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 very good copy which shows the usual wear to the spine fold with splitting to the upper and lower portions. Internally clean and crisp, a well preserved example of Beatrix Potter's first work and a noted rarity.

In the summer of 1889 the twenty four year old Beatrix Potter took it upon herself to buy a 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. Beatrix could hardly believe it. "My first act was to give Bounce a cupful of seeds..."
Some of the designs were published as Christmas and New Year cards and other as illustrations, 'by H.B.P.', to a set of verses by Frederic E. Weatherly, in a booklet entitled A Happy Pair which sold for 4½d. Helen Beatrix Potter had started her professional career.' (Judy Taylor)
One of the poems is about a Benjamin Bunny, our first sighting of the eponymous hero of Potter's later classic animal stories.
Potter's first published work, preceding The Tale of Peter Rabbit by eleven years, and of legendary scarcity.

Stock ID: 35397

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