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(POTTER, Beatrix.) WEATHERLY, Frederic E.

A Happy Pair.

Availability: In stock

Published: London Hildesheimer & Faulkner, [1890]

Stock Code: 109202

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


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. They wanted to purchase a printing machine for 16, and found no help forthcoming from the family. Beatrix was in the habit of producing illustrated Christmas and menu cards for family occasions, and her uncle had mentioned that "any publisher would snap at them" (Taylor, p. 50). She prepared six designs at the start of February, with "that charming rascal Benjamin Bouncer our tame Jack Hare" as her model and had them ready by Easter; she and Bertram then came up with a list of five greetings-card publishers to try. The first, Marcus Ward, rejected the designs by return of post, and Bertram took the drawings to the next firm, Hildesheimer & Faulkner, on his way to Oxford for his examination. The company immediately sent her a cheque for 6, with a request for more. The drawings were used as illustrations for Weatherly's verses in this booklet, a piece of holiday ephemera, as well as for Christmas and New Year cards, launching Beatrix on her professional career as an artist-illustrator.

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Duodecimo, pp. 14. Original stiff pictorial wrappers, original cloth ties with tassels, edges gilt. Housed in a custom red morocco solander box.


With 6 full-page chromolithographed illustrations by Beatrix Potter.


Lightly rubbed to spine, covers slightly creased to tips. An exceptional copy.


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