Purchased from Harrods, London, Edward Bear was given to Christopher Robin by his mother Daphne as a first birthday present on August 21, 1921.
Daphne’s husband and Christopher’s father, AA Milne, was so enamoured by the partnership he witnessed between a boy and his bear, that he began to write stories about their journey through life together – and the stories of Winnie the Pooh were born.
Now a century later, an adorable quartet of Edward bears created by Merrythought is charming a new generation of children and adults across the world.
To celebrate this special bear’s 100th birthday this year, Merrythought is also giving away a free commemorative gold-plated keyring with the purchase of every original 18 inch Edward bear, until the end of 2021.
Originally created by Farnell in 1921, Edward Bear was brought to life again for the 2017 Goodbye Christopher Robin film after Merrythought, which owns the Farnell brand, was asked to recreate the bear that featured throughout the award-winning film.
It has seen the Ironbridge-based firm play its own part in the ongoing legacy of Winnie the Pooh, and the enduring stories of friendship which have connected people across the generations.
Hand-crafted in Shropshire, the premium teddy bear collection includes Edward bears in three different sizes – 11 inches, 18 inches and 39 inches and a limited edition seven inch version.
Fourth-generation managing director Sarah Holmes said: “These very special bears have been handmade in our factory in Ironbridge using the same traditional skills and natural materials as Christopher Robin’s original Edward Bear, all those years ago.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the 100th birthday of the bear which inspired AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh.
“At its heart is the beautiful story of how a teddy bear captured a little boy’s imagination and how much joy and companionship children can find from teddy bears and soft toys. Now 100 years later, it's wonderful to see how Edward is still enjoyed by so many adults and children alike, and we’re proud that he continues to be handmade in Britain.”
Featuring a rich, golden mohair coat and sandy-beige pure woollen felt paws, ‘Edward; Christopher Robin’s Teddy Bear’ is available to buy from merrythought.com, harrods.com and Harrods toy department in London.