Tale of Peter Rabbit scampers to $94k

A copy of Beatrix Potter's most famous story, the Tale of Peter Rabbit, has sold at a Profiles in History auction for $94,400.

The text is one of two specially bound in handsome dark green for the First Warne Edition. Warne was the first to publish the books in 1902, and Potter was secretly engaged to him, but he died before the marriage could take place. This copy has been specially inscribed by Potter in pencil thus:

"To 'Princess' Eileen on Peace Day Brougham Aug 23, 1919 From the authoress - with love from Peter Rabbit and Beatrix Potter"

First edition warne Peter Rabbit Beatrix Potter
First edition of Peter Rabbit

Potter has put 'Beatrix Potter' in inverted commas, perhaps because by 1919 she had been married to solicitor William Heelis for several years.

There is also handwritten text on the inside of the cover explaining the book's special status:

"This volume is one of two, which were specially bound. The other copy was presented 15 years ago to a little Prince sometime known as 'David'".

Potter's - or Heelis's - works remain coveted everywhere. In this same sale, another first edition of the same book sold for $14,160, whilst a copy of Two Bad Mice tripled its $1,000 estimate to sell for $3,245. Last month, four early Potter drawings sold for £30,000 in London.

Collectors interested in signed first editions of children's books may wish to take a look at our copy of Harry Potter which is currently available.


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