From The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. 1902, Frederick Warne & Co: London. 23h19401
Today, as you might have realized from the title, is Beatrix Potter’s birthday! Born on July 28th, 1866, Beatrix is best known for her contributions to Children’s Literature as both an author and illustrator. Her most famous contribution is The Tale of Peter Rabbit—a delightful and imaginative story that celebrates nature, the British landscape, and rural life, all while following a mischievous rabbit. In celebration of Beatrix’s birthday, today I want to show you one of the Baldwin’s examples of rare and intriguing packaging. This first edition copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter would be a fabulous addition to any collection on its own but paired with its unique case it becomes a one of a kind find.
It is a small book, not even bigger than a hand, and so to protect it but also to showcase it, a series of protective handmade casings were created. These layers include an outermost layer that is similar to a hardcover book and an inside box that nestles The Tale of Peter Rabbit safely inside. The outer layer resembles a rich leather-bound book with a rigid spine and tooled leather details. It highlights the classic status of the novel and elevates this small, fragile book into the echelons of academia. The inner case is a box with folding flaps that are covered with a fine gilt design that makes you feel as if you’re unearthing treasure as you turn over the deep brown flaps to reveal the gold designs with the book cradled within. The case almost resembles a Matryoshka doll, a Russian Nesting doll, in that you have to pull the different layers apart. You can really appreciate the intricacy of the protections around this book and how they work to complement it. The case is a special and unique find in its own right that serves to emphasize The Tale of Peter Rabbit‘s exceptional quality.