World 28.7.2016 09:00 am

Dream auction for Potter fans

RARE. A fi rst edition of The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck by Beatrix Po er
is displayed among other books at Drewea s and Bloomsbury Auctions .
Pictures: Ge y Images

RARE. A fi rst edition of The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck by Beatrix Po er is displayed among other books at Drewea s and Bloomsbury Auctions . Pictures: Ge y Images

The London auction celebrates the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth.

London auction house Dreweas & Bloomsbury Auctions will today hold an auction dedicated to Beatrix Potter and in celebration of the 150th anniversary of her birth. The auction will take place in Maddox Street, London.

The John Cawood Collection of Beatrix Potter forms a large share of the lots on offer and comprises nearly 100 pieces, including first editions and works on paper amassed by the collector since 1972. John Cawood is a resident of The Lake District and prominent member of the Beatrix Potter Society who developed a passion for Beatrix Potter’s tales as a child.

Estimates for the collection range from £250 to £35 000. Headlining the sale is a first edition of Beatrix Potter’s iconic work, The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

This version is a first issue and one of only 250 copies ever made. It has a colour frontispiece and 41 full-page drawings by the author as well as the original grey-green boards lettered and illustrated in black.

This is an exceptional example of the true first printing of one of the most important children’s books of the twentieth century and was printed at the behest of the author by Strangeways in 1901 (est: £25 000-35 000).

Originally conceived by Beatrix Potter as a picture letter and sent to her former governess’ eldest son Noël in 1893, The Tale of Peter Rabbit was to become one of the pre-eminent children’s books of all time, and firmly established Potter as a popular author and illustrator.

Cawood began collecting Potter in 1972 with a copy of The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, sparking a 40-plus-year collecting habit.

Bloomsbury specialist Roddy Newlands, said: “Beatrix Potter is most famous for her Peter Rabbit stories, the charming small-format books originally published between 1902 and 1930, all of which feature in this auction, including rare first editions, books inscribed and books in the scarce glassine dust-jackets.

Sources: www.finebooksmagazine.com & www.westmorelandgaze e.co.uk.

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