July 17, 2008

Rare Beatrix Potter, Or A Surly Old Lady Muttering, "Beat It!"


Peacay does it again. Some of the rare Beatrix Potter illustrations at Bibliodyssey are from a sale at Sotheby's in London which is going on any. minute.

But a lot more are culled from archives and who knows where. Potter's anachronism gets to me sometimes, but she was undeniably talented. And it's a pleasure to see something besides the same five Peter Rabbit images that have been licensed and reproduced from here to the moon.

I love the face on this cat, for example. It's a detail of a larger drawing from around 1895, SQUINTINA TABBY - LICENSED DEALER IN TEA, which is expected to sell for 3,000--5,000 GBP, on the cheap side compared to the rest of the auction.

Beatrix Potter Rarities [bibliodyssey via monoscope]
SALE L08405: English Literature, History, Children's Books & Illustrations, Thursday, July 17 [sothebys.com]


My sister had Beatrix Potter wallpaper as a child, and we had a lot of the books. I don't think even then I was as interested in the animals as I was in all the details of Victorian life. The level of detail of the animals trades and home life are amazing.

Hmm...I wonder what that means for my complete set of 1st editions via my great-grandmother?

David, a couple of images in the post were signed frontispieces from a July 2007 sale. One of those (for which I still have the record as a png file) was an early release first edition and sold for £4,800 against a pre-value of £1,500-2000. That suggests to me that the market is currently very strong. The dedication obviously impacts the price significantly, but you'd have to think a set of first Ed. in good condition would certainly get over 5-figures. That's just my (very) ignorant opinion though.

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