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Peter Fagan
Peter Fagan is a British artist, best known for designing and sculpting miniature animals and teddy bears. He was founder of the Colour Box company and responsible for collections including Pennywhistle Lane and Centimental Bears.

Peter Christopher Phillip Fagan was born in Essex, England on November 5, 1942. He was the first of five children. He studied at Colchester College of Art, now called the Colchester Institute, from which he graduated in the early 1960s. He performed a variety of jobs, including teaching pottery at Braintree College of Further Education, designing exhibition stands, and working as assistant in an art studio. Then, in 1972, he relocated to Scotland.

He moved to Lauder in the Scottish Borders, taking a local factory job and making relief plaques by private commission. Some of these plaques can still be seen today in Lauder Church. After noticing some bronze owls in a craft store, Peter decided he could produce similar products and he began creating miniature cold cast bronze resin woodland creature figurines from his home. He established the company, Bronze Age Ltd, in 1973, to sell his products, mainly locally.

The figurines sold well and the business grew quickly. Within 2 years, Peter employed 10 people, initially working out of various rooms in his house, before expanding into the old Lauder jail and eventually to a dedicated factory. The product range continued to grow through the 1970s, including figurines, plaques, paperweights and lamp stands.

In the early 1980s, the demand for bronze ware seemed to be declining, as less expensive ceramic collectibles were becoming available, so Peter experimented with a ceramic resin. He had also begun painting the bronze cats, with some success. This led him to design a selection of miniature cats he called the Home Sweet Home collection. This collection, based on Peter's own cats in humorous situations, was officially launched in February 1983, at the Spring Trade Fair in Birmingham, England. The success of this collection launched the Colour Box brand and took the business to the next level.

In 1987, Peter launched a collection of Colour Box Teddies. This collection was based on his wife's, Frances, interest in teddy bears. It is said that a purchase of 4 old teddy bears from an antique store, while on vacation in Bruges, is the inspiration for the collection. This collection rapidly grew to become the company's most successful collection; so successful that Peter changed the name of the company from Bronze Age to Colour Box, to leverage the success of the brand. Each teddy bear was modeled from one in the Fagans' collection and was accompanied by a short background story about the bear, written by Frances. Peter and Frances continued to collect teddy bears, including rare and antique bears, and the collection of miniatures was likewise expanded.

The popularity of the teddy bear miniatures continued to grow as the range expanded. An official collector's club was formed in Jun 1987, along with a collector's newsletter. In July 1989, a visitor center was opened in Lauder, to allow interested club members to visit, tour and buy Colour Box items.

Throughout their most successful years, Peter and Frances have helped out many charity organizations, by auctioning some of their teddy bear collection and by organizing and donating pieces for sale, auction or other charity events.

Toward the end of the century, things started to decline for Colour Box, as competition from less expensive imports grew. Peter experimented with shifting some of the production to the Far East (Taiwan and China), but this wasn't as successful as hoped. In addition, Peter's health became a factor and the company was closed in 2000.

After a short break, Peter continued to sculpt under his own name, from his new home studio in Berwick-upon-Tweed, just 36 miles from Lauder, on the east coast of northern England. He still produces new pieces today, albeit on a much smaller scale than his most prolific years, when as many as 80,000 figurines per week were sold across 26 countries.

In 2003, the Peter Fagan Collector's Club was founded. Membership included limited edition member pieces, early chance to buy other figurines and updates on events and new releases.

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