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Soft toys - Ivy and Brumas

Ivy and Brumas

  • Object:

    Soft toys

  • Place of origin:

    England (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1950-1955 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    The Dean's Rag Book Co (1903) Ltd (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stitched and stuffed mohair plush

  • Museum number:

    B.700:1, 2-2010

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Ivy and Brumas were polar bears at London Zoo. Brumas was born 27 November 1949 and Ivy was her mother. Brumas was named after her keepers Bruce and Sam (whose name was reversed). Although Brumas was female, the press reported that the bear was a he so the public thought that the cub was male, a belief that is still widespread.

Brumas was the first baby polar bear to be successfully reared in Britain and was an immediate attraction with the public. She caused such interest that, in 1950, the Zoo's annual attendance figures reached the 3 million mark. Brumas died on 17 May 1958.

Both bears proved a popular merchandise resource and were celebrated in newsreels, books, postcards, toys and other souvenirs. Dean's Rag Book Company were granted the licence to produce soft toy versions of the bears.

Place of Origin

England (manufactured)


1950-1955 (manufactured)


The Dean's Rag Book Co (1903) Ltd (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Stitched and stuffed mohair plush


Height: 470 mm Large bear (:1), Width: 190 mm Large bear (:1), Depth: 230 mm Large bear (:1), Height: 195 mm Small bear (:2), Width: 95 mm Small bear (:2), Depth: 110 mm Small bear (:2)

Descriptive line

Soft toys, Ivy and Brumas polar bears, made by Dean's Rag Book Company, England, 1950-1955.




Stitching; Stuffing

Subjects depicted

Polar bears


Children & Childhood; Animals and Wildlife; Soft toys; Character merchandise

Production Type

Mass produced


Museum of Childhood

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