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POTTER, Beatrix.

Rare books by Beatrix Potter, including first editions, signed 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.

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  1. .
    signed

    A Happy Pair.

    First edition of the first book illustrated by Beatrix Potter. Extremely scarce, with just five copies traced institutionally, it features six of her illustrations accompanying a set of six poems by Frederic E. Weatherly (best known as the author of the lyrics for "Danny Boy"). Early in 1890, Beatrix, then 24, and her brother, six years younger and about to go up to Oxford, came up with a scheme to have some of Beatrix's designs published. Learn More

    £30,000

    Date of Publication: [1890]

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 109202

    Signed: Yes

    Reserve

  2. Changing Pictures: A Book of Transformation Pictures.

    Changing Pictures: A Book of Transformation Pictures.

    First edition, the preferred variant with Potter's signature to the cover illustration. This is one of the earliest appearances in print of a book illustration by Beatrix Potter, preceded only by A Happy Pair: she designed one of the three chromolithograph illustrations to the front cover, depicting a rabbit opening the door on a snowy morning to see a gift of a basket full of carrots and other vegetables. Learn More
    £1,500

    Date of Publication: [1893]

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 109213

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  3. Changing Pictures: A Book of Transformation Pictures.

    Changing Pictures: A Book of Transformation Pictures.

    First edition. This issue without Potter's signature to the cover illustration. Learn More
    £500

    Date of Publication: [1893]

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 109210

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  4. Comical Customers.

    Comical Customers.

    First edition. With nine line drawings by Potter (signed HBP), featuring her frog illustrations accompanying the verse "A Frog he would a fishing go" by Clifton Bingham. The book also contains a separate full page illustration of "Squintina Tabby" to accompany "The Story of Violante and the Silver Sixpence", after a pen and grisaille drawing heightened with gouache by Potter. Learn More
    £3,000

    Date of Publication: [1896]

    Published: London & New York

    Stock Code: 109216

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  5. .
    signed

    Original manuscript with drawings: La Chanson de la marie.

    The illustrated French poem is identified as the work of Beatrix Potter by the accompanying note written by an executor of the artist, stating that "the enclosed poem is an example of fine copying done on notepaper by Beatrix Potter (from her portfolios at Sawrey, Oct. 49)." Henri Gerbault (1863-1930) was a French illustrator and watercolourist, and this manuscript is based on a contribution by Gerbault to a children's periodical of the early 1890s, later anthologised in Chansons du vieux temps with music by J. Learn More

    £30,000

    Date of Publication: [c.1896]

    Published:

    Stock Code: 109219

    Signed: Yes

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  6. Nister's Holiday Annual 1896.

    Nister's Holiday Annual 1896.

    Edited by Robert Ellis Mack and Alfred J. Fuller.
    First edition. With nine line drawings by Potter (signed HBP), featuring her frog illustrations accompanying the verse "A Frog he would a fishing go" by Clifton Bingham. Potter's frog illustrations appeared in two collections by Nister this year: Comical Customers and the Holiday Annual. The idea originated with a picture letter to Eric Moore on 5 September 1893, which began: "My dear Eric, Once upon a time there was a frog called Mr. Learn More
    £2,500

    Date of Publication: 1896

    Published: London & New York

    Stock Code: 109220

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  7. .

    The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

    First edition, first impression. The first of her small format books to be published, The Tale of Peter Rabbit was developed from a picture letter sent to Noel Moore on 4 September 1893. In 1900, Potter thought it might make a small book, and contacted Moore to see if he had kept the letter and if she might borrow it back; the letter was then expanded into the book with 41 black and white drawings and a colour frontispiece. Learn More

    £75,000

    Date of Publication: 1901

    Published: [London

    Stock Code: 109488

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  8. The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

    The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

    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 few years later, Beatrix Potter thought it might make a small book. She contacted Moore to see if he had kept the letter and if she might borrow it back; the letter was then expanded into the book. Learn More
    £17,500

    Date of Publication: 1902

    Published: [London

    Stock Code: 63311

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  9. .

    Complete set of deluxe editions: The Tale of Peter Rabbit; The Tailor of Gloucester; The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin; The Tale of Two Bad Mice; The Tale of Benjamin Bunny; The Pie and the Patty-Pan; The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle; The Tale of Jeremy Fisher; Th

    The Tale of Peter Rabbit; The Tailor of Gloucester; The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin; The Tale of Two Bad Mice; The Tale of Benjamin Bunny; The Pie and the Patty-Pan; The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle; The Tale of Jeremy Fisher; The Tale of Tom Kitten; The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck; The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies; The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse.

