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What are some tips for storing plush bears?

Properly storing plush bears maintains their value and keeps them safe. Begin by choosing a dry, well-ventilated location that has little light. Because sunlight can fade the plush fur, keep bears in dark areas. Dampness encourages mold, so store plush bears in reasonable temperatures and dry air. Loosely wrap the bears in freshly washed, dry cotton sheets, and place them into plastic containers that have tight-fitting lids. Add silica packets to the containers to discourage moisture problems, but make sure the packets do not touch the bears. You can also add mothballs, cedar shavings, or small lavender sachets to keep moths away. Monitor your bears monthly, checking them for bugs, rodents, moisture, and other issues that might affect their value and condition.

How can you determine the value of antique bears?

Since bears come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs, and materials, identifying their value is sometimes tricky. Start by studying the bear's design, knowing the differences between materials like mohair and artificial plush hair, as well as kapok and wood wool. Study the bear's body shape, measure the length of the limbs and the muzzle shape and size. Write down any distinguishing features, and note the materials used for the paw pads, stuffing, eyes, and stitching.

Next, determine the manufacturer and the overall condition. Look for manufacturer information on labels or tags. Bears with intact labels and tags are worth more money, and bears that have a pre-World War age are very valuable. If the bear is rare and difficult to research, then it may also be valuable. Consult a professional, or use the information you gathered to study reference materials and determine the bear's history and value.