Collecting Vintage Teddy Bears On A Small Budget

People are often not aware that collecting vintage teddy bears is not as expensive as they think and it is quite possible to put together a nice collection on a small budget.  Only a handful of bears will be sold at auction for six figure sums and the bear must be in perfect condition or come with very important provenance.  The majority of old teddies sell for much more modest prices and are often not much more expensive than a manufactured limited edition piece.

Many collectors of bears start with the modern, limited editions of Steiff.  Everyone has heard of the name and is aware of the history and the quality.  A really early Steiff, even in poor condition, would cost hundreds of pounds but, fortunately, there are cheaper alternatives.  The Zotty, one of Steiff’s most popular designs in the post war era, is constantly overlooked by collectors and can usually be found in good condition at affordable prices.  Zotty was introduced in 1951 and with his eager, open-mouthed appearance was designed to appeal to children.  He was a huge success and Steiff made him in varying styles and sizes well into the 1990s.  Collectors tend to go for the earlier examples, such as the 11inch (28cm) one and if you are lucky you might be able find one for under £100.

If Zotty isn’t your thing there is another cut-price vintage option, an Original Teddy, introduced by Steiff in 1950 and made in large quantities and a variety of sizes and styles.  The Original Teddy was made from high quality materials and that is one of the reasons why so many are still found in good condition. Continue reading “Collecting Vintage Teddy Bears On A Small Budget”

Collecting Vintage Novelty Handbags

I can never understand why women these days are prepared to pay several thousand pounds for a high fashion handbag only to see thousands of other women with the same bag, when for a few hundred pounds they could have the most beautiful vintage novelty handbag.  You could arrive at a party as a total stranger, but carry a 1950s vintage novelty handbag you would soon have lots of people to talk to.  While nowadays the handbag is carried as a status symbol to flaunt your wealth the vintage novelty handbag expressed your personality.  There was such a wealth of choice which meant that there was really a handbag to suit everyone.

The golden age of the novelty handbag was the 1950s and America lead the way.  During the austerity of World War II fashion had to be functional rather than fun, but once it was over there was a demand for glamour and fun and the handbag designers did not disappoint.  While French designers gave us the classic handbags from Hermes and Chanel American designers really let rip and their handbags were fabulous and great fun.  They would make bags to match a particular flowery dress or, if you were going on vacation to the seaside, there would be bags decorated with shells and fish.  Little wicker baskets were a favourite for the summer and if you are a collector of vintage novelty handbags you should look out for a Nantucket Lightship basket.  They were handwoven in Massachusetts and are a great favourite with collectors.  Prices depend on condition and on whether they are plain or decorated.  You should expect to pay from £60 upwards -prices increase the better the condition and the more highly decorated they are. Continue reading “Collecting Vintage Novelty Handbags”