    Complete set of the first deluxe editions of the Peter Rabbit series. Priced at 1/6- rather than 1/- for the paper-covered books, the deluxe editions went through three iterations before a consistent style was settled upon. The first deluxe binding of Peter Rabbit was issued in two colours, yellow and green. Potter felt this unimpressive, writing, "I thought last year there was not sufficient difference between the two styles of binding - that if the cloth binding had been more distinctly different, and pretty, there might have been more inducement to buy it. Learn More

    £67,500

    Date of Publication: 1902

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 111069

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  10. The Tailor of Gloucester.

    The Tailor of Gloucester.

    First edition, first impression, one of 500 copies privately printed for the author a year before Warne's trade edition, issued in the same month and in a similar format to the second privately-printed Peter Rabbit. The text of this edition is considerably longer than that of the first trade and the cover incorporates a vignette illustration that was never used again. Learn More
    £6,750

    Date of Publication: 1902

    Published: [London

    Stock Code: 109246

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  11. The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

    The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

    First trade edition, deluxe issue. It is believed to be one of 2,000 copies issued in cloth from the first 8,000; there were two colours for the deluxe issue, yellow and green. Regular copies were issued in printed boards. With the original leaf-pattern endpapers and with "wept big tears" on p. 51 (the text reading "cried big tears" in the privately printed edition; "wept big tears" in the first three impressions of the trade edition; and "shed big tears" from the fourth impression onwards). Learn More
    £12,500

    Date of Publication: [1902]

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 109449

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  12. The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
    signed

    The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

    First edition, second impression, one of 200 copies. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper: "For J. Squire, from Miss Potter. March 26, 1902." A significant inscription, uniting her lesser known work as an amateur mycologist and scientific artist with her most famous children's book. Squire had assisted Potter in her research for her 1897 scientific paper "On the germination of the spores of Agaricineae". Learn More
    £35,000

    Date of Publication: 1902

    Published: [London

    Stock Code: 109456

    Signed: Yes

    Reserve

  13. The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

    The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

    First edition, second impression, one of 200 copies. Aside from the date on the title page, the most immediately obvious difference from the first is that the spine of the second impression is rounded, rather than flat. The text and illustrations are unchanged. Learn More
    £20,000

    Date of Publication: 1902

    Published: [London

    Stock Code: 109489

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  14. The Tailor of Gloucester.

    The Tailor of Gloucester.

    First edition, first impression, deluxe issue, in an unrecorded morocco binding, apparently a publisher's binding, although not lettered as such. Bound in before the frontispiece is the extra illustration intended for the front cover label of regular copies. With the first impression points: the single endpaper occurring four times and the title page dated 1903. Learn More
    £9,500

    Date of Publication: 1903

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 109235

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  15. The Tailor of Gloucester.

    The Tailor of Gloucester.

    First trade edition, second impression, with the double-page endpaper occurring twice, and 1903 appearing on the title page. Learn More
    £450

    Date of Publication: 1903

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 109239

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  16. The Tailor of Gloucester.

    The Tailor of Gloucester.

    First trade edition, first impression, with a single-page pictorial endpaper occurring four times, which was replaced with doublepage endpapers in later impressions. Eleven of the illustrations are repeated from the privately-printed edition and 16 are entirely new for this edition. This trade edition was published in October 1903. The back panel of the jacket advertises Squirrel Nutkin, which had been published two months earlier. Learn More
    £1,750

    Date of Publication: 1903

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 109247

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  17. The Tailor of Gloucester.

    The Tailor of Gloucester.

    First trade edition. This edition was preceded by one of 500 copies privately printed for the author. Charmingly bound. Learn More
    £475

    Date of Publication: 1903

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 113621

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  18. The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin.

    The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin.

    First edition, first impression, with the title page dated 1903 and without the words "Author of the Tale of Peter Rabbit". The first edition was published in August 1903. The story originated in 1897 with a picture letter to Noel Moore, and was rewritten in 1901 for Norah Moore. It is the first book to feature the introduction of pictorial endpapers, against Potter's initial inclination, though she conceded that it might work: "I always think that an endpaper ought to be something to rest the eye between the cover and the contents of the book; like a plain mount for a framed drawing. Learn More
    £2,500

    Date of Publication: 1903

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 114241

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  19. The Tailor of Gloucester.

    The Tailor of Gloucester.

    First edition, first impression, second deluxe binding. This deluxe binding was introduced in October 1904, replacing the first deluxe binding of art fabric, which was complex to construct; this copy has first edition sheets with the new endpaper design introduced in 1904. Learn More
    £3,750

    Date of Publication: 1904

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 109240

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  20. The Tale of Two Bad Mice.

    The Tale of Two Bad Mice.

    First edition, deluxe issue. The Mildred Greenhill-Bradley Martin copy, in pink cloth. Learn More
    £6,000

    Date of Publication: 1904

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 109280

    Reserve

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