BEATRIX POTTER (BRITISH, 1866-1943)
Peter Rabbit and Mr McGregor
signed, inscribed and dated 'Round the end of a cucumber frame/ - whom should he meet but Mr McGregor!/Beatrix Potter/Aug 1927' (lower centre)
pencil, pen and brown ink and watercolour on paper
61⁄2 x 43⁄8 in. (16.5 x 11.2 cm.)
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Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit is one of the most successful children’s books of all time. First published privately in 1901, it was published by Frederick Warne in 1902, and was an almost instant success, with its charming illustrations capitalising on advances in coloured printing to replicate Potter’s watercolours.
In the spring of 1927 Potter joined a National Trust campaign to save Cockshott Point on Lake Windermere from development. Her scheme allowed readers of the American Magazine The Horn Book to contribute to ‘The Windermere Fund’, offering fifty original signed drawings from The Tale of Peter Rabbit for sale at a guinea each. The present drawing is one of this group.
Within a year enough money had been raised to save the land from being built upon and Potter wrote, 'It was a great satisfaction to me to have been able to help the fund through the kindness of my friends in America…Whenever I cross the ferry and look at the pleasant green banks I will think of the good friends across a wider stretch of water'.
Other drawings from this group, also dated August 1927, are now in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.