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Beatrix Potter

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Potter, Beatrix

Rare books by Beatrix Potter, including first editions and finely bound copies.

As a child, Beatrix Potter (1866–1943) was fascinated by nature, using her considerable artistic talent to paint animal and plants. In 1893 she sent a sequence of illustrated letters about a naughty rabbit to the children of her former governess, and their delight led her to submit the story for publication. Although it was turned down, she had 250 copies published privately in December 1901 for distribution to friends. Simply titled Peter Rabbit and illustrated with line drawings, the book’s popularity was such that another printing of 200 copies was required by February 1902, and in the same year Frederick Warne & Co. agreed to publish it with new colour illustrations. Eight thousand copies of this first trade edition were printed in October 1902, to be followed by a further 21 storybooks, all illustrated by the author.

Beatrix Potter showed an avid interest in the design of her books, and herself designed deluxe bindings for her books, which would be sold at a higher price than the regular trade edition at the time and still command a premium from collectors today.

Reprints of Beatrix Potter's works usually resemble the original first editions in almost every detail, and can be hard to distinguish from them. The key points to look for are:

(a) the first editions are usually dated in the imprint at the foot of the title page, on the front (recto) of the leaf. The copyright date on the back (verso) will show the first date of publication, but this alone is not indicative of first edition status. Later printings have no date in the imprint.

(b) her publisher Frederick Warne became a limited company in 1917, after the great majority of her best-known books had been first published. Therefore, most books with "Limited" or "Ltd" in the company name, either in the imprint or on the front cover, are published in or after 1917 and are reprints.

(c) any edition bearing an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) was issued after 1967.

With one or two exceptions, only first edition, first impressions, in the original publisher's bindings have significant value.

Read our blog post about first editions of Peter Rabbit.

Rare books by Beatrix Potter, including first editions and finely bound copies.

As a child, Beatrix Potter (1866–1943) was fascinated by nature, using her considerable artistic talent to paint animal and plants. In 1893 she sent a sequence of illustrated letters about a naughty rabbit to the children of her former governess, and their delight led her to submit the story for publication. Although it was turned down, she had 250 copies published privately in December 1901 for distribution to friends. Simply titled Peter Rabbit and illustrated with line drawings, the book’s popularity was such that another printing of 200 copies was required by February 1902, and in the same year Frederick Warne & Co. agreed to publish it with new colour illustrations. Eight thousand copies of this first trade edition were printed in October 1902, to be followed by a further 21 storybooks, all illustrated by the author.

Beatrix Potter showed an avid interest in the design of her books, and herself designed deluxe bindings for her books, which would be sold at a higher price than the regular trade edition at the time and still command a premium from collectors today.

Reprints of Beatrix Potter's works usually resemble the original first editions in almost every detail, and can be hard to distinguish from them. The key points to look for are:

(a) the first editions are usually dated in the imprint at the foot of the title page, on the front (recto) of the leaf. The copyright date on the back (verso) will show the first date of publication, but this alone is not indicative of first edition status. Later printings have no date in the imprint.

(b) her publisher Frederick Warne became a limited company in 1917, after the great majority of her best-known books had been first published. Therefore, most books with "Limited" or "Ltd" in the company name, either in the imprint or on the front cover, are published in or after 1917 and are reprints.

(c) any edition bearing an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) was issued after 1967.

With one or two exceptions, only first edition, first impressions, in the original publisher's bindings have significant value.

Read our blog post about first editions of Peter Rabbit.

Displaying 42 out of 42

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  1. Studies of the robin in The Tale of Peter Rabbit (recto) and a microscopic drawing (verso)
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    POTTER, Helen Beatrix.

    Studies of the robin in The Tale of Peter Rabbit (recto) and a microscopic drawing (verso) [1900]

    £4,750.00

    A lovely set of two sketches of a dead robin, both in pencil, with the smaller of the two filled in with watercolour. Helen Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) Studies of the robin in The Tale of Peter Rabbit (recto) and a microscopic drawing (verso) … Read more

  2. The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Peter Rabbit. [1902]

    £17,500.00

    First (privately printed) edition, second printing. One of 200 copies printed. The first printing was issued in December 1901 in a edition of 250 copies. The tale of Peter Rabbit was developed from a picture letter sent to Noel Moore on 4 September 1893. A … Read more

  3. The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Peter Rabbit. [1902]

    £2,000.00

    First trade edition, following two private editions. With the original leaf-pattern endpapers and with “wept big tears” on p.51. Read more

  4. The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Peter Rabbit. [1902]

    £2,000.00

    First trade edition, following two private editions. With the original leaf-pattern endpapers and with “wept big tears” on p.51. Read more

  5. The Tailor of Gloucester.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tailor of Gloucester. [1902]

    £5,500.00

    First edition, first impression. One of 500 copies privately printed for Beatrix Potter a year before Warne’s trade edition. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For the Gloucester Infirmary Bazaar from Beatrix Potter”. The text of this edition is considerably longer than … Read more

  6. The Tailor of Gloucester.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tailor of Gloucester. [1902]

    £4,500.00

    First edition, one of 500 copies privately printed for the author a year before Warne’s trade edition, issued in the same month and in similar format to the second privately-printed Peter Rabbit. The text of this edition is considerably longer than that of the first … Read more

  7. The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin. [1903]

    £3,000.00

    First edition, deluxe issue in flower patterned cloth. A later deluxe edition was issued in a gilt decorated cloth with gold titles. Read more

  8. The Tailor of Gloucester.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tailor of Gloucester. [1903]

    £1,500.00

    First trade edition, first impression, with a single-page endpaper occurring four times. This edition was preceded by 500 copies privately printed for the author. Eleven of the illustrations are repeated from the privately-printed edition and sixteen are entirely new for this edition. Read more

