Steiff Teddy Bear
May 01, 2013
In the late 1960s, as Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy was refurnishing the house at 83 Beals Street to reflect and recall its 1917 appearance, one of the rooms she was concerned with was the nursery. Since her son, future President John F. Kennedy, was born in the house and lived there for only a few years, the nursery needed to reflect something of that period in his life. In order to help accomplish that goal, one category of items Mrs. Kennedy wanted to include in the space was toys.
The bear displayed in the nursery of the Kennedys' Beals Street home was made by the Steiff company. It was purchased in 1967 from FAO Schwarz as part of the project to refurnish the house. Even though this toy was made in the 1960s, it was patterned after a Steiff design that dates back to the early twentieth century, so it is possible that a bear of this general type and appearance was present in the house during John F. Kennedy's residency from 1917 to 1920.