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Drawing - Eight studies of the head of a duck
  • Eight studies of the head of a duck
    Potter, Beatrix, born 1866 - died 1943
  • Enlarge image

Eight studies of the head of a duck

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1908 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Chalk and charcoal on paper

  • Museum number:


  • 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.

As well as an accomplished story-teller, Beatrix Potter was also a keen nature artist. Her menagerie of childhood pets included rabbits, frogs, squirrels, mice and hedgehogs. Later, when illustrating her series of Peter Rabbit books, she would always sketch her fictional characters from live models. Ducks appear in several of Beatrix Potter's tales, in particular The Tale of Tom Kitten (1907) and The Tale of Jemima Puddle-duck (1908). She sketched the ducks in Putney, London, when preparing illustrations for The Tale of Tom Kitten in the summer of 1907. However, it is likely that these studies of a duck's head were drawn at Hill Top; Beatrix Potter produced several studies of ducks and sheep in chalk and charcoal on brown paper.

Physical description

White chalk and black charcoal drawing on brown paper of eight studies of a duck's head. Deframed; frame stored separately.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


ca.1908 (made)


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

Materials and Techniques

Chalk and charcoal on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Beatrix Potter'
Signed by the artist on recto (bottom right)

'From the Library of Anne Renier and F.G. Renier'.
Bookplate on verso of frame.


Height: 292 mm whole object, Width: 225 mm whole object, Height: 188 mm image, Width: 146 mm image

Object history note

Drawn by Beatrix Potter ca.1908. Acquired by the V&A from Anne Renier and Fernand G. Renier as part of the Renier Collection in 1970.

Descriptive line

Chalk studies of the head of a duck by Beatrix Potter, ca.1908.


White chalk; Paper; Charcoal black



Subjects depicted

Heads (body parts); Ducks (birds); Natural history


Drawings; National Art Library

Production Type



National Art Library

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