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TV puppet sale at SAS

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The puppet collection of Bob Bura, puppeteer and animator of iconic shows including Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Captain Pugwash, is set to go under the hammer.

The collection, which is expected to fetch £2500-3750, will feature in the Teddy Bear, Dolls, Dolls' House and Traditional Toy auction due to be held at Special Auction Services on 25 and 26 June.

The items, which were kept in a shed in his garden, include puppets, ventriloquist dummies and props as well as ephemera from his career including photographs and transparencies.

Two puppets from Whirligig – one of the first children's television shows ever to be broadcast - will also be offered for sale. A ventriloquist puppet by Francis Coudrill of Cassy is expected to fetch £300-400, whilst the puppet of Mexican Pete, the bandit, carries an estimate of £200-300.

Other highlights include a Mr Punch hand puppet from the cult Hammer Horror film The Quartermass Xperiment (estimate £200-300); photos of Bob Bura and John Hardwick performing in The Singing Waiters (estimate £200-400); and a suave pianist in white tuxedo (£80-120).

Bura performed ventriloquist acts in the West End from a young age. It was when he was working on Punch and Judy shows on Southsea beach in Portsmouth that he first met John Hardwick, with whom he went on to work with as a puppeteer and entertainer. Together they produced hundreds of films and live-action puppet sequences using stop motion films – which was a very advanced technique of the day.

Special Auction Services expert Daniel Agnew says, “Bob was a true legend and a pioneer of children’s entertainment. This collection is a great reflection of the success of his career which spanned several decades.”

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

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