POTTER, Beatrix. A charming series of 4 minitature animal letters to Kitty Hadfield at Blackheath, London, signed by Potter as "Jemima Puddleduck," "Mrs. Tiggy Winkle," "The Taylor [of Gloucester]," and "Anna Maria" (from Roly-Poly Pudding, afterwards re-titled Samuel Whiskers), respectively. Circa 1910. Together 4 pages, miniature sheets range in size from 91 x 38 mm. to 58 x 37 mm., three of the letters are hand-addressed on reverse by Potter, and two have tiny pink drawn squares to represent stamps; the fourth letter (signed "Tiggy Winkle") is mounted (obscuring address and "stamp" on verso). Mounted alongside the "Tiggy Winkle" letter is an additional pasted slip inscribed by Potter: "Beatrix Potter - with Peter Rabbit's kind regards, Sept 3rd 1910."
Kitty Hadfield was a child of six from New Zealand who was staying in London in in 1910, when her father was being treated for cancer. @The Hadfields' first contact with Beatrix Potter had begun, as had that of so many others, as the result of a fan letter which developed into a continuing correspondence... As well as sending them miniature letters, Beatrix promised Kitty and Hilda that one day she would write a story for them" (Taylor, pp. 149-50). This unfinished story about a little cockleshell fairy who lived on Lancaster Sands was found in Castle Cottage after Potter's death, undated and written in code. The letters Potter wrote to Kitty's sister Hilda have disappeared, but these to Kitty were lent by her family to the Dorothy Neal White Collection, in the National Library of New Zealand in Wellington, where they remained until recently, when the Library closed down its exhibition halls and the letters were returned to the family.
Potter's miniature animal letters are rare at auction, and the Kitty Hadfield group is documented in Letters to Children from Beatrix Potter (ed. Judy Taylor, 1992, pp. 150-51). The other known animal letters Mountedprivate collections or institutions: the letters sent to Andrew Fayle (12) and Margaret and John Hough (12) are in the Linder Collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum; a smaller roup to Marjorie Moller (4) are at the Free Library of Philadelphia; those sent to Jack Ripley (5) and Daune Rashleigh (1) are in a private collection (Connecticut); while the letters to Lucy and Kathleen Carr (11) and those for the Moore family children (Noel, Eric, and Hilda) are likewise in private hands or untraced.