Daniel is probably
best known for running Christie’s famous teddy bear auctions from 2000 to 2007.
But, his passion for teddy bears and all toys goes back much further than that.
Marion Agnew is a well respected antique dealer and is know across the country.
As a child he was fascinated with the bits and pieces that mum bought home from
her various buying trips. Daniel started to join her at the weekends and as a
child of 9 or 10, what caught his eye most were the toys. His first collection
was a lead farm; this led onto a zoo and garden. Then Golly badges, Felix and
Bonzo collectable, novelty egg cups and then teddy bears. Without knowing it,
he had contracted one of the worst disease known, The Collecting Bug.
Armed with his first reference book 'The Teddy Bear Catalogue', written by Peggy and Alan Bialosky, published in 1980 and bought for the great sum of £3.40. This book showed the amazing array of teddy bears available, can you imagine listed in these pages were Steiff clown bears ($175), the most expensive Steiff was $850!
began to grow, as did the prices of bears. A key influence to Daniel was the
late Pam Hebbs, they regularly met at Covent Garden or Bermondsey market where
mum had a stall and Pam was looking for bears to buy. The growth in the bear
market is well documented, but in the year Daniel joined Christie’s as a
saleroom porter, they record price had reached the dizzy heights, when in 1989 Alfonzo, a red Steiff Teddy Bear which was originally the property of Princess Xenia Georgievna, a member
of the Russian royal family, sold for £12,100.
Daniel joined the
toy department at Christie’s in 1991 and just a few years later advised and
helped set up the first Teddy Bear auction in 1993. During the planning process
for the auction, it was obvious we needed a star of the show. It was Christie’s
doll consultant, Olivia Bristol who came up trumps. Discovering while chatting
to a dealer at Newark Antiques Fair, that the dealer had a blue Steiff teddy
bear! It was a bold move of Olivia’s, to value him at £15,000-20,000. But, she
was proved correct when he reached the amazing sum of £49,500!!! How could that
be beaten? Well they did, the next December sale, Christie’s sold Teddy Girl
for £110,000, which is still the world record for an antique Teddy Bear (both
these historic catalogues are available to buy on this site – Buy Today).
In 2007 Daniel left Chrisite's and established this website in 2008; holding his first independent auction 'The London Toy Auction' in 2009. In 2010 Daniel returned to Christie's South Kensington in October 2010 to sell the Paul Greenwood collection 'Steiff: An Important Private Collection', which sold for an impressive £1,000,000! Daniel's London Toy Auction returned in 2011 and 2012; in the last auction a Steiff Petsy Teddy Bear sold for £23,600.
Through the last
20 years, Daniel collection has grown and grown. Constantly adding new items;
especially loving anything early with labels, mad comic characters or anything
that has not been seen before. Much of the collection can be seen on this site,
see My Collection. But, for the last couple of years a large percentage
has been of permanent loan to the Brighton Toy and Model Museum www.brightontoymuseum.co.uk
for Daniel is the massive task of writing a definitive encyclopedia type book
on the British Teddy Bear. A lot of research is being done for this and when
eventually finished will be a must for any bear collector. For further details
on this or find out how to help create this book, look at My Library.
currently self-employed, advising clients, and dealing on this website and at
shows. Generally working at promoting the teddy bear and toy hobby for all. Also organises an bi-annual auction, in association with Special Auction Services.
If you would like
to contact Daniel please email firstname.lastname@example.org