Lot 208

POTTER, Beatrix (1866-1943). The Tale of Peter Rabbit, London, [April, 1903], 12mo, 31 full-page coloured illustrations by Beatrix Potter, original boards. FIRST WARNE EDITION, fourth issue.

Estimate: £500 - £800
Hammer price: £450
Bidding ended. Lot has been sold.

POTTER, Beatrix (1866-1943).  The Tale of Peter Rabbit. London: Frederick Warne and Co., [April, 1903]. 12mo (143 x 109mm). Half title, coloured frontispiece, illustration on title and 30 full-page coloured illustrations by Beatrix Potter (light crease to lower fore-corner of title, illustration on p.14 with printing flaw resulting in blurring). Original green paper boards lettered in white and with coloured pictorial label by Beatrix Potter mounted on the upper cover, grey leaf-pattern endpapers. Provenance: "For dear little Godfrey With love + best wishes. Feb 24th 1925" (inscription [unsigned] on the front free endpaper). A FINE COPY OF THE FIRST WARNE EDITION, the fourth issue with "shed big tears" on p. 51, white dots in the letter 'O's on the front cover and spine, and with grey leaf-pattern endpapers. The illustration of Mrs McGregor on p.14 is reputed to be a self-portrait by the author. The first edition contains four illustrations which did not appear in later printings. "Beatrix Potter's books are scaled carefully to a child's needs; they are little and they feel good. She had quite clear ideas of what a small child's book should be like. The books had to be about 5in. by 4in. with a coloured picture on every spread, and her text was always limited to no more than one or two simple sentences on each page. Beatrix Potter's rabbits, mice and hedgehogs, even if they are dressed up, are real animals ..." (John Lewis The 20th Century Book (second edition, 1984)). Linder p.421; Muir English Children's Books pp.160-161; Quinby 2; V+A 1628. 

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