TALE OF PETER’S FIRST PALS
Over the years Beatrix Potter has made a number of Roadshow appearances. Twenty-three drawings and watercolours by her were brought in to a show in Dumfries, Scotland, in 2003 by a man whose wife’s family had some farming connections with the hugely popular artist and writer’s brother Bertram.
They predated the publication of The Tale Of Peter Rabbit in 1902, some with dates in the 1890s, and they had never been seen outside the family. The animals were in human clothes and situations but they showed Potter experimenting as they were distinct from the famous characters that she developed later. ‘It was tremendously exciting and a wonderful find,’ says expert Clive Farahar. ‘It shows that Beatrix Potter did a lot of preparatory drawings, leading up to her famous characters. They show small animals like kittens or mice or rabbits in human settings doing human things. Some are sketches and some are half-finished, a kind of work in progress towards the Beatrix Potter we all know and love.’
It’s known that Potter used to make up illustrated stories for the children of family and friends, often written in exercise books with pasted-in illustrations, and these may have been drawn for such a purpose.
VALUED AT: Some of the individual drawings at between £10,000 and £50,000, and Clive Farahar had no hesitation in putting a price of £250,000 on the whole collection.
CURRENTLY: The collection is still with the owner.