Rare bears under hammer at toy auction

Last updated 11:25 07/12/2012
Vintage toy auction
Dunbar Sloane autioneers assistant Katherine Davey with German teddy bears, left, a Steiff and right, a Hermann.

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A small turnout at auction house Dunbar Sloane's sale of vintage toys in Wellington on Wednesday reflected the shrinking market for rare teddy bears in New Zealand, with collectibles tightly held.

Items under the hammer included bears more than 100 years old, Kewpie dolls made in Japan, handcrafted Gollys, 1930s dolls of child star Shirley Temple on rollerskates alongside tin soldiers and train sets.

Dunbar Sloane auctioneer Bettina Frith said there were no sensational items because movements in the market were so limited these days.

''We used to have three or four doll and toy auctions a year but they've boiled down to about one a year now. It's the sellers' market shrinking, there are certainly plenty of buyers out there but I think a lot of the toys out there are in big collections,'' Frith said.

''There were some nice toys in the auction but nothing that was going to wow the market or anything.''

The top selling item was an unglazed porcelain bisque fashion doll that was under negotiation for about $1400, while a Schuco Yes-No teddybear went for $600. Turnout was ''quiet'', which Frith said was a sign of the times.

Featherston St teddy bear store Bears With Attitude manager Claire Cordery said people still bought the toys for grandchildren but a slump in serious collectors could be recession related.

''Maybe there are not the serious collectors out there in younger people, they're more older people but I suppose it's just like anything - is it a necessity, do you really need another bear? People just aren't buying the more expensive bears because they don't have the money for them.''

Contact Jazial Crossley
Wellington business reporter
Email: jazial.crossley@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @msbananapeel

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- The Dominion Post


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