Collection belonging to stalwart of Portobello Road goes under the hammer


The house contents of Joan Dunk – a stalwart of Portobello Road Antique Market - will go under the hammer at Special Auction Services in May.

The house contents of Joan Dunk – a stalwart of Portobello Road Antique Market - will go under the hammer at Special Auction Services in Newbury on 12th and 13th May 2020 and is expected to fetch in excess of £40,000.

For decades Joan had an outside pitch on the corner of Westbourne Grove and only moved to the indoor market in recent years. As well as selling antiques for a living she also collected them for enjoyment; with her husband a train collector, their tiny London terrace house was packed from floor to ceiling.

Her first serious collection began in 1965 with old teddy bears (two decades before they became ‘collectable’) and one of the highlights going under the hammer is a beautiful Steiff cinnamon centre-seam teddy bear circa 1908, which is estimated at £3,000-4,000. As well as collecting teddy bears, Joan also had an extensive toy collection; a Bing clockwork teddy bear with tinplate ball carries an estimate of £700-1,000, while a 1860s Grodnerthal wooden doll is expected to fetch £800-1,000. 

The living room shelves were filled with clockwork toys, shallow wall mounted display cabinets were filled with lead toy figures including Felix the Cat amongst other comic and civilian characters. Joan, who dabbled in dolls’ houses and miniatures, had a charming cabinet filled with bisque Christmas cake decorations and all sorts of intriguing miniatures and ephemeral curios.

 The first day of the auction will comprise teddy bears, tin toys, lead figures, dolls, dolls' houses, cake decorations and everything childhood. The second day will offer kitchenalia, smoothing implements, grinders, moulds, spectacles, paperclips, die shakers, kaleidoscopes, Brownies (an imp like character), curios and pottery with estimates ranging from £30-£300.

More information can be found at www.specialauctionservices.com.