A UK rare books auction saw two original illustrations from Beatrix Potter sell alongside a brilliant selection of modern first editions yesterday (June 21).
The two paintings were taken from one of Beatrix Potter's most beloved tales, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny. Potter, who began her famed series of illustrated animal stories in the late 1890s, remains one of the UK's best-loved children's authors.
The illustrations at auction are a rare find for collectors, after Potter, a staunch conservationist, left all the original drawings from her books to the National Trust. The majority of her other works are currently housed in museums and therefore are not available to private collectors.
The pair of paintings were among 11 illustrations from The Tale of Benjamin Bunny which were gifted to the Townley Family in 1913. Potter had given the illustrations as thanks for letting her stay in their home, Hardcragg Hall in Cumbria, UK, which would later serve as inspiration for The Tale of Pigling Bland.
Depicting the two best-known characters in Potter's series, Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny, each of the framed illustrations includes a handwritten extract from the tale beneath. They sold for £14,500 ($22,664), sitting comfortably within their valuation of £12,000-18,000
The exciting top lot of the sale was provided by a stunning first edition of Agatha Christie's Poirot Investigates, complete with the publisher's editor review copy slip. Against an estimate of just £3,000-5,000, the work excelled at £34,000, showing an impressive 580% increase.
The Agatha Christie sale highlights the power that passion investments have to provide dramatic returns at auction. Paul Fraser Collectibles has this autographed extract from William Golding's Lord of the Flies on offer, providing a fantastic collectible from one of literature's best-known books.
For those looking for a charming addition to their collection, we have a superb range of illustrated works, including a sketch and autograph from the legendary Walt Disney.