15 Sep 2019
January 24, 2017 - Filed under: Auctions — Harriet

An auction to be held in Cumbria during February will feature a letter handwritten by Beatrix Heelis, the married name of author, Beatrix Potter.

The letter will be auctioned at 1818 Auctioneers in Cumbria, just one year after the 150th anniversary of the famous author’s birth. On the 30th August 1937, Heelis wrote the letter to Henry Airey, the Mayor of Kendal, to assure him of the security of a loom which she had bought that day. The writer congratulated Airey on an earlier speech which he gave after securing a prayer book which had belonged to Catherine Parr, wife number six of King Henry VIII.

The Mayor had worked hard to secure the prayer book, as it had an important link to Kendal. The father of Catherine Parr, Sir Thomas Parr, was the Lord of the Manor of Kendal, a courtier and English knight. The loom which had been purchased by Heelis, was the last to be operational in Kendal, and she wanted to assure the Mayor that it would not leave the town or end up at Kendal museum.

The letter, together with photographs and a copy of the prayer book, are being sold by the great grandson of Airey. The estimated value of the collection is £1,500. In October last year, a letter which had been written by Potter, dated 27th November 1929, had been sold by the auctioneers for £1,500. The new owner will have to consider storing the letter, written on tissue paper, somewhere safe to protect the letter from environmental damage, perhaps in an antique cabinet.

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