Meet Hildergard, a hand stitched memory bear made from the Harley Bear Pattern by Jane Cooper in her father's memory. Jane is the daughter of the late Joe Cooper who was the "jovial debunker of the celebrated Cottingley fairy photographs (supposedly showing fairies captured on film in a Yorkshire garden in 1917)." "His engaging and sympathetic approach ended the long deception by the cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright, who were in their 80s when Cooper's interview appeared in the magazine The Unexplained in 1983. They described to him how the "fairies" had been copied by Wright from a well-known children's book of the time, The Queen's Gift Book, and then held in place with hatpins." "Scientists, intellectuals and even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were believers until it was finally revealed to be a hoax."
Jane told me..."I adored my late father, my wonderful Dad who allowed me to enjoy an extended childhood full of our own paracosm (imaginary world) where we were bears who lived in a tree house" "Up in the tree tops you will find them there, Jolly Joe the fairy fan with his little baby girl bear" xx
This year marks the centenary of the Cottingly Fairy phenomena, and to mark the event Jane has challenged me to design a Cottingly Fairy rag doll... and I'm quite excited by the idea! - hmmmm I'm thinking of an elfin shaped doll with simple jointed limbs, but how shall I make the wings?? back to the drawing board for me I think!
Thank you Jane for sharing your teddy and your unique & fascinating story! ;) xxx
You can read more about The Coopers and The Cottingly Fairies on the following links:
The Beautiful fairy in the image is the Snowdrop Midummer Fairy shown with kind permission of the talented Disney artist & illustrator Casey Robin. You can see more of her wonderful designs on the following link: