Brothers Ignaz and Adolph Bing
founded the Company and it was based in Nuremberg, selling
toys and kitchenware. A factory, known as Bing Brothers Nuremberg
Toy Factory, was established in the 1880's to manufacture
Established a factory in Grunhain, Saxony
||Became a public limited company, the name changed to Nuremberg
Metal and Enamelware Works. Adolph Bing left the company and
Ignaz became chairman.
||Bing began producing plush toys including teddy bears.
||Legal battle with Steiff re the "button in
||Neinrich Muller, the founder of Schuco, joined the company.
He was trained by Kunz Weidlich the designer.
Bing Ltd, operating from East London, became
sole agents in Britain (as part of Eisenmann & Co Ltd).
A lawsuit with Steiff began, which was to last until 1915,
re the somersaulting bear
||Agents Concentra specialise in marketing all Bing
products under different brand names. Bing was the only toy
manufacturer to continue production during WWI.
||Ignaz Bing died
|| L Rees & Co., based in London, act as distribution
agents of Bing toys in Britain and Commonwealth. Stephen Bing,
Ignaz's son, becomes director general and the company name was
changed to Bing Works.
||Stephen Bing and all other family members left the company.
A variety of reasons are offered ranging from boardroom disagreements
to the treatment of Jews (the Bing family were Jewish) by Adolf
||The company went into receivership, equipment
was auctioned and parts are sold off, some to rivals such as
Karl Bub another Nuremberg toy company, Fleischmann and Schuco.
|1992 - 1994
||In May 1992 Eric Kluge was in the USA on business. He was
contacted by an elderly lady called Sarah Neumann, re some teddy
bear patterns she owned. That lady was born Sarah Bing. Eric
took the patterns and as soon as he returned to Germany he registered
the logo and the company "Bing". In 1994 Gebruder
Bing was reborn.
Bing was famous for mechanical bears, many of them dressed, there
were walking bears, skating bears, acrobatic bears and more. The
first mechanical bear was made in 1908, the clockwork mechanism
allowed the head to move from side to side. In 1910 the somersaulting
bear was introduced, Steiff claimed it was a copy of their
1909 Purzel Bear and legal action continued until 1915 during which
time Bing continued producing their version of the bear. The bear
turns somersaults after the arms have been rotated, it hangs by
chains from a wooden frame. In 1912 a roller-skating bear
was produced, operated by a key under the left arm, the bear moves
back and forth while one arm moved up and down, it was made of short
bristly mohair and was just 20cm (8") tall. In 1913 the footballer
bear was introduced, there is a key in the ball which,
when wound up, makes it turn. The wheeled bear's arm is joined to
the ball by a rod and the bear appears to be pushing the ball. Again
this bear is just 20cm (8") high.
Bing did, of course, make many non-mechanical bears. They were
all made of high quality material, had lovely expressions on their
faces, and are now prized by collectors. We very keen for the day
when we have a number available to photograph and display for the
world to see!
- Pre World War I Bing bears had a metal arrow showing
"Bavaria" and the "GBN" in a small triangle.
At first the arrow was clipped to the right ear but,
after a challenge from Steiff, this was replaced by a "mark" under the left arm (for legal reasons it could not be called a "button").
- A silver button, with "GBN" (for Gebruder
Bing Nuremberg) incised was used from 1908-1910. As an alternative, some had a red tin
button showing "DRPa div. DRGM" which indicated a patent
- Post 1919 an orange/red circular tag with "Bavaria BW"
or "Germany BW" (for Bing Werke) in black were placed
on the body and often on the wrist. The colour of this button
did vary, a rare white tag was used for a short time in 1919,
the orange/red tag was used from 1919 to 1927, blue tags were
then used until 1932.
- Early bears were made of mohair, filled with woodwool, had black
boot button eyes, humps on their backs did resemble and can easily
be mistaken as Steiff bears.
- Stance: early bears, before 1925, larger bears received the
name "sentry" because they appear to stand on tip toes.
The felt on the foot formed a point toward the heel.
- Bing tended to use only dark brown, gold or white mohair.
- Ears: early bears tended to have small ears, set wide apart
almost on the side of the head. As years passed the ears moved
to the top of the head.
- Between 1908 and 1910, Bing used an "all in one" ear
design on some of it's non-mechanical bears - the head and ears
were cut from a single piece of fabric. These bears are rare and
- Eyes: black boot button eyes were used until WWI and glass eyes were available to special order, after that
glass eyes were used as standard. Glass eyes had a large black pupil and brown or amber painted backs.
- Nose: small bears, less than 16", had horizontally stitched
noses, larger bears had vertically stitched noses. In the 1920's
a shield shape, made up of vertical stitches, with a double stitched
border was used which made it easier to distinguish from Steiff
- Small bears had squeakers and larger bears (over 10") had
If you would like to know more about Bing Bears please visit
our bookshop where you will find "Bing Bears and Toys"
by Ken Yenke. It's a hardback book containing 176 pages packed with
detailed information about the company, how to identify bears, many
wonderful colour photographs and a price guide. I would highly recommend
this book to those with a specific interest in Bing Bears.