A be­gin­ner’s guide to col­lect­ing teddy bears

There’s more to a teddy bear than cute looks, says Daniel Agnew

The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Front Page -

What makes a bear es­pe­cially col­lectible? Make, age, con­di­tion, provenance (his­tory) and rar­ity. Of­ten the most im­por­tant fac­tor is the ahh fac­tor, if a bear has the right look it can eas­ily dou­ble his value. How might a would-be col­lec­tor get started? Learn your sub­ject first, find out as much in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble from books and on­line, visit auc­tions, fairs and mu­se­ums and talk to ex­perts/fel­low col­lec­tors; han­dling bears is very im­por­tant, get­ting a feel for what old bears are made of and how they are stuffed. Then start small; you can buy a vin­tage bear for £10 or £20. Are there use­ful publi­ca­tions or web­sites that you can rec­om­mend? Spe­cialauc­tion­ser­vices.com for their bi-an­nual auc­tion of teddy bears, old­bear.co.uk are a highly re­garded an­tique bear dealer and ted­dy­bear­mu­seum.co.uk is good for in­for­ma­tion. A good ref­er­ence book is Pauline Cock­rill’s Teddy Bear En­cy­clo­pe­dia. Can you give some idea of the range of prices that col­lec­tors in this area might ex­pect to pay? For as lit­tle as £30 to £100 you can buy a nice vin­tage bear; an in­ter­est­ing and rare an­tique bear for mid £100s; and £20,000 to £50,000 for the very best. Should would-be col­lec­tors go to shows, spe­cial­ist deal­ers – or take their chances on­line? Once you know your sub­ject, you can buy from all – tra­di­tional auc­tions are great when run by a bear ex­pert. On­line auc­tion sites are a hunt­ing ground for bar­gains, es­pe­cially if you search out peo­ples list­ing mis­takes; spe­cial­ist deal­ers can be very fair and you have the con­fi­dence of an ex­pert ad­vis­ing you. I per­son­ally think it’s best to han­dle any­thing be­fore buy­ing. Do you have a per­sonal favourite bear or bear­maker? All the lit­tle-known Bri­tish mak­ers that cropped up af­ter the First World War. A mod­ern artist bear-maker: Gre­gory Gyl­len­ship; he makes very few and they are of such high qual­ity and full of ex­pres­sion; and the won­der­ful cre­ations by R John Wright from the United States. Daniel Agnew (danielagnew. com) is the teddy bear and doll spe­cial­ist at Spe­cial Auc­tion Ser­vices in New­bury and co-founder of the Woburn Abbey Teddy Bear Fes­ti­val, June 11 2017

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.