A first edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit is among the rare pieces of Beatrix Potter memorabilia to go on the auction block in the U.K. The first Peter Rabbit book, published in 1901, is anticipated to sell for 30,000 Pounds. The value of the entire collection, owned by Mr. Mark Ottignon, is estimated at a quarter of a million. Here are highlights of a report published in The Telegraph.
Ottignon, 59, has spent the last 30 years travelling Britain snapping up all manner of items associated with the Peter Rabbit creator at toy fairs, car boot sales and antique shops.
His extensive hoard includes incredibly rare first editions of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, oil painting illustrations for her famous children’s books, commemorative porcelain plates and figurines, soft toys and private correspondence from the author.
There are also series of unpublished black and white photographs of Potter as a young woman with her father, whom she had a strained relationship with.
The sale spans over 350 separate lots and the total pre-sale estimate is between £200,000 to £250,000.
Ottignon, from Painswick, Glos, said: “I had her books read to me when I was a child but I didn’t start my collection until I was 30 and that was after I had visited the Lake District.
“I had a very funny and strange attraction to the place and to her and I just started to collect anything associated with her.
“I have got to the stage where it has got more and more difficult to find new things and part of the attraction is in the fun of the chase.
“Three of the spare bedrooms in our house have become Beatrix Potter rooms and I know my partner will be grateful to get the space back after so many years.”
The star lot in the sale is an incredibly rare first edition copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
Potter was unable to get a publishing house interested in backing her inaugural children’s book and so paid for 250 copies to be printed out of her own pocket in 1901.
Mark’s rare copy is one of the finer examples that still exist and is expected to sell for 30,000 pounds. Similarly, another of her first editions is tipped to sell for 16,000 pounds.
You can read the complete article online at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/9860669/Peter-Rabbit-first-edition-to-fetch-30000-as-rare-collection-autioned.html
Your Hoppington Post reporter fondly recalls childhood memories of being read Beatrix Potter’s rabbit stories by his mother. One can only imagine the thrill of owning artefacts that were touched by Ms. Potter herself. We look forward to hearing about the outcome of the auction, to be held by Bloomsbury auctioneers February 27th.