TV Puppet sold for £14,500 sets new auction world record
London, September 4, 2018 (AltAfrica)-One of the oldest surviving Sooty puppets has set a new world record after it was sold for £14,500.
The yellow glove puppet, once owned by presenter of the Sooty Show Harry Corbett OBE, smashed the previous record paid for a Sooty.
The first Sooty was bought by Corbett on Blackpool’s North Pier in 1948 to entertain his kids.
He paid seven shillings and six pence (37.5p) for it and after covering the bear’s nose and ears with soot the legendary TV character was born.
An original Harry Corbett Sooty puppet used on TV in the famous children’s show in the 1950s has sold for a world-record price at auction (Picture: Hansons / SWNS/Metro UK)
It set the first world record when magician and Sooty Show presenter Richard Cadell paid 3,100 for it in 2008.
The record was broken on Monday when a second surviving puppet – which starred on Corbett’s TV show in the 1950s – was snatched up by a private bidder.
The anonymous buyer said: ‘I’m delighted. Sooty will be going to the north of England to take his place in my large, private collection of TV puppets and memorabilia.’
Auctioneer Charles Hanson said: ‘It’s an astonishing figure and I’m delighted for the sellers.
‘This is a world record price for the sale of a Sooty puppet.’ Mr Hanson added about its history: ‘Sooty was invented in Blackpool. ‘Harry Corbett bought the puppet on Blackpool’s North Pier in 1948 for seven shillings and six pence to entertain his children on holiday.
Later he used soot to blacken its ears and nose, hence the name Sooty.’
The Sooty puppet belonged to Dr Steven Abbott, 58, from Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, after Corbett gave it to his father, Blackpool-based musician Arthur Abbott, who had the stage name Art Johnson.
Corbett sent a letter to Mr Abbott, on Sooty headed notepaper, dated 16 September, 1957, which read: ‘Just a line to say thank you very much for the list of tunes which came in very, very handy on the cruise. ‘I have great pleasure in sending you one of the Sootys which I have used on television.