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Memories from Broughty Bears

In the Teddy Bear Sale on Friday 30th July there is an extremely special collection of ex-shop stock teddy bears from the renowned Teddy Bear Shop Broughty Bears.

The store was always a bustling and energetic teddy bear shop that evolved from a modest   corner and spread!

The family-owned, stationery and gift business was founded in 1979, by Fenella McDonald and her husband. In the 1980’s, the couple decided to add one or two bears to the giftware range on display in the stationers. As often happens with bears they multiply and before long the modest bear area evolved into the Broughty Bears Shop.

It was the introduction of the Steiff franchise that really propelled the gift shop into a must visit destination for bear lovers.  Selecting new stock was always exhilarating. Anticipation of latest personalities to be released and the back stories behind the many replicas celebrating past events like the Titanic Bear, the history of Winnie the Pooh and Beatrix Potter. It was always a magical experience when the new deliveries arrived, opening the boxes, seeing the faces smiling at them from inside the packaging. They were given a quick brush up and on to the shelves, where more often than not they were snapped up within days by eager collectors.

As the range expanded so did the number of customers, travelling from far and wide to be assured of a warm welcome from Fenella and the Broughty Bears team.  The wonderful, double fronted entrance and window line was perfect for creative seasonal displays featuring the exciting new arrivals from Steiff, Robin Rive, Merrythought, Hermann and an assortment of quality artist teds.

The shop’s reputation and customer loyalty led it to be one of the top Steiff suppliers in the UK and as such they held store Steiff events twice a year. This included the much-anticipated Steiff Broughty Bears Event Bear, a different one produced annually for several years. 

They worked closely with Hamish Strang and the other Steiff reps so the occasions always included opportunities to hear talks from some wonderful guest speakers. The charming and oh so knowledgeable Bear expert Leyla Maniera was the first guest, subsequently visiting Broughty Ferry on many occasions. Another highlight was a visit from Joachim Steiff.

The couple were also lucky enough to be able to visit Steiff Headquarters on three occasions. The first visit to Giengen was in 1999, it was also memorable for the fact they arrived during a snow storm. They managed to thaw out enough to be able to experience a superb tour through the factory and had the privilege of being allowed into the private Steiff archive where Herr Pfeiffer who compiled the Steiff Sortiment Books, was on hand to answer any questions. A second trip was swiftly planned by the couple, this time taking some of their customers along to share in the magical experience.

The couple have so many memories of all the lovely people they met through a shared love of bears. It was a truly magical time and the couple loved every minute.

For Fenella and Brian, the bear story is almost all complete, they retired to enjoy their expanding family. After much thought, the decision was made to offer the collection of Bears at auction with Vectis. As many will understand, the decision was heart wrenching but each family member chose the bears special to them so the house still has many special Ursine Friends. The bear and animals will now go on to have loving new homes and give friendship and pleasure to a whole host of different bear lovers old and new.

In Fenella’s own words – “Bears just gladden the heart and bring their own love into our lives. Bears are for everyone the world over to enjoy”.  

The bears in the sale are in superb order and include some rare pieces.  Below are a few highlights: –

The Broughty Bears Shop Collection is to be sold at Vectis on Friday 30th July 2021. For more information, please contact Jo McDonald (jo.mcdonald@vectis.co.uk) or Kathy Taylor (Kathy.taylor@vectis.co.uk) or call +44 (0) 1642 750616.

Steiff Peter Rabbit (Beatrix Potter) 1904 replica, white tag 402142, LE 1500, 2010, airbrushed velveteen, chest tag and certificate, Mint, with Near Mint to Mint box, outer trade carton, ex-Broughty Bears stock, 9"/22cm.
Estimate: £60 - £80 Sold For: £340
Steiff Paddington's Aunt Lucy teddy bear, white tag 662409, LE 1500, UK & Ireland exclusive, Mint, with swing label certificate, in Near Mint to Mint box, with outer trade carton, ex-Broughty Bears stock, 12.5"/33cm.
Estimate: £80 - £100 Sold For: £220
Steiff Peter Rabbit Beatrix Potter replica 1904/05, white tag 402180, LE 3000, 2002, white wool plush, Near Mint to Mint, complete with chest tag, certificate, within Excellent Plus box, outer trade carton, 9"/22cm; together with a Mint copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit book, ex-Broughty Bears stock, (2).
Estimate: £80 - £120 Sold For: £150
Steiff Beatrix Potter Mr Todd Fox, white tag 662492, LE 1500, with swing label certificate, Mint, within Mint box, outer trade carton, ex-Broughty Bears stock, 14"/36cm.
Estimate: £120 - £140 Sold For: £150
Steiff Wizard of Oz musical Dorothy teddy bear, white tag 681998, LE 1939, 2011, cream mohair, key wound integral music box plays Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Mint, with certificate and Mint box, outer trade carton, ex-Broughty Bears stock, 11.5"/29cm.
Estimate: £100 - £140 Sold For: £340
Steiff Wizard of Oz Tin Man teddy bear, white tag 682940, LE 1939, UK, Ireland and North American Exclusive, grey wool felt, he has a funnel for a hat plus rivet buttons, heart shaped pendant watch, Near Mint to Mint, with swing label, certificate, Excellent to Excellent Plus box, trade carton, ex-Broughty Bears stock, 12"/30cm.
Estimate: £100 - £140
Steiff Cameleon Caspar Paradise, white tag 034848, LE 2000, 2013, with mint green sequinned body, and / polyester / cotton woven fabric under body and legs, MISSING swing label, certificate, Excellent Plus, within Near Mint to Mint box, outer trade carton, ex-Broughty Bears stock, 8"/20cm long.
Estimate: £30 - £50 Sold For: £25
Steiff Karl Lagerfeld teddy bear, white tag 657726, LE 2500, 2008, white alpaca, white gold coated button within his ear, designed to be a likeness of the famous fashion designer, in collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld, the clothes and accessories were designed in his Paris Studio and the materials were individually selected. His black jacket is of Italian wool, white poplin shirt with standing collar and trompe l'oeil look button holes, jeans with a patina from the K Karl Lagerfeld collection, black silk cravat and Swarovski crystal, belt of real leather, the initials of the "maestro" are set in crystals on the buckle, tailor-made boots, miniature glasses from the "Lagerfeld eyewear" line. Mint, with certificate, stand and Near Mint to Mint box, outer trade carton, ex-Broughty Bears stock, 16"/40cm.
Estimate: £400 - £600 Sold For: £4,200