Bears have long played a key role in the puppet world – and indeed, in our online store here at Puppets By Post – but when it comes to iconic puppet bears, it’s difficult to see past the immortal Sooty. More than a few of the original puppets from the Sooty TV show have also turned out to be a little immortal, in fact, as another in a long line of them has been sold at auction.
The Sooty puppet on this occasion is reported by the Evening Standard to have been “sitting in a box for 40 years”, and while it was expected to be auctioned off for more than £1,000, it in fact fetched over three times that – selling for £3,100 on the 19th September.
Harry Corbett, Sooty’s creator, was a good friend of retired biology teacher Paul Mouncey, whose daughter – Tina Stewart – was given the puppet. Both families lived at the time in the Dorset village of Child Okeford.
“We always knew our Sooty puppet was extra special”
Of how the puppet came into her possession, Mrs Stewart commented: “Dad remembers taking me to see Harry and going into his workshop where he used to make the props and backdrops for the shows.
“On one occasion when we visited him, dad mentioned that Harry took a liking to me and that’s when he gave me the original Sooty from the show.
“We always knew our Sooty puppet was extra special. My parents said I had to be extra careful with him if I played with him. Harry told us he’d been on the Sooty TV shows.”
Mrs Stewart explained that she had decided to part with the puppet after a discussion with the Sooty show’s current owner Richard Cadell, who described it as “without question an original television Sooty that would have been used some point on television in the mid-1970s”.
Mr Cadell said that he estimated the puppet to be about 45 to 50 years old.
The puppet was sold at Hansons on 19th September, with a guide price of £800 to £1,200, yet achieving the princely sum of £3,100.
Why not indulge your own love for all things animal puppets?
Thankfully, if you fancy owning an adorable bear hand puppet – or for that matter, a puppet or several based on all manner of other cute animals – there’s no need to empty that much from your bank account!
That’s because, here at Puppets By Post, we are proud to be one of the places online to buy animal hand puppets encompassing the likes of birds, dinosaurs, dogs, foxes, mice, monkeys, reptiles and so many more, all at superb prices – and with free delivery provided on any order of more than £10.