POTTER, BEATRIX Rabbit in red jacket shovelling snow.
Oval watercolor drawing on thin card over faint graphite outlines. 3 3/8 x 2 3/8 inches (8.5 x 6 cm) on a sheet 5 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches (14 x 10.75 cm), circa 1899, signed in pencil with initials "HBP". Traces of old adhesive on the recto of the sheet, old light-stain visible under the present mat. In a modern (1987) oval mat and frame.
Provenance: By report, gift from Beatrix Potter to Mrs. White, of Hastings; family descent to an unknown later owner; thence by sale to Justin G. Schiller Ltd.; Mary K. Young
Potter's drawing of a rabbit digging in front of a snow-covered doorway exists in several forms, including one that includes a second rabbit pulling a sled. Indeed, the series likely relates to the watercolor of a sledding accident involving the two young rabbits in the present sale. Justin Schiller, the dealer in children's illustration who first sold the piece in 1987, believed that the overall design for the rabbit clearing snow was likely prepared for the greeting card publishers Hildesheimer & Faulkner of London (vide a letter from Schiller to the former owner, dated 10 October 1989). Indeed, a greeting card with a related design was offered by an English publisher until recently. Schiller also reports in the same letter that when the present drawing was first acquired, it was in the original presentation frame from Potter, which bore an inscription on the paper backing "To Mrs. White from Miss Potter, in remembrance of a pleasant time in Hastings, January 1899." This original frame is no longer present.
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C The Mary K. Young Collection
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