This watercolour was probably completed around 1892 or 1893, perhaps as a design for a Christmas card, and represents an early prototype of the development of her characters Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny.
The two rabbits are likely to have been modeled on Potter's own pet rabbits, Benjamin Bouncer and Peter Piper, and they bear a distinct likeness to her depictions of her heroes Benjamin Bunny and Peter Rabbit.
In 1889, driven by her desire for /P6 to purchase a printing machine, Beatrix Potter began her first commercial venture, producing fashionable greetings cards which proved highly profitable. Key to the success of this output was her use of Benjamin Bouncer as a model for many of the designs, and in May 1890 six cards featuring what would become Potter's signature motif of animals wearing human clothing were accepted by the publishers Hildesheimer & Faulkner. Rabbits in snowy landscapes, in doorways, sledges or gathering firewood, were favourite themes in these early greetings cards, and several of the illustrations were reproduced years later in publications such as Peter Rabbit's Almanac for 1929, or as charity Christmas cards for the Invalid Children's Aid Association from 1925 to 1941.