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drawing - Text page design, 'Pussy passed by, and she peeped in'
  • Text page design, 'Pussy passed by, and she peeped in'
    Potter, Beatrix, born 1866 - died 1943
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Text page design, 'Pussy passed by, and she peeped in'

  • Object:

    drawing

  • Date:

    ca. 1892 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Potter, Beatrix, born 1866 - died 1943 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    pencil and pen and ink on paper

  • Museum number:

    BP.634(16)

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) is one of the world's best-loved children's authors and illustrators. She wrote the majority of the twenty-three Original Peter Rabbit Books between 1901 and 1913. The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Frederick Warne, 1902) is her most famous and best-loved tale.

A number of Beatrix Potter’s narrative sequences of drawings were inspired by nursery rhymes. She explored the rhyme ‘Three little mice sat down to spin’ in around 1892, envisaging an illustrated booklet, possibly in a concertina format. She made detailed pen and ink studies and six finished watercolours: one for each line of the nursery rhyme (she omitted the last two lines of the usually eight-line rhyme). Potter also made a title-page and six decorated text pages. However, although the booklet reached this advanced stage of preparation it was never published. The fourth design, however, ‘Making coats for Gentlemen’, was adapted for her later book, The Tailor of Gloucester (1903).

The nursery rhyme, as she used it, reads:

Three little Mice sat down to spin
Pussy passed by, and she peeped in
‘What are you at, my fine little Men?’
‘Making coats for Gentlemen’
‘Shall I come in, and cut off your threads?’
‘Oh no! Miss Pussy, you’d bite off our heads’

This sheet is a design for one of the text pages of the proposed booklet, the pen and ink design decorating the line ‘Pussy passed by, and she peeped in’.

Physical description

Text page design with drawings of an ink pot and quill, pencil, books and potted plants. With text written above.

Date

ca. 1892 (drawn)

Artist/maker

Potter, Beatrix, born 1866 - died 1943 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

pencil and pen and ink on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'3.'
Inscribed in pencil, upper right.

'Pussy passed by, and she peeped in:'
Written in pencil by the artist above design.

'Line 2. 88. Full size / 6'
Written in pencil on verso.

Dimensions

Height: 102 mm sheet, Width: 164 mm sheet

Object history note

Drawn by Beatrix Potter, ca. 1892. Acquired by the V&A from Leslie Linder (1904-1973) in 1973 as part of the Linder Bequest, a collection of ca. 2150 watercolours, drawings, literary manuscripts, correspondence, books, photographs, and other memorabilia associated with Beatrix Potter and her family.

Descriptive line

Text page design with drawings of an ink pot and quill, pencil, books and potted plants, made as part of intended booklet illustrating the rhyme 'Three little mice sat down to spin', drawn by Beatrix Potter, ca.1892; Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.1081.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Hobbs, Anne Stevenson, and Joyce Irene Whalley, eds. Beatrix Potter: the V & A collection: the Leslie Linder bequest of Beatrix Potter material: watercolours, drawings, manuscripts, books, photographs and memorabilia. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1985. p.123; no.1081
p.123; no.1081
Hobbs, Anne Stevenson, and Joyce Irene Whalley, eds. Beatrix Potter: the V & A collection : the Leslie Linder bequest of Beatrix Potter material : watercolours, drawings, manuscripts, books, photographs and memorabilia. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1985.
Taylor, Judy, Joyce Irene Whalley, Anne Stevenson Hobbs, Elizabeth M Battrick. Beatrix Potter 1866-1943: the Artist and Her World. 1987. London: Frederick Warne & Co. pp.55-6 (discussion of the series of drawings)
pp.55-6 (discussion of the series of drawings)
Taylor, Judy, Joyce Irene Whalley, Anne Stevenson Hobbs, Elizabeth M Battrick. Beatrix Potter 1866-1943: the Artist and Her World. 1987. London: Frederick Warne & Co.
Anne Stevenson Hobbs, Beatrix Potter: artist & illustrator, Frederick Warne & Co Ltd, 2005, p.93 (reproduced)
p.93 (reproduced)
Beatrix Potter: artist & illustrator Frederick Warne & Co Ltd, 2005

Materials

Ink; Paper; Pencil

Techniques

Drawn; Written

Subjects depicted

Illustrations; Quill; Books; Plants; Nursery rhymes; Ink

Categories

Drawings; Illustration

Production Type

Unique

Collection

National Art Library

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