A Happy Pair

Verses by F. E. Weatherley

POTTER, Beatrix

BEATRIX POTTER'S FIRST BOOK

POTTER, Beatrix A Happy Pair Verses by F. E. Weatherley

Hildesheimer & Faulkner, 1890.

First edition. Original folded card covers illustrated in colour by Potter, enclosing seven card leaves tied at the spine with the original silk tasselled tie. All edges gilt. Illustrated internally with six exquisite chromolithographs by Potter, one of which is duplicated on the upper cover. A near fine copy with light wear to the spine fold, though much less than usual, and a faint crease to the upper corner. An exceptionally bright and crisp copy and very rare indeed in such a state. Housed in a fill morocco clamshell box.

The first work to contain illustrations by Beatrix Potter, preceding The Tale of Peter Rabbit by some eleven years, and of legendary scarcity.
In the summer of 1889 the twenty four year old Beatrix Potter had bought herself a pet rabbit.
"I brought him home from a London bird shop in a paper bag. His existence was not observed by the nursery authorities for a week.". She christened him Benjamin Bouncer, and he was to be the model to satisfy her voracious appetite for drawing.
"One of the greatest admirers of her work was her uncle, and when he heard that she had set her heart on buying a printing press but had not enough money for it, he suggested she might try to earn some by selling her drawings... With this encouragement, Beatrix set about preparing six designs, using Benjamin Bouncer as her model... and when they were disappointedly rejected by the first firm on the list by return of post, Walter [her brother] took the drawings by hand to the next firm, Hildesheimer & Faulkner, on his way through London. Mr. Faulkner bought them on the spot for £6 and then asked to see more of the artist's work." (Judy Taylor)
The drawings were used for Christmas cards but also collected into this ephemeral little booklet to accompany a set of verses by Frederic Weatherly, thus launching Potter's career as an author-illustrator.

Stock ID: 40948

£30,000.00

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