I first meet Pam some 20 years ago, when she used to visit my mother's antique stall at Covent Garden Market. She greatly influenced me, as she did many other people. Her sharing of knowledge was never so prominent when she assisted Leyla Maniera, when Leyla first started cataloguing teddy bears back in 1991. Pam's contribution to Christie's Teddy Bear department was even more important once Leyla started the first all Teddy Bear sales in 1993. But, undoubtedly her crowning glory was when she bought 'Teddy Girl' on behalf of Mr. Sekiguchi for the world record price of £110,000 in December 1994.
Will, was one of Pam's favourite teddy bears, one she reluctantly parted with some ten years ago, to friends who were collectors, people she knew she could trust with caring for such a special bear.
A TRIBUTE TO PAM HEBBS
I was honored to call Pam Hebbs one of my dearest friends. Pam earned the reputation of being one of the most respected and well-loved people in the teddy bear world. A pioneer in her field, Pam possessed great knowledge of all aspects of teddy bear collecting and considerably contributed to establishing the teddy bear as a major collectible. She had an endless willingness to share her knowledge and her passion for collecting teddy bears was contagious. She was a regular contributor to doll and antique magazines, and in 1988 her book "Collecting Teddy Bears" was released. The book awarded her well deserved recognition and showcased her personal teddy bear collection which is internationally regarded as being both extensive and comprehensive.
Teddy bear artists all over the world were inspired and encouraged by Pam's genuine interest in their work. She gave generously of her time by nurturing and encouraging others. She was affectionately known to the artists as 'mum'.
Pam originally dealt in general antiques, but made the transition to teddy bears and also became a collector in the late 1970s, when she found the most wonderful old Steiff teddy bear. Initially participating in antique fairs (shows), as the interest in teddies boomed, Pam opened her tiny shop in Camden Passage, Islington that was soon to become a collectors' paradise.
It was this alluring little shop where I first met Pam. Her shop became known the world over for its magical atmosphere filled with laughter, love, and the most wonderful teddy bears and bear memorabilia. It was always at the top of my list of 'Places to Go' when I visited my homeland, England. Pam was the first person I met who shared my interest in the history of the teddy bears. I treasure the memories of the times we spent together drinking tea and discussing and looking at bears. I never tired of listening to her fascinating stories about the people who had visited her shop from all walks of life and nationalities.
Pam was married for forty years and was devoted to her husband Peter. Life to Pam was an adventure. She enjoyed every day and everyone she came in contact with. She was known for her great sense of humour and her honest, warm personality. She truly embodied all the endearing qualities of our beloved teddy bear. For all this, I say thank you Pam. Your contribution to the teddy bear world is truly monumental! Pam lost her life to cancer in 1999. She is greatly missed by all who knew her.