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    Beatrix Potter. "Dancing to the Piper." Original ink and watercolor drawing, circa 1890s. Background unfinished, illustration not signed. Measures 6 x 6 inches; 152 x 152 mm on larger paper, framed and glazed. Not examined out of frame. Fine.

    This lovely drawing depicts seven frolicking bunnies dancing around the central figure of a piping bunny seated on a stool. Although the background and some other details remain unfinished, this illustration perfectly captures the characteristic charm inherent in all of Beatrix Potter's illustrations.

    Previously in the collection of Beatrix's younger brother, Bertram (1872-1918), this illustration is from "The Rabbit's Christmas Party" series, of which there are several examples. The finished watercolor features eight rabbits dancing to a piper with rhubarb stalks in a large pot in the upper left corner. Here they are faintly visible, sketched in pencil. The scene would later be redrawn with a rabbit playing a cello encircled by five frolicking rabbits with two more nuzzling each other in the background. Four finished illustrations from the same series are in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. In 1987, Frederick Warne united the four V&A illustrations with the paintings originally given to Henry P. Coolidge. A fold-out panorama was published as The Rabbits' Christmas Party. Hobbs 54.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2020
    16th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,169

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