Beatrix Potter letter auctioned at Bonhams

Signed letter
Image caption The letter was bought by a private collector from North America

A letter by the author Beatrix Potter has sold for a "disappointing" amount, according to a representative of the auction house Bonhams.

The letter, recommending a gardener employed by her late mother at her home in Cumbria, is signed by H.B. Heelis, the Peter Rabbit author's married name.

Written on black-edged mourning paper, it is dated 25 March 1933.

It had been expected to go under the hammer for more than £1,000, but was sold for £750.

Simon Roberts, from Bonhams, said: "It sold for what I think was a relatively modest amount.

"We were hoping for perhaps excess of £1,000 for it so a bit disappointing on the day, but there were two bidders, and one dropped out relatively soon.

"Her letters do turn up, perhaps two or three a year might come on to the market.

"I thought this was a particularly nice one, but it didn't seem quite to grab the imagination in the way we'd hoped."

The letter was bought by a private collector from North America.

It describes gardener Benjamin Dawson as being in the service of the late Mrs Rupert Potter at Lindeth How, Storrs, Windermere, for nine years.

Mrs Heelis writes: "He has been accustomed to herbaceous border, some bedding out, green house, peach house, early vegetables, and the use of the motor lawn mower.

"Mrs Potter had a high opinion of Ben's usefulness, he is a thoroughly reliable man and strong in health."

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