THE CULLERCOATS COLLECTION - Tuesday 10th November 2020
The joy and companionship teddy bears provide could not be better illustrated than in the collection that will be offered at auction by Vectis in the auction on Tuesday 10th November.
The owner’s love of bruins was ignited in 1928 when ‘Big Teddy’ arrived as a Christmas present. Of unknown origins, he had unusual dark brown mohair, large feet with lighter coloured felt pads. ‘Big Teddy’ was a constant companion for the next 90 years. He travelled, went to parties and exhibitions and of course needed a wardrobe of suitable clothing. As his closet expanded so did the hug of bears and he was joined each year by bruins of all shapes, sizes and origins. 1983 it was noted, was a vintage year with over 40 being added in that period alone.
Each addition was recorded and catalogued, some with photographs, sizes and a summary of labels, clothing or details of history before arrival. The interest also brought the owner into contact with other like-minded collectors as pen pals or visitors. She created a magical compendium with hand written notations, newspaper stories, letters from museums, magazine cuttings, postcards, postage stamps and pictures.
Many of the bears have a story all detailed in the scrap book, bears whish are featured in the scrap book are accompanied by a copy of their story.
Pandas feature heavily in the collection, the first arrival was “’Big Panda’, soon followed by Chad Valley ‘Ming’ and ‘Big Panda’ plus a wonderful Merrythought vintage panda nightdress case with original ‘Reg.Des’ sewn label.
British teddy pioneer Wendy Boston was another favourite with example in white, pink, blue, brown and gold plus a variety of animals, pandas, gollies and even Basil Brush. There are some delightful and more unusual, harder to find examples such as the rabbits in Lot No. 126 and the white plush Wendy’s with blue eyes.
Paddington also appears in several guises as does Sooty, Winnie the Pooh, Alfonzo and Rupert. Many of her pen friends, forwarded gifts, beary related of course and these feature in the sale too – pens, postcards, books, jewellery, badges, miniatures and rubber stamps among other things.
Lakeland bears and their clothes are in abundance, to read more about these see the separate article.
There is no doubt the utter joy these bears and keepsakes brought to their owner and although there is a large quantity, all bears regardless of origin or value were treasured and loved. They will be offered in single and group lots. In addition to the journal, there is a catalogue of the bears and record cards with additional information.
The bears resided in an elegant Victoria villa in Cullercoats on the picturesque North East coast and had a wonderful and rich life. The journal chronicles their adventures and will be offered for sale in the same auction. Will you be able to help them to settle in somewhere new?