The Cornwall shop selling a rare Disney princess doll worth more than £1k

25-01-22 Simon with Belle Disney Princess doll-BPM Media/Cornwall Live
The handmade figurine is one of just 500 in the world Credit: BPM Media/Cornwall Live

A family business in Cornwall which sells unique collectables and art has obtained a Disney doll worth more than £1,000.

The handmade figurine of Belle from Beauty and the Beast is one of just 500 in the world.Morrab Studio is an art, gifts and collectables shop co-run by Simon Laity and his brother David.

It is now selling a figurine of Disney's Belle for just under £1,200.

It was made by German plush company Steiff, which is famous for its teddy bears, and is incredibly valuable to collectors.

The doll is up for grabs at just under £1200. Credit: Cornwall Live/BPM Media

Simon said: “We’ve got this one in and another due. She’s made of wool felt, and her dress is too. There are lots of little bits attached and adorned, like the white pearls in the dress.

“The little felt gloves, too, and she’s hand-painted. This one is model 114.”

Due to the rarity of the item, it is on sale for £1,199 - down from its regular price of £1,395.

While this might sound steep, Simon said to some collectables like this are well worth the price.

Simon says collecting rare items is a passion for some people that stems from their childhood. Credit: BPM Media/Cornwall Live

“It stems from childhood,” he said. “Every child gets dolls or bears according to what they like, and for some people, the interest grows.

"Where some people go and get into football, or get into looking lovely and wearing dresses, some people get into collecting. Their childhood never leaves them.”

He said several pieces at his shop are on his own wishlist if he ever had the cash to spend.

He gave an example of a real-size Paddington Bear figure - which is up to waist height on a person - which had been snapped up.

There is a wide variety of collectables in the shop. Credit: BPM Media/Cornwall Live

“People were just amazed at the quality of him and how realistic he looked,” Simon added.

“Some just love collecting. The collectables market has plateaued a bit, but there's always something. If it’s good, people will have a thing for it.

“We all collect in our family. If I see something which I think is lovely, I’ll get it. I don’t necessarily collect everything in a set, I cherry pick - I have mortgages to pay and the like."

The independent shop has been a feature in Penzance since it was founded by their father John in 1950. It began life primarily as a family pottery shop.

Simon with his family who help him run the business. Credit: BPM Media/Cornwall Live

Simon said he used to help in his early years for pocket money, where they sold pottery fired by his father John at their kiln.

John Laity bought fine pottery from Derby, Worcester, and further afield to sell to collectors.

By the 1970s, collectables became popular with the increasing popularity of pop culture-themed figurines and statuettes.

“It’s a job to say when it started exactly,” he said, “because it’s been a gradual change. But my father carried on selling pictures and prints at the time, though we don’t do that now.

“The big collectables phase has gone now, mostly, and same for tableware. Now, we mostly do fine gifts.”