Back to News


In the Vectis Auction on Tuesday 1st June there are a group of bears lovingly made by the teddy bear artist Francis Armstrong.
This is her story written by her family -

Frankie Bears

Frankie Bears Frankie Bears is the name we've given to this collection of 190 traditional, handcrafted artist bears, made over the course of 40 years by our late stepmother Frances Armstrong, who was known as Frankie. She lived in Winsley, a small village in Wiltshire, UK.

When she wasn't indulging her love of gardening, Frankie spent much of her time at home making bears and other furry animals. She was never interested in selling them, preferring to give them away to her family, friends, charities, and her local church. Whenever a new baby was born in the village, Frankie would make them a teddy bear as a baptism gift.

Frankie never had children of her own, so when she passed away, we inherited all her wonderful creations, all beautifully made and well looked after. We decided to donate all her lovely toy cats and dogs to a local children's hospice, while her cuddly teddies without joints went to her church for future baptisms, continuing the tradition.

With Covid restrictions in place, Frankie’s funeral in 2020 was limited to family and close friends, but as we came out of the church, we were greeted from a distance by small family groups paying their respects, many of them holding the bears she had made them. It was so touching to realise how much her bears mean to people.

We’re auctioning this collection of Frankie’s collector’s bears on behalf of her grandchildren. We hope her bears will find loving homes for many years to come.

Simon, Nick and Jamie Armstrong, 2021