Antique Bears Did You Know Story of Chad Valley
Chad Valley, ISA and Peacock
The Chad Valley Toy Company had its origins in a printing and book binding business that was set up in Birmingham England by an Anthony Bunn Johnson.
A small stream called the Chad flowed close by the new factory and it soon acquired the name of The Chad Valley Works from which the registered trade mark "Chad Valley" was derived.
Johnstone Brothers (Harborne) Ltd, began to produce a range of cardboard games and toys which was gradually extended over the years.
With the outbreak of the First World War (1914-1918) the imports of toys and games into the United Kingdom stopped and the company produced its first soft toys, a range of traditional, jointed, plush Teddy Bears in 1915. Chad bought Isaacs and Co in 1923 (ISA) who were essentially furniture makers and the Peacock Company in 1931. Their bears received the Royal warrant from the Queen in 1938 which featured on their labels. In 1953 their label said "Queen Mother" after our present Queen acceded to the throne.
Chad Valley bears identifying features:-
- Early bears stuffed with kapok or cork
- Celluloid button in ear or on torso
- Glass amber and black eyes finished with a knot at the back.
- Large flat ears set on corner of head
- Cardboard inserts in large oval feet with label, red green or blue on white
- 4 claws on paws, 5 on pads
- Prominent shaved muzzles but stitching varies
- Horizontal Magna nose,
- Vertical "coal" nose with a horizontal top final stitch