Entertainment & Arts

Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle on anniversary stamps

Beatrix Potter stamps Image copyright Royal Mail
Image caption The stamps depict six of Potter's best-loved characters from her highly successful books

Stamps depicting Beatrix Potter's creations, such as Peter Rabbit and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, have been released on the 150th anniversary of her birth.

The Royal Mail collection includes six characters and scenes from her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Potter wrote and illustrated a number of children's books in the early 1900s.

A first edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which Potter printed privately, is due to be auctioned later and is expected to fetch £35,000.

In addition to the anniversary stamps, a Peter Rabbit postmark will be stamped on mail posted in what was Potter's local post box in Cumbria in the week following her anniversary.

The mark is a copy of one of Potter's earliest drawings of the famous character.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Potter wrote 24 stories about animals, the last of which was only recently rediscovered

Royal Mail's Philip Parker said the stamps depicted some "unforgettable characters which have been loved by successive generations".

Born in the Kensington borough of London on 28 July 1866, Potter was a keen botanist and artist in her youth, selling her first drawings at the age of 23.

She created Peter Rabbit in a letter to the son of a friend in 1893, naming her creation after her own pet.

Self-published hit

After being turned down by several children's book publishers Potter self-published the story in 1901, a few months after the real Peter died.

The work became a hit with friends and family and a publisher decided to release the book. The Tale of Peter Rabbit has gone on to sell more than 40 million copies worldwide.

Potter later moved to a farm near Windermere in the Lake District, where she lived until her death in 1945.

She was the creator of 24 stories about animals, the last of which - The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots - will be published in September after the manuscript was discovered in the Victoria and Albert Museum archive.

Image copyright Royal Mail
Image caption The Tale of Peter Rabbit has sold over 40 million copies since it was first published

The 150th anniversary of her birth has also seen the Royal Mint press commemorative 50p pieces, a "mini-musical" celebrating her performed at the World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness-on-Windermere and the creation of a Girlguiding Beatrix Potter Anniversary Challenge badge.

One of the original copies of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, featuring 41 full-page line drawings, will go under the hammer at a London auction house later on Thursday as part of a sale of Beatrix Potter memorabilia.

The sale also includes an illustration Potter did for a Christmas card, and an original watercolour design for The Story of Miss Moppet.

Created in 1906, the drawing of the mouse - estimated to fetch up to £12,000 - was autographed by Potter and includes her notes.

Many of the 62 lots at the Dreweatts & Bloomsbury auction have been acquired by collector John Cawood since 1972.

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