Norfolk

Beatrix Potter: Peter Rabbit first edition up for auction

Two pages from Beatrix Potter's Image copyright Andy Newman/Keys Fine Art Auctioneers
Image caption The first edition of Peter Rabbit features 31 coloured illustrations by Potter

Sixty first editions of Beatrix Potter books - including 1902's The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which could make £1,200 - are being sold at auction.

The collection of children's stories includes The Tale Of Squirrel Nutkin, The Tale Of Jemima Puddle-Duck and The Tale Of Mr Jeremy Fisher.

They are being sold at the Keys Fine Art Auctioneers in Aylsham, Norfolk, on Thursday and Friday.

Also up for auction is a first edition of AA Milne's The House at Pooh Corner.

Image copyright Keys Fine Art Auctioneers/PA
Image caption A first edition of AA Milne's The House At Pooh Corner from 1928, is to be sold at auction on Thursday with an estimate of £500-£600

The first editions are the first commercially-produced books - Potter had two runs of the story printed privately, which she distributed to family and friends.

Image copyright Andy Newman/Keys Fine Art Auctioneers
Image caption A first edition of Beatrix Potter's Tale of Peter Rabbit from 1902 is one of 60 Potter first editions due to be sold on Thursday

Robert Henshilwood, head of books at Keys, described the first editions as a "remarkable collection".

"Many people will remember reading these books as children, and it is that familiarity which makes them so collectable," he said.

"We are expecting huge interest from dealers and collectors from throughout the United Kingdom and beyond."

Beatrix Potter

Image copyright PA
  • Helen Beatrix Potter, born 28 July 1866, in Kensington, west London
  • The children's author and artist was also a botanist and wrote scientific papers on fungi spores
  • Before Potter wrote her classic books, she drew illustrations for some of her favourite stories, including Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Cinderella
  • She was a pioneer in the licensing of her creations for merchandising and created the first Peter Rabbit doll herself in 1903
  • Potter loved the Lake District and bred Herwick sheep on a number of farms she bought in the area
  • When she died in 1943, she left 15 farms and more than 4,000 acres of land to the National Trust, an organisation she had supported staunchly during later life
  • Her home Hill Top Farm was kept exactly as it had been when she lived in it

Source: Penguin Books Limited's Peter Rabbit website

The first edition of AA Milne's The House At Pooh Corner from 1928, with a pre-sale estimate of £500-£600, will also be auctioned.

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