Anybody Have Any Cast Bears?

Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:17 pm

I've been fighting it but those little bears are looking neat to me. Thinking about starting to collect them, any of you guys have any? Brandon

Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:30 pm

Brandon, there are a lot of fakes out there. Check out this link.

Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:01 am

My wife :) (when we met, she had the first bear holding the tractor that I had ever seen :D ) have collected four bears and two cadets.

Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:15 am

Can you post some pics? I live in Kentucky and have been to tons of antique stores and flea markets, and I've never seen one. Brandon.

Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:44 am

Brandon, JP had a couple for sale last year. They might still have them. Give them a call :wink:

Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:20 am

I have several Of the bears and the cadets. I'm at work today I will look in red power mag for the article on the bears and cubs tomarrow. Do look out for repo. You can tell by the bottoms are not the same.

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:35 am

I have one bear, one NOV. 1960 Cadet, and a 1974 Cadet. Honestly the Bears scare me, as there are so many fakes out there, that it is hard to know what is real and what is not. I purchased my bear in an antique store in L-ville, and I honestly think it is a fake (got it cheap). I personally dont even look at the bears any more just cause I dont want to throw away money..
Last edited by nosih on Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:22 am

I have several of both the bears and the cub's, and wrote the article on the KY Chapter 24 link that Don McCombs posted.

The bears are all dated Jan ,1949 or a very few dated 11-20-73. The first ones had the bear holding the tractor (Cub). It is my understand that was hard to cast for some reason, and it was hard to tell what the tractor was, so the tractor was removed and the most common one has the IH emblem on the front of his overalls. They were left in the raw cast iron state or were painted by the previous owner, and some were chrome plated and were given to VIP's.

The reproductions are smaller. The bear is shorter, the ears thicker, and the base is smaller. There were supposedly a few aluminum bears made by the pattern shop to test the patterns, but there are many fakes out there made from aluminum and brass, a lot more than what IH ever made. There are also a lot of the cast iron bears that are reproductions.

The Cadets are dated Nov 1960 (rare and the one most reproduced), 11-20-73 (rarest, very few made) and 9-14-74, the most common.

Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:05 pm

I'd been looking for your email address on that page, wanted to get up with you and here your on farmallcub! What does a reproduction look like? How much smaller are we talking, 1/4 inch? Do you aggressively buy them? I called around and found some in louisville at some antique stores, they must be pretty common up there.

I may be bidding against you, but take a look at these two I have saved down and tell me what you think: ... &rd=1&rd=1

And the Chrome one: ... &rd=1&rd=1

I held off on a painted black one earlier this week, it brought $91, thought the chrome one would be more rare and more of a start to my collection. They say it's 4 1/2 inches tall but that's from the bottom of the base to the ears. Brandon.

Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:34 pm

From what I can see in the pictures, both of them appear to be originals, but I would have to see them to be sure. The painted one that you posted the picture of, seems to have one ,and maybe two bidders, that have been known to sell reproductions, so it must be a real one :lol:

The chrome one appears to be a real one by looking at the ears and the mark around the neck. That mark is from the way it was hung in the plateing tank I'm told, and all I have ever seen had that mark. All the chrome ones I've ever seen were the same size as known originals, I have never seen a chrome, cast iron, reproduction.

The bear should be 4" tall from the top of the base to the top of his head ( not to the top of his ears. The base should be 2-7/16" from front to back, 2" wide at the front or back, and 2-3/16" wide at the center where the mold line is. There can be some slight differences with these measurements, but if any are 1/8" or more smaller , I would be leary of that bear.

I don't aggressively buy them , but will if I find a good buy, and I am not bidding on either of the two you posted the link to. Yes, you can usually find them in the antique stores and malls here in Louisville, because the Louisville IH Plant is the only place they were made. Supposedly some bears are the first thing cast when the new foundry opened in 1949, The bear is for the Farmall Cub, because it was "a bear for work, but a cub in size"

Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:00 pm

Just wanted to ask, seems like this could become addictive. I'd like to have a whole bear village. Seems like 1 looks kind of lonley. Brandon.

Thu Oct 19, 2006 4:50 pm

Here is a web page I made a while back of some Of Paul B. pictures and info with his permision.

Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:28 am

Thanks to Paul Bell...I have a chrome bear cub holding a Cub tractor and a regular bear cub with the IH logo. :D I also have a Cub Cadet. All are original. 8) There's NO QUESTION in my mind that Paul Bell is the MOST KNOWLEDGABLE collector of these prized and highly sought-after bear cub and cadet statues...MANY THANKS AGAIN Paul :!: :wink: