The outstanding Beatrix Potter Collection of Mark Ottignon will be sold in a dedicated auction held on February 27 in London.
It is heralded as one of the most impressive collections of "Potteriana" ever to come to auction, with items ranging from first edition books to figurines and Wedgwood pottery. Among the most highly valued items of the collection is a 1901 first edition, private printing of The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
Estimated at £20,000-30,000 ($31,098-46,668), the first edition copy of Potter's most famous work is described by the auction house as the key component of Ottignon's amassment, and is undoubtedly the pinnacle of any collection of Potter's books. Also featuring is another private print first edition of 1902's The Tailor of Gloucester, which is valued at £2,000-3,000 ($3,110-4,665).
Peter Rabbit is undoubtedly Potter's most famous character, as shown by a rare Steiff stuffed toy that is estimated to sell with a £3,500 ($5,450) high estimate. These rarely appear at auction, with the last example, in very poor condition, selling for £646 ($929) at Christie's in 2000.
Beatrix Potter memorabilia is an incredibly popular collecting area, as thousands of collectors revisit the nostalgia of their childhood. In June 2012, a pair of paintings from The Tale of Benjamin Bunny sold for £14,500 ($22,664), while the record for Potter's work was set in 2008 at Sotheby's by a previously unseen watercolour, entitled The Rabbit's Christmas Party, which sold for $121,250.
Commenting on the sale of his items, Mark Ottignon offered a few poignant words for collectors: "One can never complete a collection but one does reach a stage of what to do with it.
"To be successful in collecting you have to have patience, determination, a very understanding and sympathetic partner and an ability to develop relationships with dealers who are not always immediately positive, but discrimination has to be the most useful asset.
"All this is however secondary to the ability to hold, to love and to cherish the items once you have them… but they are only on loan."