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POTTER, Beatrix.

The Tailor of Gloucester.

[London: privately printed by Strangeway & Sons,] December 1902 Stock Code: 146722
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One of 500 copies privately printed, in superb condition

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. Potter's own favourite among her tales, it was first written and illustrated for Freda Moore as a Christmas present in 1901. Potter had the tale privately printed, as Warne had not yet published Peter Rabbit and she did not think they would want a second book from her so soon. It is unique in the series with its period setting (Potter drew the costumes from the collection at the V&A museum, then the South Kensington Museum), and was based on a true story that Potter had heard while staying with her cousin Caroline Hutton in Gloucestershire: an elaborate waistcoat had been commissioned for a grand mayoral occasion, but the tailor lacked the time to complete it and needed another packet of cherry-coloured silk - though more prosaically, it was his two assistants who had secretly finished the work.

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Sextodecimo. Original pink boards, titles and illustration to front cover in black. Housed in a dark blue cloth flat-back box by the Chelsea Bindery.


Colour frontispiece and 15 colour plates by the author.


Unusually bright and sharp, a hint of sunning to spine, contents notably fresh and clean, trivial faint foxing to endpapers and edges. A superb copy.


Linder p. 420; Quinby 3.


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