5 December 2017
POTTER, Beatrix (1866-1943). The Tale of Peter Rabbit. London: Privately printed, 1901.
A superb copy of the privately printed first edition of Beatrix Potter's first book; one of the finest copies to come to auction. One of only 250 copies of the first issue. "[Potter] sent the manuscript to at least six publishers without success. Finally, in 1901, she decided to have the book privately printed, at her own expense. [...] The books were ready on 16 December and Miss Potter began giving them away to selected friends and relatives and selling them to others at one shilling two pence each. By this time, however, Beatrix Potter's career had already been given its first impetus, for the publisher Frederick Warne & Co. had agreed to accept the book for publication in a regular trade edition. But in February 1902, before the trade edition was ready, Miss Potter ordered another 200 copies to be printed of her private edition; this second issue had a rather better binding, with rounded back and darker printed boards. In October 1902 the Warne commercial edition was published. The first printing of 6000 copies was sold out before publication, and The Tale of Peter Rabbit has been in print ever since. [...] It is perhaps worth a smile today to learn that on 18 December 1901, in a letter to Frederick Warne & Co., she wrote: ‘I am aware that these little books don’t last long, even if they are a success.’" The present copy is from the first issue, with a flat spine. Gottlieb 220; Quinby 1.
12mo (130 x 100mm). Color frontispiece, monochrome illustrations throughout. Original light grey pictorial boards with a flat spine; custom chemise and quarter morocco slipcase.
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
Highlights from Adventurous Spirit, a private collection sold across two auctions in December and February to benefit a charitable foundation
Tryggve Gran’s remarkable Polar journals transport us back to 1912 and a tent containing Captain Scott’s frozen remains
The 50 drawings of fantastical cities contained in this album — offered in New York on 5 December — were dedicated in 1595 to the new Doge of Venice
Including Abraham Lincoln’s mallet, Jackie Kennedy’s letters and the Cowardly Lion’s copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz — offered in New York on 5 December
The brilliant Chinese jewellery designer reveals the inspiration behind his pioneering creations — and his upcoming exhibition at Christie’s in Hong Kong
Christie’s to auction an important and long-lost portrait work by Lucas Cranach the Elder, recently returned to the heirs of Fritz Gutmann