A letter handwritten by infamous Cumbrian author Beatrix Potter, creator of the Peter Rabbit series, has just sold for £1,800 at 1818 Auctioneers at Crooklands near Kendal.
It was expected to fetch for between £1,500 and £2,000.
The letter is thought to be 80 years old, written after Beatrix purchased the town’s last working loom. It was sent to the Mayor of Kendal to reassure him that Beatrix Heelis (her name by marriage) would be kept in good care.
In the letter, dated November 27th 1929 – the year the book went on sale in America – she says “It is so personal that I did not want it to get about on sale”. The letter is signed Beatrix Heelis and addressed Castle Cottage, Sawrey, Ambleside.
It is accompanied by a First Edition of The Fairy Caravan and was estimated to make between £1,500 and £2,000.
Also included in the sale was a signed volume by Beatrix Potter, ‘The Tale of Johnny Town Mouse’ with a dedication – ‘For Robin Crossley from Mrs Heelis (Beatrix Potter) Hill Top Farm, Sawrey, September 12th 1923, In remembrance of Tom Kitten’s house’. The estimate was £1,500-£2,000. The book finally sold for over £2,400, far above its estimated price.
Expert David Brookes from 1818 Auctioneers, near Milnthorpe, who are tasked with selling the items said: “With this year being the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter we are really pleased to have two special lots up for sale that chart some of her local connections and her publishing history. Like ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’, ‘The Fairy Caravan’ was written by the author for her friends and her own entertainment, and not necessarily for publication. Whilst Beatrix was happy to see it published in America the letter makes it very clear that she didn’t want it on sale here.”
The auctions can be seen on 1818 Auctioneers website here: 1818 Auctioneers Beatrix Potter