Peter Rabbit and Squirrel Nutkin have been put on charming stamps to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth.
Royal Mail’s new set features six characters from the much-loved children’s author’s first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, published in 1902.
One of Potter’s earliest drawings of Peter Rabbit will be stamped onto mail posted from her local postbox in Cumbria next week, while the Royal Mint has pressed celebratory 50p pieces to commemorate the milestone.
Potter was born in Kensington, London on 28 July 1866 and first started selling her drawings aged 23. Peter Rabbit was named after her own pet bunny and she began self-publishing the story a few months after he died. Potter was turned down by several publishers before the book was eventually released and went on to sell over 40 million copies. She wrote a further 23 stories about animals with the last, The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots, set to be published with illustrations by Quentin Blake in September after being discovered in the Victoria and Albert Museum archive recently.
A first edition copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, printed by Potter, is expected to fetch £35,000 when it is auctioned later on Thursday. The book features 41 full-page drawings and will be sold as part of a memorabilia sale also including an original watercolour for The Story of Miss Moppet.
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