Ratz/Fogel

[Home] [Austrian Bear Makers] [Research] [Repairs & Restorations] [Sales] [Get in Touch]

[Berg] [Fechter] [Ratz-Fogel] [SAF] [Schenker] [Schwika] [Miscellaneous] [Reproductions and Fakes]

 

Please scroll down the page to see a gallery of photos of Ratz/Fogel bears and identification tags.

One of the best kept secrets in Austrian Teddy Bear manufacture very little is known about these bears. It is believed they were produced in the early 1950's in Vienna. I think there is also a connection between the two as the identification mark for both is almost identical. This is in the form of a thin twisted black and gold cord [Old Austrian Monarchy colours] through the right ear which is gripped together with a metal seal imprinted with either 'RATZ VIENNE' or' FOGEL WIEN'. As Vienna was still divided into  sectors at this time, one being the French sector, I wonder if that has some bearing on where they were based. Bears carrying both ID are very similar in appearance. They are made mainly out of woollen plush but there are ones in mohair.  Another characteristic is a metal nose but ones with  embroidered noses are also found.  There are also open and closed mouth examples  and they were made in various shapes and sizes.  If anyone has any further information on these makers I would be delighted to know. Meanwhile have a look at some examples from my own collection and the identification  in the photo gallery.

 

A Recent Find……..                                                                                                                    

About 2 years ago on eBay in the USA I saw a small Ratz teddy the like of which I had not seen before.  It was made from a golden plush fabric and looked quite different from the Ratz bears I had come across so far.

Unfortunately the ‘Buy it Now’ price was extremely high so I did not buy it but kept a picture in the hope that another similar one would turn up sometime.

Last month my luck was in and I managed to find one in Austria in better condition at a good price.

This little teddy is approx. 20cms tall, covered in a bright golden plush, is hard stuffed with woodwool and has disc-jointing to the arms and legs, neck is fixed.  He has the Ratz ID in his right ear but for all the world looks like an Eastern European bear of the post WW2 period.

I have often wondered what the significance was of the ID cord being in the black and gold colours of the ‘Monachie’, the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, which included parts of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Slovenia. I’m now of the opinion that the Ratz business originated possibly in Hungary or Czechoslovakia where there were bear making factories and they decided after WW2 to move to Austria, as many other firms did, to escape communism and the new Eastern European regimes.

Now I have another avenue to explore!!!!

Click on the pictures to enlarge:

 

'Fogel' Identification

'Ratz' identification

Unusual large dark brown teddy by 'Ratz'

'Ratz' teddy made from wool plush with the metal nose

Sleepy 'Ratz' bear with bells in his ears

Small sleeping teddy by 'Fogel'

An unusual 'Ratz' teddy with closed mouth and original embroidered nose

3 Small bears 2 by 'Ratz' and 1 by 'Fogel' showing the similarity

Small 'Ratz' teddy in mohair