Sought-after ink signature and inscription, "Wm. and Beatrix Heelis, Christopher and Phyllis Le Fleming and the young man, from Peter Rabbit, Christmas 1936," on an off-white 4.25 x 6 presentation sheet, with Potter adding a wonderful small sketch of a rabbit and a trail of winding "x" marks. In fine condition, with trimmed edges and scattered light foxing.
With their playful plots, imaginative critters, and some of the liveliest illustrations in children’s literature, Beatrix Potter’s little books—23 in total, published over the course of two decades—were an instant and enormous success. By 1935, the 69-year-old had all but given up her writing career, focusing on her farming and sheep breeding above all else. But despite her weakening eyes and a tremble in her hand, she cheerfully embarked on a new project called The Peter Rabbit Music Books when the young composer Christopher Le Fleming—‘a rather peculiar visitor,’ as she called him in a letter to a friend—approached her with a set of piano pieces he had written, inspired by her stories and suitable for children. A wonderful association piece made all the more desirable by the extremely rare presence of an original Potter sketch.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.