Lot 16: Potter (Beatrix) The Tale of Peter Rabbit, first
February 27, 2013
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: Potter (Beatrix) The Tale of Peter Rabbit, first edition, first issue, [one of 250 copies], colour frontispiece and 41 full-page line drawings by the author, bookplate and library plate of the Biblioteca de Manuel de Lancastre Araújo Bobone on front endpapers with small armorial ink & blind-stamp on title, slight offsetting of ink-stamp onto top margin of frontispiece, internally a very good copy, original grey-green boards lettered and illustrated in black with flat spine, rubbed at spine edges with superficial splitting, but overall very good, housed in half morocco drop-back box by Temple Bookbinders, [Linder 420 & cf. pp.94-96; Quinby 1; Taylor, Whalley, Hobbs, Battrick pp.21-22; V&A 1622 & 1623; Gottlieb/Morgan 220; Osborne, p. 383], 16mo, [Privately printed for the Author by Strangeways, December, 1901]. Originally conceived by Beatrix Potter as a picture letter and sent to her former governess' eldest son Noël in 1893, The Tale of Peter Rabbit was to become one of the preeminent children's books of the 20th century, and firmly established Beatrix Potter as a popular author and illustrator. This edition was produced largely due to the author's exasperation at the failure of various children's book publishers to take on the work, and immediately proved such a success amongst her friends, family and others (including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) that, within a week or two she had requested a second impression be produced. At the same time Frederick Warne & Co. had reconsidered their position on publishing the work, and a deal was made with Beatrix Potter to produce the edition with coloured plates throughout, maintaining the author's preferred format in regard to size and sticking with the three-colour process she had commissioned Hentschel to use for this privately printed issue's frontispiece. ***An excellent example of the true first printing of one of the most important children's books of the twentieth century..