Rare Sooty puppets sell for £5k at Derbyshire auction

Image source, Hansons Auctioneers
Image caption,
The Soo, Sooty and Sweep puppets were given to a family by their creator Harry Corbett in the 1970s

A complete set of puppets from the children's television show Sooty has sold at auction for £5,000.

The trio of Sooty, Sweep and Soo puppets were given to Vicky Golding and Max Jowett by the show's creator, Harry Corbett, in the 1970s.

Current presenter of the show, Richard Cadell, said it was "very rare that Harry would give away a set".

Derbyshire auctioneers Hansons said the puppets were going to a private collection in Yorkshire.

Mr Corbett gave the puppets to Vicky and Max's father Derek Jowett, after learning their mother was ill with cancer.

Ms Golding, who lives in West Yorkshire, said: "I remember Harry coming to our house in Otley and entertaining us with Sooty shows.

"Knowing dad so well, he must have been touched by our plight. Max and I were only small when mum became poorly."

In September, an original Sooty puppet sold at Hansons for £3,100, and last year one of the puppets - dating back to the 1950s - sold for a record £14,500.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The pairing of Sooty and Harry Corbett was an instant hit, winning a public vote to take a BBC talent show title

Mr Cadell said many of the original puppets would have been lost, as the show's creator destroyed them.

"He threw the first five or six Sooties in the bin," he said.

"Nobody knew at the time that 70 years later we'd be worshipping this iconic little character.

"For him it was just something you did at a kids party, as a bit of an act.

"He bought the original one for his boys and when he wore that one out he'd go down the shop and get another."

Hansons spokeswoman Jill Gallone said: "We were honoured to sell this wonderful set of Harry Corbett puppets, which had a particularly touching story.

"They're going to a private collection in the county and will be joining another rare Sooty puppet which sold for a world-record total in 2018."

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