Teddy bear lovers can treat themselves to a (chilly) picnic and a buying trip now that the London International Antique and Artist Doll, Teddy Bear and Toy Fair is returning just in time for Christmas.
It takes place on Sunday, December 11, after a pandemic-enforced hiatus.
Co-organised by dolls and teddy bear specialist Daniel Agnew and arctophile Hilary Pauley and titled 200 Years of Childhood, the fair will run at Kensington Town Hall in London.
Launched in 2017 at the Pillar Hall in Olympia, it moved to Kensington Town Hall in 2018. Now, in 2022, the fair has a crossover combination with The Art of Childhood, a teddy bear festival which started in 2018 at Woburn Abbey’s Sculpture Gallery and ran for two years before that venue closed for refurbishment.
As well as hundreds of dealers selling in two halls there will be four seminars including one by Catherine Howell, former curator of the V&A Museum of Childhood. Agnew himself will talk about his own large toy collections. He ran Christie’s teddy bear auctions (he helped set up the first teddy bear auction in 1993 and organised its last sale, The Stratford-upon-Avon Teddy Bear Museum, in 2007). Agnew now operates his own dolls and teddy bears business and organises two auctions a year at Special Auction Services of Newbury.
Pauley runs the private online Teddy Bear Museum which also includes sales. Many of the collection’s bears were sold at Special Auction Services in June 2020.
This is a fair that has a special attraction for US and EU collectors and dealers and Agnew’s message is: “We have some of the best dolls, teddy bears and toys in the world, so let’s get this show back on the road.”