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The Original Classic Paddington Bear – Gabrielle Designs – Made in England – 1981 – Design by Shirley Clarkson (1972)

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Description

The Original Classic Paddington Bear was designed by Shirley Clarkson in 1972 based on the character in the famous books written by Michael Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum, and later, in 1981, hand crafted by Gabrielle Designs Ltd. in Yorkshire, England.

History: In 1971, Shirley Clarkson started Gabrielle Designs. As a gift for her children she would lovingly craft that year’s toy of choice. Having recently read and loved Michael Bond’s new book about a ‘delightful little bear called Paddington’ with illustrations by Peggy Fortnum, Shirley knew at once that was to be this year’s toy. Not only that but once the first bear had been put together from studying Fortnum’s original drawings, she knew it was going to be a Gabrielle product. After some negotiations with lawyers representing Michael Bond Gabrielle Designs was granted the first licence to manufacture a Paddington Bear soft toy.

Paddington is made of light blond, what I believe, mohair, but it could be some other kind of fabric. It’s very soft and silky, though. He wears his traditional blue duffel coat, red hat and red Wellington boots (which has a paw pattern underneath, and the initials P.B. written in reverse). He has glass eyes with black pupils and a black nose. Paddington measures 40cm / 16 “. He has his Gabrielle Designs label attached to his coat as well as his travel label saying: “Darkest Peru to London, England, Via PADDINGTON Stn. Please look after this bear thank you.” He comes in excellent condition.

This particular Paddington Bear has not only travelled from “Darkest Peru to London, England, via Paddington Stn.”, but also from the US to Sweden, where he has been living in a non-smoking environment with one grown-up collector. He is now looking for a new loving home. Where will he be heading next?

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