A recent auction of children's books by Bloomsbury Auctions offered a significant selection of Beatrix Potter. Various lots including first editions were on offer, but three in particular stood out.
These were early sketches for some of Potter's best loved works: Jeremy Fisher, Fierce Bad Rabbit and Samuel Whiskers.
The Fierce Bad Rabbit illustrations are three brown ink over pencil drawings, and instantly recognisable to fans of Peter Rabbit, and similar books. One contains a man running with a gun resembling Mr McGregor. The work beat its £5,000-7,000 listing to sell for £9,000.
The Tom Kitten illustration shows the kitten scampering away - an early sketch for The Tale of Samuel Whiskers. It is in watercolour, whilst the background is in ink alone. It went under the hammer for £4400, easily passing its £2,000-3,000 valuation.
Finally, the Jeremy Fisher in full, beautiful watercolour over the oval pen and ink drawing sparked a small bidding war and quadrupled its expected price of £3,000-5,000 to be taken home for £16,000.
A demonstration that people are happy to pay for rare, beautiful pieces which capture classic works.