Saturday, 27 February 2010

Winter Bearfest - Sunday 28th February 2010

Tomorrow (depending on when you read this), is the Winter Bearfest at Kensington Town Hall, London, this Hugglets event is huge and has hundreds of stands filled with thousands of old and new teddy bears.

I'm stand 77 in the first hall, this is my stand a year and a half ago and this is my mum who helps, chief account!

I have a great selection of bears and soft toys for this event, just finished pricing and packing. The public opening is from 10.30am until 4.00pm.

If you are in London, why not pop along and say hello.


P.S. I have now added an image of Sunday's stand (top image)

Thursday, 25 February 2010

A Highland Laddie

Look at this chap, he is a Simon & Halbig for Kaemmer & Reinhardt doll which is wonderful condition. Dressed in his original highland outfit with his tartan kilt and sporan. The best thing about the doll is his original box, he was a souvenir from Edinburgh. I am sure you can buy the modern version of this today, but it would probably be plastic and poorly made. The label on the box is for the shop Durie Brown & Co, 63 Princes Street, Edinburgh. He dates from around 1910.

Another charming part of this item is a little card that was included in the box, it was inscribed `A memento of Scotland from Uncle Tudor'. Sadly who it was given to and also who Uncle Tudor was, has been lost forever, but what a lovely thing.

I sold this doll in my auction in November 2009, I will be doing another auction in November 2010. If you want to find out more, visit my website (the link is above, right)and join my mailing list.


Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Navy Week Chad Valley Bulldog

This rare toy is part of my collection, it was a promotional toy for the Navy Week. He is made of velvet, he has orange and black glass eyes, his sailor's hat is original and has `Navy Week' written on it. He also has his original collar, a celluloid covered metal makers button and red and white woven label on leg. --8in (21cm.) long.

The Navy Week

Navy Week had been established in 1926 as a way of bringing the reality of the fleet home to the British people. In 1931, a period often identified as the height of British pacifism, Portsmouth alone had 25,000 visitors on one day. As the day in question was an ordinary working day (Monday), the figure seems all the more remarkable. Three years later, 155,098 people attended the Navy Week at its centres of Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth. By 1937 the figures stood at 400,000. Revealing the importance of battleships to these displays, The Times reminded its readers that a visit to the Chatham Week always required a bit more planning as the battleships couldn’t get close in. This meant spectators interested in seeing them had to travel to Sheerness. ‘The world’s biggest battleship [HMS Rodney] which cost £7,500,000 to build’, was always a big attraction: ‘As last year, the battleship Rodney, her big guns pointing skyward, was the most popular vessel on view. Hosts of visitors – who would have benefited by experience in steeplejacking – climbed the steel ladders and explored the electrically lit corridors in the heart of the ship.’

Monday, 15 February 2010

Christie's first Teddy Bear sale in 1993

Here is the catalogue for Christie's first teddy bear sale held on Monday 6th December 1993. This was a very exciting event and was held in the evening starting at 7.00pm. Over 500 people attended and we had two rooms with two auctioneers.

The star of the sale was Elliot, a very rare blue Steiff from 1908. According to Steiff, he was one of a sample made for Harrods, of six different coloured bears, which never went onto become an order. It is suggest that Alfonzo, the red Steiff sold at Christie's in 1989 to Ian Pout of Teddy Bears of Witney, was also part of this series.

Nobody is certain what colours or size these bears are and as of yet, these two are the only ones ever to come up for auction.

Elliot sold for an amazing £49,500 to a collector in Canada.

Elliot was discovered by my good friend and Christie's head of dolls (later consultant) Olivia Bristol, from a chance discussion at an antique fair with a teddy bear collector. Olivia mentioned the upcoming sale and this collector thought it an ideal opportunity to introduce such a rarity to the market.

The remainder of the sale was a very interesting selection of German, American and British teddy bears. Some of the highlights included a rather worn black Steiff Teddy Bear, a Schuco yes/no bellhop and two amazing Strunz cushion bears, which I remembered selling very cheaply at the time. There was also a section sold for charity of Colour Box Miniatures Bears, these ended the sale. Many of these were one-offs created just for the occasion.

I'm going to detail the rest of the Christie's Teddy Bear catalogues over the coming weeks and months, these are a unique archive. If you wish to collect the set or complete the set you already have, they are all available to buy from my website or from time to time I put the more common ones on eBay and very occasionally I include the rarer ones.

All prices realised can still be printed off or you can phone the bids and results office number in the front of the catalogue and they will send you the results.

It is well worth having the catalogues as it will increase your knowledge of all types of bears and soft toys, over the 14 years of bear sales, Christie's have sold almost every type of bear...

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Wheeled Steiff Animals...

Here is a random selection of Steiff wheeled animals that I have handled in the last couple of years. Steiff produced 100s of different types of animals on wheels, cows, horses, rabbits, swans, chickens, tigers, and the list goes on.
The top images is a lovely burlap bear on metal wheels, this example is probably from around 1905. He has a bit of a saggy head. Some of the burlap bears on wheels pre-date the Teddy Bear and can be from the late 1800s.
Coming out of the long grass is this wonderful lion, with his shaggy mane. He is also on metal wheels and dates from around 1910. He is still available to buy on my webiste

This giraffee is from my own collection, he has a lot of holes, but one of my favourite toys and wanted one for such a long time.
This darling St.Bernard has the most lovely up-turned nose, he has a tiny Steiff button and dates from around 1906.
Little Donkey is from the earliest wooden wheel period, which is just prior to the 1st World War. He has his button and is also available to buy on my website.
The elephant is huge and makes a lovely noise when you pull his mechanism. He dates from around 1910 and would be a great addition to any collection, he is also still available to buy on my site. The monkey, elephant and camel are all examples of wooden wheeled toys. The monkey is about 1910, but the other two date from the 1920/30s.
The last is another camel from around 1910.

Do you have any Steiff animals on wheels from the pre-2nd world war period, why not tell me about your favourites?


Monday, 8 February 2010

Teddy Bear Restoration

Have a look at this wonderful early Steiff Teddy Bear called `Grandad'. He was restored by Dot is his before and after picture. I think she has done a wonderful, subtle job. She has a fairly long waiting list, but worth the wait I think.

If you would like information on restoration you can contact Dot on 01765 - 607131 or email

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Antique Pedlar Dolls

Here are five very fine 19th century pedlar dolls. Models of women who used to travel around the country selling their wares from trays, the often wore a red woolen hooded cape. Two of them are wooden Grodnerthal dolls, the top right doll has a head made from wisen fruit. The bottom one has a very fine composition head. Double click onto each of the images and look at all the wonderful things that they carry in their trays.

These were normally assembled in Britain, but often the dolls were bought in from Germany.