  9. The Tale of Benjamin Bunny.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Benjamin Bunny. [1904]

    £1,500.00

    First edition, first impression. Potter’s introduction of Peter Rabbit’s cousin Benjamin, the fourth of her books to be published. While Potter “was still working on the proofs and final drawings for The Tailor of Gloucester in the summer of 1903, the publishers asked her about … Read more

  10. The Pie and the Patty-Pan
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Pie and the Patty-Pan [1905]

    £750.00

    First edition, first impression, with lilac endpapers. Read more

  11. The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan. [1905]

    £375.00

    First edition, first impression. Read more

  12. The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. [1905]

    £400.00

    First edition, first impression. Charmingly bound. Read more

  13. The Tale of Jeremy Fisher.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Jeremy Fisher. [1906]

    £1,950.00

    First edition, deluxe issue in burgundy cloth. Read more

  14. The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes. [1906]

    £2,000.00

    First edition, deluxe issue in burgundy cloth. Read more

  15. The Tale of Jeremy Fisher.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Jeremy Fisher. [1906]

    £375.00

    First edition. Charmingly bound. Read more

  16. The Tale of Tom Kitten.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Tom Kitten. [1907]

    £375.00

    First edition, first impression. Read more

  17. The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck. [1908]

    £3,750.00

    First edition, in the first issue dust jacket listing only books published prior to 1908 and with the price of 1/- on the spine panel. The first three printings are identical, so the presence of the jacket is crucial in this instance. Read more

  18. The Roly-Poly Pudding.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Roly-Poly Pudding. [1908]

    £1,350.00

    First edition, first impression. With the words “[All rights reserved]” at the foot of the title page. Only 7500 copies of the first printing. Read more

  19. Ginger and Pickles.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    Ginger and Pickles. [1909]

    £350.00

    First edition, first impression. Read more

  20. The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies. [1909]

    £3,750.00

    First edition, deluxe issue. Beatrix Potter showed an avid interest in the design of her books. When Warne issued The Tale of Peter Rabbit in paper boards and in cloth at a higher price, Potter complained that “there was not sufficient difference between the two … Read more

  21. The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse. [1910]

    £375.00

    First edition. Charmingly bound. Read more

  22. The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes. [1911]

    £750.00

    First edition. Read more

  23. The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes.
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    POTTER, Helen Beatrix.

    The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes. [1911]

    £2,750.00

    First edition, first printing. An excellent copy in the very rare publisher’s glassine dust jacket. The story of Timmy and Goody Tiptoes is the only Beatrix Potter story apparently set in North America – although this is implicit rather than stated anywhere in the book. … Read more

  24. The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes. [1911]

    £700.00

    First edition. Read more

  25. The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes. [1911]

    £700.00

    First edition. Read more

  26. The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes. [1911]

    £850.00

    First edition. Read more

  27. The Tale of Mr. Tod.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Mr. Tod. [1912]

    £375.00

    First edition. The first two printings are identical. Read more

  28. The Tale of Mr. Tod.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Mr. Tod. [1912]

    £375.00

    First edition. The first two printings are identical. Read more

  29. The Tale of Mr. Tod.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Mr. Tod. [1912]

    £750.00

    First edition. Read more

  30. The Tale of Mr. Tod.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Mr. Tod. [1912]

    £750.00

    First edition. Read more

  31. The Tale of Mr. Tod.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Mr. Tod. [1912]

    £4,000.00

    First edition, first impression. Inscribed on the front free endpaper.”For Rose Hedges from Miss Potter. Wishing her a Merry Christmas 1912.” Rose Hedges was in service to Beatrix Potter’s mother at the time of receiving this book. Read more

  32. The Tale of Pigling Bland.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Pigling Bland. [1913]

    £400.00

    First edition. The first two printings are identical. Read more

  33. The Tale of Pigling Bland.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Pigling Bland. [1913]

    £375.00

    First edition. The first two printings are identical. Read more

  34. The Tale of Pigling Bland.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Pigling Bland. [1913]

    £375.00

    First edition. The first two printings are identical. Read more

  35. The Tale of Pigling Bland.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Pigling Bland. [1913]

    £750.00

    First edition. The first two printings are identical. Read more

  36. The Tale of Pigling Bland.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Pigling Bland. [1913]

    £450.00

    First edition. The first two printings are identical. Read more

  37. Appley Dapply’s Nursery Rhymes.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    Appley Dapply’s Nursery Rhymes. [1917]

    £375.00

    First edition, first impression. Read more

  38. The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse. [1918]

    £895.00

    First edition, first impression with the ‘N’ dropped from London on the title page. Read more

  39. The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse. [1918]

    £2,000.00

    First edition, first printing with the ‘N’ dropped from London on the title page. Read more

  40. Cecily Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    Cecily Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes. [1922]

    £375.00

    First edition, first impression. Read more

  41. The Tale of Little Pig Robinson.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    The Tale of Little Pig Robinson. [1930]

    £875.00

    First edition, first impression of this tale in which Potter “supplies what might today be called the ‘back story’ to Lear’s poem [The Owl and the Pussycat]“, explaining how the pig ended up on the island in Lear’s poem, “and thereby enriches both Pig Robinson’s … Read more

  42. Tale of Benjamin Bunny.
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    POTTER, Beatrix.

    Tale of Benjamin Bunny. [1970]

    £875.00

    A delightfully bound set of some of Beatrix Potter’s most beloved stories. Read more

Displaying 42 out of 42

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