– Author’s letters to a Professor sell for £12,000
– First edition Tales go for £3,500.
– Miss Potter inspirations are becoming priceless
Easter is fast approaching and the thoughts of many turn to chocolate eggs, bonnets and bunnies.
But for Collectors one bunny stands out all year round – Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit. The cute little floppy-eared fellah has captured the imagination of millions the world over and helped Beatrix Potter spin-offs go off scale in terms of value. Hollywood has given Peter Rabbit a re-boot and the Rene Zellweger biopic Miss Potter took £30m in box office sales.
The effect on the Potter legacy in terms of collectables has been stunning. Early editions of her books, writings and artwork command eye-watering sums at auction. Last year five letters written by Beatrix Potter made an £12,000 at auction in the UK.
Two months ago a collection of first editions of books – including The Tale of Peter Rabbit from 1902 – sold for more than £3,500. The collection included The Tales of Squirrel Nutkin, Jemima Puddle-Duck and Mr Jeremy Fisher.
Books are the most stand-out items on the spectrum of collectables from Beatrix Potter’s world, but the last 70 years have seen a steep rise in the desirability of ceramic figurines of her unique animal characters.
Stamps of approval from Sophie
Sophie Jackson is a guru when it comes to Beatrix Potter ceramic character figurines Sophie revealed some secrets about collecting Beatrix figurines in an antiques magazine. One vital clue to their value as collectables lies in the type of production stamp they carry.
Knowledge of the stamp is an important factor for anyone wishing to specialise in the most valuable and sought-after Beatrix Potter pieces.
Sophie warned there are large numbers fakes especially those in the Beswick variety because identification stamps are rather basic and easy to copy.
Sophie says: “The earliest stamps are the most important. They fall into two series, BP1 and BP2. There are two versions of the BP1 stamp, both issued between 1948 and 1954, making them extremely desirable. The BP2 stamp again has two versions and was used between 1955-1972. BP2a has the words Beswick and England forming an oval in gold”
Four Beatrix favourites prove how values vary wildly:
1.This Beswick model of Beatrix Potter’s Duchess with Flowers sold at auction in Newport for wallet-crunching £2,900. It had been expected to raise a very worthy £850 but two rival lady buyers got into an auction battle. It took much bidding before one of them backed out.
2.This collection of forty-nine Beswick-made Beatrix Potter figures, all with those stamps described by Sophie Jackson and including a scarce figure of the much-sought after ‘Simpkin’ the cat was knocked down at a Southsea auction for £1,150.
3.This oh-so-cute figure of Mrs Rabbit with the classic Beswick gold mark measured only 4in but it sold for £170. That’s £42.50p per inch.
4. Squirrel Nutkin meanwhile was almost left on the shelf holding his acorn at a Charterhouse auction in Sherborne, Dorset, but eventually he was sold for a not so bushy-tailed £40.
Whether collecting these items as an investment or just the pleasure of owning them you need to be alert. Many of the gorgeous figurines and artefacts related to Beatrix Potter stories and characters are being rapidly squirrelled away to Japan, America, Canada and Australia.
Do you LOVE Beatrix Potter? Want to add to your collection or even start one? Have a look at Collectology’s new Beatrix Potter range. Click here to see the range >>