Under The Willow Tree
North American Bear Co.
V.I.B. Very Important Bear Collection
Retired and Rare
Inspired by paintings of Renaissance angels, Gabearielle radiates an ethereal warmth draped in red crushed velvet with gilded accents. Gossamer sleeves intone the purity and innocence of an archangel, while her satin halo and wings exult Gothic glory.
1995 Limited Edition: 5,000 pieces
Brand new mint condition never been opened package includes Gabearielle in his Red robe and crown. Also includes original Hangtag.
North American Bear Co.
Nearly 30 years ago, North American Bear Company began as a creative business enterprise of a new mother, Barbara Isenberg, starting a family in New York City in the mid-1970’s. Her desire to find a teddy bear with the nostalgic charm of an antique toy and a contemporary sense of whimsy for her own small son prompted the start of a toy company creating unique, high quality plush bears that would appeal to both children and adults alike. In 1978, after perfecting a variety of sample bears, assembling a sales force and locating a small NY factory to produce bears, Barbara teamed up with her brother, Paul Levy, a Chicago-based lawyer and real estate developer, to form North American Bear Company, Inc. Barbara continues as the company’s Creative Director, running the New York Studio in the heart of Manhattan’s toy district where she and the closely-knit design and production team develop each season’s rich and varied collections. Paul Levy serves as CEO in the company’s corporate headquarters in Chicago, managing the administrative, financial and warehousing aspects of the business.
Odl Bauer, who sewed the first bear, joined Paul and Barbara Isenberg and together they worked on developing the VIB’s (Very Important Bears). Using her English literature background, Barbara experimented with a variety of names and puns for these colorful 20″ velour bears. The first was Douglas Bearbanks, based on the legendary silent film star. He was followed by Scarlett O’Beara, Chef Bearnaise and Amelia Bearheart. The VIB’s are all retired and often increase dramatically in value on the secondary market.
In the spring of 1984, Muffy VanderBear came to life as the fifth and littlest (7″ tall) member of the VanderBear Family, which includes papa Cornelius (20″ tall), mamma Alice (18″tall), twin brother and sister, Fuzzy and Fluffy (both (12″ tall). Like the rest of her family, Muffy has rich golden plush fur, felt pawpads, a fully-jointed body and a hand stitched nose. Because papa Cornelius firmly believes that “clothes make the bear,” Muffy and her family are always sure to be appropriately dressed for every occasion. Muffy first appeared in a delicate white Christening gown, hardly knowing that many outfits and collections would later be created for her.
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