohair plush

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs M. H. White

  • Museum number:

    MISC.1-1971

  • Gallery location:

    Museum of Childhood, Creativity Gallery, case 9

This teddy bear's name is Blackie, for obvious reasons. It is an early English bear and may have been made to commemorate the death of Edward VII. Black is not a very common colour for teddy bears and is usually associated with a tragic event. Blackie's owner had repaired the bear over the years. Conservation has now revealed its original features.

Physical description

Black shaggy mohair plush teddy bear, jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips. The eyes are glass and the nose and mouth stitched with black wool. The stuffing is a mixture of wood wool and kapok.

Place of Origin

England (probably, manufactured)

Date

1910 (manufactured)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Stuffed and sewn mohair plush

Dimensions

Height: 61 cm

Object history note

Extract from a letter from Margaret H White, dated 10/11/1970:
"He was bought for the grand-daughter of the manager of the Sherburn Co-op for Christmas 1910. The child was terrified of him and he was returned to the store where my great-grandfather bought him for my father, who was at the time 3 months old. My father was given him for Christmas 1911. He could not carry the bear but dragged it around by the ear. In 1915 when my father had diptheria, 'Blackie' went to the isolation hospital with him and it was only by much pleading by my father and grandfather that the bear was sterilised and allowed out of the hospital. It came to me when I was about 2 I believe and went everywhere with me. I can remember goiong to 'Blackie' for comfort when I was unwell or in disgrace. Both my children have also played with 'Blackie' but he's now reached a stage when I find it impossible to mend him and for the past 2 years he has been wearing socks on both arms and legs to keep the stuffing in. I repaired his muzzle. His paws had already been repaired before even I had him, but I am responsible for the bald patch between his ears - it was a very good chin rest!"

Margaret H White gave 'Blackie' to the V&A in 1971 [70/3784].

Descriptive line

Black mohair plush teddy bear ('Blackie'), probably made in England in 1910

Production Note

Reason For Production: probably produced as a commemorative mourning bear at the time of the death of King Edward VII.

Materials

Mohair

Techniques

Sewn

Subjects depicted

Teddy bears

Categories

Children & Childhood; Dolls & Toys; Death; Christmas presents; Soft toys

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Museum of Childhood

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