The antique desk at which Beatrix Potter penned her famous animal stories is just one of the attractions of Hilltop House at Windermere. Now, some of those books together with other Beatrix memorabilia are to be sold at a sale in Bloomsbury, London.
Most antique bookcases in Cumbria probably have a copy of Peter Rabbit or Jemima Puddleduck on their shelves, but readers would be hard pushed to match the collection that Mark Ottington put together. Comprising rare first editions, figurines, manuscripts, artworks, photographs and other Potter collectibles, they are to go under the hammer on 27th February with an estimated value of £12,000 – 16,000.
On the day, bidders will be able to see the skilled watercolours that Beatrix produced to complement her writings, perhaps not realising that the Victorian dining chairs , cupboards and other furniture in the tales were actually the ones at her home, Hill Top, the Hawkeshead farm she purchased in 1905. One of 15 Lakeland farms bequeathed to the National Trust when the authoress died in 1943, her request was that it should be preserved exactly as it was when she was alive, right down to her antique dining table .
The National Trust has followed her word to the letter and enhanced the visitor experience by matching each room to a picture in a tale. Being able to see the actual Victorian dining chairs used for Peter Rabbit and Miss Tiggywinkle is a magical experience for children and adults alike.
Hill Top reopened on 9th February. People in Preston can find antique dining tables and chairs similar to those used by Peter and Miss Potter by visiting their local antiques dealer.
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