Rare Beatrix Potter book may fetch £1800 at Edinburgh auction

A PRIVATELY printed first edition of Beatrix Potter's The Tailor of Gloucester is expected to fetch up to £1,800 when it goes up at auction.

Cathy Marsden with a privately printed first edition of Beatrix Potters The Tailor of Gloucester. Picture: SWNS

The rare book is just one of 500 copies that the iconic author herself had printed and dates back to 1902.

The edition, which includes drawings and colour plates, is expected to fetch between £1,200 and £1,800.

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It will be put on sale by auction house Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh to mark Potter’s 150th birthday celebrations on August 31st.

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Cathy Marsden, a book specialist with the auctioneers, said: “This is an incredible opportunity for someone to buy one of only 500 copies of the first privately printed edition of The Tailor of Gloucester.

“The stories, and twelve watercolours, were finished by December 1901, and Potter gave the manuscript to her friend, Freda Moore, as a Christmas present.

“In the same month, the publisher’s Frederick Warne & Co. agreed to publish Peter Rabbit, which proved to be a great success.

“Not wanting to push F. Warne’s eagerness too far, Potter decided that she should revise Moore’s manuscript copy of The Tailor of Gloucester with a view to publishing the work privately, as she had first done with Peter Rabbit.

“Potter dropped two of the twelve illustrations in the original manuscript, and added another six.

“The final product, bound in pink paper-covered boards, was privately published in a run of 500 copies in December 1902.”

Beatrix Potter’s global legacy includes 100 million copies of her books sold in thirty five languages.